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925 S 27th Street
BILLINGS, MT 59101
Phone: 406-245-6427
Fax: 406-259-3558
Mark Lenhardt

Mark Roland Lenhardt

Saturday, November 19th, 1949 - Wednesday, January 22nd, 2020
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Obituary

Mark Roland Lenhardt passed peacefully into Heaven on January 22, 2020, after a brief illness. He lived 70 years, 61 of which were confined to a wheelchair.

Mark was born on November 19, 1949, in Billings, MT to Frederick and Helen M. Lenhardt. He was disabled as a small boy from complications from brain surgery. He happily lived with his parents and sister on the family farm for about half his life.

Mark attended Elder Grove School, then later, the Center for Handicapped Children at what is now MSU-Billings. Mark was the1961 Easter Seal Child for Yellowstone County. He later transitioned into many Billings group homes, finally settling at the Lewis Group Home, where he was lovingly cared for. Mark attended COR Enterprises for 44 years, and was their longest client. Mark was well known for his happy disposition, a smile that encompassed his whole face, the ability to sing with gusto any song he knew, and his favorite phrases such as, “That's a true fact, Jack, and I'm sticking to it!”

Mark's interests included anything Star Trek or Star Wars, watching movies, playing card games, and airplanes. He loved outings to ballgames, dances, and restaurants. Mark was a regular participant in the Special Olympics, and was very proud of his ribbons and medals. He also enjoyed a good game of bowling on Saturday mornings.

Mark was preceded in death by his parents and grandparents. He is survived by his sister, Linda Staszcuk (Alan) of Billings, MT; his nephews, Andrew Staszcuk and Joey (Maria) Staszcuk; great niece, Kaydee Staszcuk and great nephew, August Staszcuk; along with many aunts, uncles, and cousins.

Mark left a legacy of kindness and joy to all who knew him. He was a model of contentment to others, even though he certainly had many reasons to be discontent.

A celebration of Mark's life will be held on Thursday, February 6, 2020, at 11am at , Faith E Church, 3145 Sweetwater Drive, in Billings MT. Smith West Chapel is in charge. A private burial will be held on another date. Memorials may be made to COR Enterprises, 2121 Lampman Drive, Billings; or, Residential Support Services, 2110 Overland Avenue, Billings, MT 59102. A special thanks to Mark's many caregivers, and to Dr. Neal Sorenson. Condolences may be shared with family by visiting smithfuneralchapels.com.
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Service Details

  • Service

    Thursday, February 6th, 2020 | 11:00am
    When
    Thursday, February 6th, 2020 11:00am
    Location
    Faith E Church
    Address
    3145 Sweet Water Drive
    BILLINGS, MT
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Interment

    Location
    Sunset Memorial Gardens
    Address
    1721 Central Avenue
    BILLINGS, MT 59102
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email

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S

Staszcuk

Posted at 09:35pm
My name is Linda Staszcuk. I am Mark's little sister by 3 years.

Mark and I had an interesting relationship. Because he was only 9 when he became ill, subsequently having surgery for a brain tumor, I have few memories of him when he was able to walk What I do know is what was told to me, memories that my parents, and older relatives had of him. I will share those, but also share my rich memories of him in later years.

From what was told to me, I learned Mark was a very bright, but precocious little boy. His baby book records that he was saying the word “No” at 8 months, walking by 9 months, and running ever after that. He had 2 black eyes before he was 3 because he embraced new experiences and curious environments with gusto! When left alone with a hammer and bucket of nails as a young boy, he spent his time pounding them all into the ground, much to my father's dismay. When playing with cousins near a creek, a frog was purposely caught and brought dutifully to their visiting aunt, just to see her knee-jerk reaction! Living on a farm brought some near death experiences, as well, as Mark once crawled inside a corral, only to have an irritated bull chase him. Dad had to be near and on his toes with Mark around!

I do remember years that Mark was very ill after his surgery. Brain surgery in 1959 had very little technology to guide a surgeon's hands. Mark had a stroke because of uncontrolled bleeding. That caused paralysis and weakness of his left side. Mark never walked after that. I remember living with my cousins for a time so that my parents could care for Mark. Mom records someone stayed with Mark day and night after he lapsed into a 5 day coma after his surgery. How difficult those days must have been for two very frightened parents. He later had several surgeries on his legs and arms to lengthen the tendon. However, none of these surgeries were completely successful.

Still, Mom and Dad dutifully cared for my brother at home, giving him the best life they could. He was included in family trips, celebrations and experiences. He attended a school for Handicapped children, and very much enjoyed his time with his teacher, Carl Hanson. Carl and Jenny Hanson and their family later became good family friends. Mother made sure he could attend church services via telephone recording. He enjoyed family pets, as well.

Mark was a very content and happy child. He rarely complained, and immensely enjoyed his family. He had a sunny disposition and enjoyed playing card games and singing songs with his family.

When our mother became ill with her own brain tumor, the time came for Mark to have a different home, as our father could not care for them both, our grandpa who was living with them at the time, and keeping the farm afloat. Mark seemed to make the transition well. His first group home was at Panners Place in Billings Heights. Our good friend, Peggy Knight was one of his first caregivers.

Mark embraced his new RSS family, and from what they tell me, was a joy to them as well. Mark liked to joke with them and did his best to keep them on their toes! I didn't realize how much he was loved, until his last day of life at the hospital. He had a full day of visitors, not only from family, but many people who worked with Mark. Wonderful stories and words of love were shared. Even though Mark couldn't speak, I believe he heard all the love shared with him. It was, indeed, a sacred day.

Mark is now free from a body which bound him for over 60 years. He's walking streets of gold, standing tall and whole, enjoying Heaven where there are no more tears. Mark accepted Jesus as his savior, and is now face to face with the one whose love never left him. One friend shared, “In spite of any physical limitations, Mark did more for others than others could ever do for him.”

Rest in Peace, big brother, until we meet again!
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