Marc John Soderberg, 55, of Richfield, MN, died after a short illness on September 18, peacefully and surrounded by loving family and friends.
Marc was a hearty, gregarious and funny guy. He instantly filled up any room he entered, and family and friends will always remember how he brought light and laugher when life felt dreary. His laugh was infectious. His thinking was limber, and he was quick with an anecdote, a similar experience or a goofy fabrication that took a conversation in unexpected directions.
Marc loved to find humor in life’s absurdities and often jousted with authority while wearing an infectious grin. Anyone who tried to push him too hard might be cheerfully told to “go pound sand.” He was a character. As a younger man, his personality and skill at improv shone through in roles he created as a member of The Queen’s Guard for the Minnesota Renaissance Festival and while playing Dungeons & Dragons with friends. Once, when co-leading a lighthearted “clown” communion service at his minister-father’s church, a costumed Marc spontaneously tightrope-walked the length of the altar rail – shocking and then delighting congregants.
Marc was a loving husband and father who sought opportunities to escape from chores to see comedy shows with his wife or take his son and friends to chase Pokémon at the mall. Several young men (and their moms) remember Marc as father figure who helped boys earn scout badges and discover the wonders of the outdoors. In all the right ways, Marc never really stopped being a kid. His fluency in “video game” granted him instant access to conversations his son and friends brought to the kitchen table.
Friends and family will miss the meals Marc prepared for weekend game nights or holiday dinners, when friends would pack the house. A pot of chili would fill the guests and the leftovers would follow them all home in containers providing several additional meals. His Scandinavian dinners on Christmas Eve are the stuff of legend.
Marc was an Eagle Scout and a tinkerer who could rig up or fix practically anything – even appliances his wife might have preferred to replace. He had a long career as a trouble-shooting technician, traveling throughout five Midwestern states to repair copiers, paint-mixing machines, and other devices. He was a devoted, if often exasperated, fan of the Minnesota Vikings. He had no shortage of ideas about how to fix the team.
Marc was born in Billings, MT on May 30, 1967, son of John and Donna Soderberg. He attended schools in Fort Benton, Bozeman and Billings, Montana. In high school, he was a standout soccer player and a percussionist in the band. In the late 1980s, Marc moved to the Minneapolis.
Marc is remembered by his wife Frieda, and son, Ethan, in Richfield; by his parents in Virginia Beach, VA; and by sisters Kema (Mrs. Bill) Geroux in Virginia Beach and Janet Soderberg in Fargo, ND. He was a loving “Uncle Marc" to a niece and three nephews – who eagerly awaited his every appearance at otherwise slow-paced family gatherings. His recently born great-niece will have stories to look forward to hearing.
A celebration of Marc’s life is planned at Wood Lake Nature Center, 6710 Lake Shore Dr. S., Richfield, MN the evening of October 10. Guest will be received starting at 5:30 p.m. and the celebration will start at 6 p.m. Guests are invited to bring a note or small symbolic item that captures their experience with Marc to share during the celebration or to leave for private consideration by family. A reception at Protagonist Kitchen & Bar will follow.
In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made for camperships to YMCA Family Camp Northern Lights, NW 5901, PO Box 1450, Minneapolis, MN 55485-5901, or online at YMCAnorth.org/give.