Mark Douglas Sletten

Published 6:09 am Thursday, May 23, 2024

On a beautiful Sunday of October 13, 1963, Mark Douglas Sletten was placed in the arms of Wayne & Jackie Sletten, our son, bearing one extra chromosome with one extra forever blessing! Sent to us as a gift by our good good God who created him for a special purpose, to love and share his love.

Mark Douglas Sletten

On another special beautiful Sunday, this Mother’s Day May 12, Jesus’ little lamb and our forever “Little Boy” was carried back in the arms of our good shepherd, in the presence of all his family.

Mark was born at Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where his mother was a nurse and his father a student at the University of Minnesota Dental School. Mark Douglas Sletten was baptized by Pastor Warren Sorteberg of Our Saviors Lutheran Church, receiving the Gift of Christ’s love that lived forever in his heart.

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Born Downs, Mark developed meningitis at four months, making him non-verbal, and required numerous surgeries that inhibited normal growth. He was nurtured since the day he was born, not only by his caring and faithful family but also by extra “Forever moms and dads”. Within the homes of Mary & Tony Tillman, Rose Amos, and at present in the unbelievable 20 years of loving care by Ed, Comfort, and Dumalo at Mary T Group Home Minneapolis; known to us as the “House of Angels”. Mark shared his home with his “3 brothers”, Kevin, who was also downs, Brian, and Donald; all calling us “mom and dad”.

Mark has played many roles in his loving life- Baby Jesus, because he was still so tiny at age 4, and a shepherd with a walker as he never walked. Mark attended Emerson School for Special Needs children to learn to sign, as it was close to home. His signs were “I love you”, “Happy”, and “Jesus” while pointing to the sky, and folding his hands at meals and rest. His pointer finger was the candle he would twirl as we sang “This Little Light of Mine” while making up verses about him. Mark graduated with a cap and gown, a diploma, and a big smile with his walker.

He attended Partnership Resources of MPLS – a day program for special people with disabilities, but gifted with Special Abilities! Again, occupied with angels and teachers of the heart and soul that taught them music, to act, to sing, to draw, paint, create, to love, and be understood; they became friends and family. In his early years there, “Aunt Lorraine” would go every day to help feed him and to help sew and stuff pillows his friends had made. He participated in the “Made in the Shade Walk” which celebrated and supported the community for the art created there. Mark also competed in the Special Olympics, via wheelchair.

Though Mark never spoke a word, he’d uttered sweet songs as if to sing, then he’d smile. In one of his favorite places, upon his mother’s lap, “Jesus Loves Me” and “This Little Light of Mine” were his favorite songs we’d sing upon his sweet little head. On a very special Sunday, he chose to join his little sister, Wendy Lyn, on Jesus’ lap instead! Where his lovelight will continue to shine all around the neighborhoods, this little angel of Wayne and Mine.

Those left behind to forever feel the rays are mom and dad, brother Paul, Emma, Noah, and Christina; sister Jill Marie and Steve Streich, Paul and Samantha Streich, Wes, Jack, Millie, and baby Luke; Sydne and Andreas Schilbach, Marie and Clara Marie, Greta and Truman Pisk and Baby Willa Marie; Brother Daniel and Jennifer Sletten, Jacob, and Anders Macallan, Uncle Greg and Ann, Paul Douglas Sletten; the Quellos’, Goldstrands’, Jacobsons’, Mark and Sandi, John and Jerri, Doug and Grace, Bill and Arlene; The House of Angels Partnership Resources; our family of First Lutheran Church; and friends who held him in their hearts and prayers.

Mark’s loved ones who left a bit early are his little sister Wendy Lyn and his grandparents who loved him so.

A celebration of his love will be held on a special Sunday, June 2nd, at First Lutheran Church in Albert Lea, beginning at 2:00 PM. The family will visit with friends and family one hour before the service. Mark will be interred close to his sister, Wendy Lyn, during a family graveside service after his birthday party.

The family requests memorial contributions be made to First Lutheran Church’s “Peace and Power” or Partnership Resources- 1069 10th Ave SE, Minneapolis, MN 55414.