Mar 15, 1958---Feb 27, 2023

Mark Leonard Bremer (64), of Shawnee, Kansas, passed away on February 27, 2023. Mark was born to Leonard and Dolores Bremer, on March 15, 1958 in Junction City, Kansas. He was baptized at Immanuel Lutheran Church and attended school therethrough 8th grade then went on to attend Chapman High School graduating in 1976. Mark enjoyed playing football and working with hands his making pottery during those high school years.Mark was a great little brother to Ruth and Eileen and big brother to Kim, Eric, Lynne and Tracy and all his foster siblings.

After high school, Mark attended St. John’s College,graduating in 1978. He then spent time as a ski lift operator at Cooper Mountain in Colorado where he loved skiing and cooking.When he returned home is 1981 when his close friend Craig talked him into joining the fire department. Craig said, “Mark thought I was nuts but went along with it. One of the greatest qualities Mark had always being the calm and cool one. Nothing ever rattled Mark, if it did, he never let it show. Know matter how intense or complicated the situation was he never lost his cool and had a way of making everything work out. Things just always went smoother when Mark was around and there was always a laugh or two to make it that much better.” 

Mark met Melanie, the mother of his children, in 1981. She said, “He was the most beautiful boy I had ever seen. All blonde and tan with a mischievous smile on his face. 15 years of marriage, 40 years of friendship, two beautiful kids, both good and bad times, we still loved, liked and respected each other.”

Mark moved to Overland Park, Kansas with his family and continued his career at Consolidated Fire District 2, where he retired as a Captain after 33 years in the fire service. Mark served as union president for several years. He was a dedicated fire fighter and a leader in his career. While working as a fire fighter, Mark was also always working a side gig and got his great friend Travis to work with him. The first gig was installing RJ Reynolds cigarette racks that went in convenience stores and grocery stores.Then worked on remodeling projects for friends and started a cabinet shop out of his house. Mark was a skilled carpenter and teacher. 

Mark was a great friend. Travis said, “He totally had my family and I’s back and ensured we were taken care of when I had cancer and that is why I considered him a true brother and not just a friend!”. Phil and Rita were also his family and he travelled with them to the Sturgis bike rally multiple times, they said “Mark loved riding his Harley Davidson with the wind in his face and his thoughts on the beautiful land around him. He was a generous man who gave to those around him. You could not ask for a more dependable friend.” 

Mark loved to cook, and he was very good at it. He cooked every day at the fire station when he was on duty, Travis said “I always thought it was because he was particular about his cooking, but now I’m wondering if it was just because he didn’t want to do dishes!” Mark loved doing BBQ competitions and spending time with his friends while having a beer. Mark was a hard worker but played just as hard. While he was working side jobs with Travis,he became a regular a Jake’s Place. The people that he came to know and love at Jake’s became more like an extended family.Mark had his own spot at the “mini bar”, where they allowed him to keep the remote for the TV and always kept his beer full. If Mark was anything, he was punctual and set in his ways. Everyone that was a regular at Jake’s knew Mark would pull into the parking lot at 3pm and usually always leave at 6pm unless he was staying a little longer to see his girlfriend, Laura.  

After retirement Mark didn’t venture out of his normal routine unless he was doing something for his children. When Laura came into his life, she was able to get him to venture outside the box. Mark’s mom made him take tap dance lessons as a kid and thank goodness he did because that’s what caught Laura’s eye. Laura said, “he seemed reserved at first but when I saw that fun guy dance, I was smitten. The more Bremer shared about himself, the more I wanted to know. And the more I got to know, the crazier in love I fell. I quickly noticed that what he did have to say was never judgmental, never belittling, and (nearly) always helpful. He accepted people for who they were, no matter their politics, religion, race, identity, or beliefs. I didn't know such a non-judgmental human being really existed. The best and happiest years of my life were those with Mark Bremer. For that I am forever grateful.”

Mark saw his son, Sam, become a fireman and work at the same station. Watched his son marry the love of his life, Emma, and was proud of him for starting his own business. Sam said, “I’llalways be grateful that Dad encouraged me in my broad range of obsessions growing up. He helped me build BattleBots, we played basketball in our basement (Bremer Fieldhouse), Paintball tournaments, installed car stereos and cooked barbecue. I found my inclination for reading imitating him, which looking back is the greatest gift anyone has ever given me. He rarely “taught” me anything but somehow, I learned everything watching him. My life wouldn’t be anywhere close to as rich and fulfilling if it wasn’t for his influence and support. Most importantly, he always taught me to have heart and dig deep when life got challenging. I love youDad.”

Mark saw his daughter, Katie, graduate college from the University of Kansas, where they bonded over KU basketball. He missed her greatly when she moved to Chicago but was overjoyed when she returned to Kansas City. He got to walk her down the aisle and dance with her at her wedding. Mark got the joy of meeting and spending time with his grandson Theodore. He was a proud father and grandfather and loved showing off pictures of his grandson. “I loved the way my dad would always work on projects with me, building furniture, sewing projects, teaching me back handsprings, fixing my car, there wasn’t anything he didn’t know how to do. He spent countless hours doing whatever I wanted and always wanted to make me happy. I cherish the time we spent together at our first Wednesday dinners and am so glad you got to meet my son. He was a man of few words, but I always felt safe, loved and taken care of. So happy I got to be your favorite girl in the world.” 

There are those on this earth who have quite a lot to say, and as a result may be easily ignored. There is also the opposite, those who have little to say so that when they do speak up, it is sure to be something good. Mark Bremer was the latter, a man for whom people quieted down to hear what humor, insight, and nuggets of wisdom (or sports commentary) he had to offer. Many people will feel the void of Mark no longer being with us, but he will forever live in our hearts and will always watch over us from Heaven.