Mark William Deadman

August 19, 1945 - May 03, 2023


Obituary For Mark William Deadman

Madison - Mark William Deadman, doting husband, loving father, dear grandfather, brother, uncle, wordsmith, amateur comedian, dictionary junkie, Patriot, unapologetic conservative, die hard Badger and Packer fan, avid hunter, classic car enthusiast, boat lover, Eagle River resident, gourmet cook, bar owner, Madison historian, Miller Lite Beer drinker, self proclaimed encyclopedia of useless knowledge and cancer fighting warrior passed away on May 3, 2023. Of all his titles, the most cherished were those of husband, Dad, and Papa.

Mark was born at a young age to Charles and Ellen (Harrington) Deadman on either August 18th or August 19th, 1945. The exact date has been a lifelong dispute between his Mother and the birth certificate, but this allowed him to celebrate two birthdays every year. Growing up in downtown Madison, he loved roaming the East Johnson corridor, doing anything outdoors or on the lakes. In elementary school, he met lifelong best friend William Meddings and over the years, the two of them participated in much fun, mischief, and shenanigans. As a teen, he developed a love for cars and could name almost every classic car's year and model from sight.

Mark met the love of his life, Janet Rae Fjelstad working at his brother Chuck’s ice cream business, The Chocolate House (now Chocolate Shoppe). Despite him being late to their very first date because a dog bit his pants (or so he claims), they have been inseparable and madly in love every day since.

Mark graduated in 1963 from Madison Central High School where he participated in track and wrestling. He enrolled at the University of Wisconsin, Madison where he spent one semester drinking beer and playing cards. He missed that “cute little blonde” and decided to transfer to Stevens Point to be with Jan. At Stevens Point, Mark was President of the University Activity Board and he and Jan were named Winter Carnival King and Queen of 1965. They married after college graduation and moved to Muncie, Indiana. Mark attended graduate school and obtained a Masters in Student Personnel and Higher Education at Ball State University. He enjoyed his time in Indiana and worked for Ball State as a Residence Hall Director for several years.

Mark and Jan returned to Madison and he started working for Means Services with his father-in-law, Donald Fjelstad. This was one of his most treasured relationships. Don taught him everything he knew about woodworking and how to fix things. He considered Don to be his second father. Mark enjoyed his time at Means and loved traveling the state in sales, picking wild asparagus along the road. In his spare time, he taught business classes for Upper Iowa and Concordia Universities. After working for Means, Mark managed the Hilldale Chocolate Shoppe for several years.

In 1996, Mark fulfilled a lifelong dream of owning a neighborhood bar. He owned and operated Busse’s Markway for 20 years. Mark enjoyed interacting with customers, watching Jeopardy, sponsoring sports teams, and hosting Badger and Packer potluck parties where he would give out free Jell-O shots for every touchdown. Mark was a Kiwanis member and a member of the Northside Business Association, serving as President for two terms. Mark would joke that he was a jack of all trades but a master of none. His charismatic personality attracted friends from all walks of life. Mark was a proud Elks member when he passed.

Mark and Jan had three children, Cortney, Matthew and Darcy. He also had two bonus children, Cortney’s husband Tim and Matt’s wife Jennifer, who he loved and considered his own. He loved being a father and did everything he could to encourage any and all endeavors, from coaching various sporting teams to whipping up gourmet snacks for study sessions to reviewing school papers at all hours of the night. Mark was always there for his children and participated in countless moves for them, some which were clear across the country. Whenever he was thanked for helping his children, he would always reply with “It’s part of the job description.”

Of all things in this world, Mark loved his wife Jan the most. He adored her and was faithfully committed for almost 57 years. They enjoyed spending time together watching Yellowstone, Jeopardy and Fox News, watching the eagles and listening to the loons at their Eagle River home, cruising, traveling across the country and attending any and all events to support their six grandchildren. Papa’s grandbabies were his pride and joy. He created so many magical opportunities for them to make memories and share laughter between his fireworks shows, bonfires, and 4th of July parades. Papa, aka “Marshmallow Man”, was the center of the Deadman universe and the hole that he leaves is deep.

Mark is survived by his beautiful bride Jan Deadman; daughter Cortney Feige (Tim); son Matthew Deadman (Jennifer); daughter Darcy Deadman and six cherished grandchildren; Adalyn (16), Sophia (14), Gavin (13), Finnian (11), Stella (9) and Signe (6). He also leaves behind brother Charles Deadman and his wife Nancy, brother in law, Thomas Fjelstad and his wife Brenda Joyce and cousin Bruce Deadman. Mark will be missed by many special nieces, nephews, cousins and friends. Mark is preceded in death by his father, Charles Deadman, brother Harry Deadman, mother Ellen Floyd, father-in-law Donald Fjelstad, sister Joan Monson and mother-in-law Constance Fjelstad.

