Mark David Viger passed away unexpectedly on June 11, 2021, at the age of 54.
Mark was born on November 17, 1966, in Fergus Falls, to Roland and Elizabeth “Betty” Viger. Mark grew up on Swan Lake in Fergus Falls and graduated from Fergus Falls High School in 1985. He attended Minnesota State Community Technical College and the University of North Dakota. Mark also studied aviation and earned advanced pilot certificates: an airline transport pilot certificate with a CE-500 type rating and commercial pilot privileges for airplane single engine land and sea.
During his college days, he met his future bride, Teri Freudenberg. They married on August 11, 1990, in Alexandria, and established their lives in Fergus Falls. They raised two children, Elise and Jacob, on their beloved Swan Lake, where the kids experienced the same joy, beauty, and friendships of the lake community that Mark enjoyed growing up.
Mark followed his love for adventure and began a lifelong career in aviation, logging nearly 8,000 hours in the air. He began his career as a certified flight instructor and under his business, Swan Lake Aviation, he piloted many flights as a contract pilot. He took a brief pause from aviation and entered car and camper sales before taking his dream position at Otter Tail Corporation as their corporate pilot, a vocation that lasted 18 years. This opportunity took him to 48 states; family trips to Hawaii and Alaska helped him achieve his dream of visiting all 50 states.
Mark developed a passion for all things fast and fun at an early age; he was most happy with an engine under him. He could be found waterskiing on the lake, with or without skis, as soon as the ice went out. He enjoyed cruising the county roads on his motorcycle, snowmobiling the area trails, and spending hours in the boat pulling skiers and simply enjoying the lake. Many of these moments were shared with his lifelong group of lake buddies who shared Mark’s zest for action and adventure.
Mark was a cancer survivor. Despite the challenges he endured from cancer over the last decade, he maintained his characteristic soft heart and gentle, kind spirit. Of all his accomplishments, he was most proud of his children, who embody these same traits and will carry on his legacy. In his actions and words, he was a man who was larger than life, and his presence will be deeply missed by all who knew and loved him.
He leaves behind many people to honor his memory: his loving wife, Teri; his grateful children, Elise (Adam) Heifort and Jacob (Sarah) Viger; his cherished grandson, Theodore Heifort; his beloved parents, Roland and Elizabeth “Betty” (Larson) Viger; his devoted sister, Debra (Marvin) Sawtell; his mother-in-law, Gladys Freudenberg; his sister-in-law, Tonya (Kile) Bergren; his brother-in-law Travis (Kelly) Freudenberg; and his nieces and nephews, Brian (Annalisa) Sawtell, Peter Sawtell, Kathryn Sawtell, Ellie Bergren, Katie Bergren, and Inara Freudenberg.
Mark is preceded in death by his brother, David Viger, and grandparents, Walter and Winnifred Larson, Bertha Larson, and Edwin and Marie “Elise” Viger.
Memorials are preferred to Lake Region Healthcare Cancer Care and Research Center.
Visitation will be 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesday, June 16, 2021, at the Olson Funeral Home in Fergus Falls. There will be a prayer service at 6:30 p.m. Visitation will resume one hour prior to the service at the church.
Service will be 11 a.m. Thursday, June 17, 2021, at CrossRoads Church in Fergus Falls. Please refer to the link for a live-stream of Mark’s service https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCcnVn-D2YKAIqiNCtDiNnVQ.
The Rev. Jim Bjork will officiate.
Interment will be at Sarpsborg Cemetery, Dalton.
Arrangements are provided by the Olson Funeral Home in Fergus Falls.
Online condolences may be sent to www.olsonfuneralhome.com.