Mark Ahrendsen


Mark Ahrendsen, 69, passed peacefully at his home in Chapel Hill, N.C. on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021 after a 4-year journey with advanced lung cancer.

Mark was born Feb. 26, 1951 in Maquoketa, the son of Gayle and Donna (Christensen) Ahrendsen. He grew up on a farm in Jones county. He was valedictorian of his 1969 Olin High School class. He graduated from the University of Iowa with a BS in Industrial and Management Engineering and a MS with a concentration in Urban Planning. His career included 27 years with the City of Durham and where he was also transportation director from 2010-2016. He received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the North Carolina Public Transportation Association in 2016 among other awards and recognitions.

Mark was a man of deep faith and an active member of Trinity Avenue Presbyterian Church in Durham for more than 30 years where he served as a deacon, an elder and in other roles. He will be remembered for his kindness, compassion, humility, sense of humor and gentle spirit. His hobbies included spending time with his family, reading, music, sports, classic music, visiting Bed and Breakfasts and traveling.

Mark is survived by his loving wife Cathy and sons: Tim, Tyler (Sharifa), Nick (Kristin), Christopher and Joseph. He also is survived by brothers, Monte (Margo) Ahrendsen of Oxford Junction and Bruce (Jolene) Ahrendsen, of Fayetteville, AR. He was beloved Grandpa Mark to Leo, Claire, Beth and Zephyr.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Gayle and Donna Ahrendsen.

Condolences can be sent to Contributions may be made in Mark’s memory to the following: Trinity Avenue Presbyterian Church/Crisis Assistance Fund Help Hope Live/Rachel Doboga fund Cathy’s niece was diagnosed with ALS when she was 28 and is on a ventilator. Donations fund in-home nursing care and respite for her husband Evan. Camp Courageous Mark’s two adult nephews, Doug and Kevin Ahrendsen, have special needs and have attended this camp for more than 25 years.

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