The family would like to thank Dr. Ryan Porter with SSM Health for his wonderful oncology care over the last few years.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Agrace Hospice or St. Jude.

A visitation will be held at RYAN FUNERAL HOME at 2418 North Sherman Avenue in Madison on June 3rd, 2023 from 2-5 p.m. A service for Mark will take place at the funeral home at 4pm.

Thank you Dad and Papa! You left your "Mark" on all of us. We hope you are “driving fast and taking chances.”

To view and sign this guestbook, please visit:


3 Jun


02:00 PM - 05:00 PM

Ryan Funeral Homes - Madison North East 2418 N. Sherman Avenue Madison, WI 53704 Get Directions »
3 Jun

Memorial Service

04:00 PM

Ryan Funeral Homes - Madison North East 2418 N. Sherman Avenue Madison, WI 53704 Get Directions »
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  • May 21, 2023

    So good to talk to you. My thoughts and prayers are with you.

  • May 10, 2023

    So very sorry for your loss, Darcy. Your dad sounds like he was an amazing man. ❤️ Rhonda

  • May 09, 2023

    So sorry to learn of Marks' death. We got to know each other as undergraduates at Steven's Point and did grad school together at Ball State in Indiana. We studied hard and played hard. Many noon hours we played cribbage and or watched Jeopardy. We were both very competitive at both! We had lost track of each other, but memories are firm. Jan as all know was wonderful. We did a lot of low cost cookouts on our limited budgets. Kindest regards to the family. Richard Harris , Muncie, Indiana.

  • May 09, 2023

    When Mark was a merchandise manager at Means I used to work for him. I was still in high school and I give him a lot of credit for putting up with me! Great sense of humor and all around good guy.

  • May 08, 2023

    Jan, we are so sorry to hear of your sweetheart's passing. We shared an anniversary date with you, you told me when we talked once at East High...57 years this August. Our thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family. Sending hugs and love. Ann Marie and Jim Zagzebski

  • May 07, 2023

    My sincere condolences to you Darcy and your entire family. Big hug sent dear friend...

  • May 07, 2023

    I was in junior high school with mark at central high school in madison. Even then he was funny and very handsome. Don't tell anyone but He used to copy My paper when we had a test ,this was an english class. I always wondered where he went and what he did and I was very happy to read this in his obituary.Sorry to all of you who feel pain over his passing he was one heck of a good guy!

  • May 07, 2023

    Cousin Bruce here. What a wonderful obituary and thanks for the mention. I have so many fond memories of Mark, including listening him go on ( and on and on) about cars when he was a lad, spending time with him at our old cottage, spying on him and Jan as they were "making out" on the beach, and more recently time at Eagle River, on Chuck's boat, and at family gatherings. He was certainly the best looking of our generation, a habit which his children inherited. Sandy and I will see you on June 3- question- will the Miller Lite be in bottles, cans or on tap? All my love, Bruce

  • May 07, 2023

    When someone has gone, you can bring them back for just a little while by talking them into life by painting a picture with your memories and your words. My great memories of Mark will forever keep him alive. Sincere sympathy to you Jan (my dear summer church camp friend) and your entire family. This closing farewell obit is the most loving and thoughtful story of a man who will be dearly missed. May the happy memories he leaves behind fill your hearts and ease this difficult pain.

  • May 07, 2023

    GOD Bless your family and remember all the good times! We will be thinking of you all in these coming days and months. We will send a donation to St Jude I'm honor of Mark. Love Jeff and Susan Kutac

  • May 06, 2023

    In the fall of 2022 I had the good fortune of reconnecting with Mark and his lovely wife, Jan, a former roommate of mine at UW-Stevens Point. It had been 50+ years since we'd all been together in college and it was as if no time had passed at all with the ease of which we picked up where we'd left off. I shall always treasure that we had that special time together and that we'd found one another again. My heart goes out to my precious friend, Jan, and her wonderful family in the loss of their beloved Mark. He was many things to many people and I know the loss is profound. In love and sympathy, Cheryl (Howard) Vander Linden


  • 5 TREES

    5 Trees were planted in memory of Mark William Deadman - May 08, 2023

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