Cover photo for Michelle D. Marko's Obituary
Michelle D. Marko Profile Photo
1971 Michelle 2020

Michelle D. Marko

May 11, 1971 — August 24, 2020

Michelle Dawn Marko, 49, of Moorhead, MN, passed away surrounded by her family on Monday, August 24, 2020.

Michelle was born to Judith (Koreltz) and William J. Marko on the beautiful spring day of May 11, 1971, in Virginia, MN. She graduated from Duluth (MN) East High School in 1989, already joyful with a love for nature and family. Michelle tackled her Bachelor of Science in Ecology, Evolution and Behavior (along with minoring in flute performance) at the University of Minnesota, graduating summa cum laude in 1993. She followed with a Master of Science in Zoology from Colorado State University in 1996, and a Ph.D. in Water Resources Science with a supporting program in Science Education from the University of Minnesota in 2006.

After postdoctoral work at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station in New Haven, Michelle spent the past 12 years at Concordia College in Moorhead, becoming an Associate Professor of Biology. She was also actively engaged in student research and helped develop the college's Long Lake Research Station, where she spent many hours on the water teaching. Michelle authored dozens of professional publications and was very active in service in outreach.

Michelle's teaching philosophy of hands-on learning responsibly applied to the global community was also how she lived. An adventurous spirit, Michelle traveled the world with her family and her students, with life-changing trips/research in Australia, Europe, Tanzania, and across North America during her life. She was a strong-willed person, never letting obstacles stop her from her goals. Michelle loved nature and science and incorporated it into all her adventures and at her home, with lovingly cared-for native prairie and vegetable gardens.

Most important, however, was her devotion and love for her family. No matter what other issues she may have faced, Michelle always put her family before herself. Michelle married Tim Kolehmainen "once in a blue moon" on June 29, 1996, in Duluth and recently celebrated their 24th anniversary with their two daughters.

Michelle is survived by her husband, Tim and daughters, Lillian and Sadie Kolehmainen of Moorhead; parents, William J. and Judith (Koreltz) Marko of Duluth; brothers, Robert Marko of Maple Grove, MN, and Brian (Tonya) Marko of Pekin, IL; and numerous loving aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, and nephews.

There will be a visitation on Wednesday, Sept. 2, 2020 from 9:30-11:00 a.m. in St. Joseph Catholic Church in Moorhead, followed by a Mass of Christian Burial at 11:00 a.m. Due to CDC and Minnesota State guidelines, masks and social distancing will be strictly enforced. Interment will be in Duluth, MN, at a later date.

Michelle's Mass of Christian Burial will be live streamed starting 5 minutes before Mass. Please follow the link below:
https://portal.midweststreams.com/services/watch/DFAJ3HxPDD

Michelle's Funeral Mass can be viewed by following the link below:
https://portal.midweststreams.com/services/watch/L3Md7Cw6i8

To help the family with Lillian's and Sadie's college expenses, Michelle's longtime friends have set up a GoFundMe page. https://gf.me/u/yvcqgn
Michelle's Concordia College colleagues also have helped arrange Minnesota College Savings 529 plans for both girls. https://www.ugift529.com/ Donate towards Lily with code J0U-N6R and Sadie with code P1X-F23. Please consider a donation to help support them and show your concern at this great time of need.



Visitation

SEP 2. 10:00 AM - 11:00 AM (CT)

St. Joseph Catholic Church

218 10th St. S.

Moorhead, MN 56560

Mass of Christian Burial

SEP 2. 11:00 AM (CT)

St. Joseph Catholic Church

218 10th St. S.

Moorhead, MN 56560

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