Cover photo for Rev. Mark Steven Chamberlain's Obituary
Rev. Mark Steven Chamberlain Profile Photo
1954 Rev. Mark 2024

Rev. Mark Steven Chamberlain

March 25, 1954 — March 11, 2024

Willmar


Rev. Mark Chamberlain, age 69, of Willmar, MN, died peacefully at home the morning of March 11, 2024, his baptism complete. Mark had a brief time on hospice care after suffering a stroke in early February but lived his life with purpose to his last breath like he had done for the previous thirty years; full of gratitude, laughter and some definitely poorly placed jokes.

A celebration of life service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, April 6, at the First Presbyterian Church in Willmar. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service. In lieu of flowers, memorials to First Presbyterian Church - Missions, 312 6th Street SW, Willmar, MN 56201 are preferred. Arrangements are entrusted to the Peterson Brothers Funeral Home.  www.petersonbrothers.com

Mark was formed in his younger years in Orange County, Southern California with his two older brothers and parents. It was there that he discovered his call to ministry in the church, through work at Garden Grove Community Church and Mount Hermon Christian Conference Center and where he met his first wife Rev. Teresa Roberts. He was ordained as a Minister of Word and Sacrament to the Presbyterian Church (USA) in 1984 and worked in congregational ministry faithfully in California, Colorado and Minnesota until going on permanent disability in 1995. 

A significant portion of Mark’s life centered around illness and disability. After being diagnosed with a cancerous brain tumor in 1994 and being given only months to live, it was with humor, faith and vigor that he repeatedly beat the odds over and over again for almost exactly thirty years. Medical marvel that he was, there was significant speculation among his children and grandchildren that there might be some superpower or comic book/sci-fi/fantasy magic happening. So, if anyone saw a man in a kilt with a large sword wandering around town March 11, you have solved the mystery. 

Despite half of his life being “after”, Mark did not take any of that for granted. Through illness, divorce from Teresa, and other challenges in life, he always sought to see goodness and beauty in the world around him. He loved being in nature and pursuing his artistic talents of painting, architecture, and glasswork. He was still greatly involved in the church, actively participating in the Presbytery, local and regional mission work, even going to meetings and serving on committees when he could. He even brought Nancy, his wife, over to the Presbyterians from the Lutherans, roping her into all denominational pursuits. Mark also loved growing plants and backyard birding.

Mark’s ultimate pleasure in life was to laugh and to make others laugh. His silliness was special and everyone who knew him recalls that nothing was ever so serious that there couldn’t be a joke (or ten) told in the moment. Even in his last days, he was telling jokes that only he could understand.

He is survived by his beloved wife of 21 years, Nancy Chamberlain (nee Rahn); three children, Rev. Sarah Hooker (Rev. Christopher Hooker), Noel Chamberlain, and Laura Chamberlain; one grandson, Eli Hooker; two stepsons, Matthew (Andrea) Werder and Benjamin (Mindy) Werder; grandsons, Bruno, Luca, Zeke and Zion; two siblings, Darryl (Linda) Chamberlain and Dale (Judy) Chamberlain; two nieces, Amy Jacobsen, Kimberly Ravlich; one nephew Evan Chamberlain; several cousins, extended family and many friends

Mark was preceded in death by his parents, Melvin and Ruth (nee Connell).

As a final act of generosity to the team of doctors at the University of Minnesota who gave him such a fuller life, he has donated his body for study. Also many thanks to the Hospice Team at Knute Nelson Hospice for their care, kindness and support.


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Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Saturday, April 6, 2024

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

First Presbyterian Church

312 6th St SW, Willmar, MN 56201

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Celebration of Life

Saturday, April 6, 2024

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Central time)

First Presbyterian Church

312 6th St SW, Willmar, MN 56201

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