Obituaries: Mark Baayen

Mark Alden Baayen, 67, of Bloomfield, IA passed away Thursday, April 6, 2017 at his home.  As were Mark’s wishes, his body has been cremated.  A graveside service will be held in the Eldon Cemetery on Saturday, April 15, 2017 at 2:00 p.m..  Memorial contributions in Mark’s honor may be directed to the American Gothic House (300 American Gothic St., Eldon, IA 52554) or the Heartland Humane Society (314 Fox Sauk Rd., Ottumwa, IA 52501).  Friends may sign the online guestbook at

Mark Alden Baayen was born August 29, 1949 in Ottumwa, IA to Alden and Wanda “Johnston” Baayen.  He grew up in the Eldon area and attended Cardinal High School, graduating with the class of 1967.  Upon graduation, Mark attended Colorado State University where he graduated with a degree in education.  He began working at Glenwood, IA where he taught history at the high school.  After ten years dedicated to teaching history to our youth, Mark decided it was time for a change.  He moved to South Korea where he spent the next 20 years teaching English to grade school children and Naval Officers.   Mark eventually retired from teaching and moved to Ottumwa and then later to his home in Bloomfield.  Mark was an avid reader from the time he was a child.  He was especially interested in reading books and articles on history and politics.  When he wasn’t reading, he enjoyed tending to his flowers and taking care of his two rescue dogs.

Mark was preceded in death by his father, Alden Baayen.

Left to share his story is his mother, Wanda Baayen; two siblings, Connie (Rick) Sorg of Independence, IA and Craig (Sandy) Baayen of Ottuwma, IA, as well as many extended family and friends.