Mark Julian Aukema, age 68, died on the morning of March 26 2019 at the Virginia Veterans Care Center in Roanoke, Virginia after a lengthy illness. Mark was born on December 13, 1950 in Newton, New Jersey to the late Gerben and Janet (Jitske) Veenstra Aukema. Mark grew up with his seven siblings in the Sussex County, New Jersey, and Wallkill, New York areas. In addition, the family lived and farmed in Midland, Virginia for a number of years.
Mark proudly served his country as a member of the United States Army and was a Veteran of the Vietnam War, receiving the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, and the Vietnam Campaign Medal W/60 Device. After the war, Mark lived and worked in the Shippensburg, PA area for many years, both in the Painting and Dairy farming occupations.
Mark was disabled in his later years, and he handled this challenge with courage, determination and humor. He held on to a zest for life, and a love of activity and people. He learned to truly enjoy and appreciate the people and the variety of activities he knew in a number of assisted living facilities. Mark loved sports, especially baseball, classic cars, telling good stories and jokes. He got great pleasure from learning about and enjoying nature and all its beauty, the animals, deer and squirrels etc. and the growing things. He loved to be outdoors.
As anyone with serious health struggles, Mark suffered a lot, there were ups and downs, many struggles, but he continually came back to his Savior, Jesus Christ for help and solace and forgiveness. As a child he attended Sussex Christian Reformed Church in New Jersey. He drew close to the Lord during this his final illness. He lived at the Virginia Veteran’s Care Center for the past five years and was comfortable and happy there. Mark was loved by many people, both family and friends, and we will miss him terribly.
Mark is survived by his three children; Holly Allen, & husband Ray, Kristen Aukema, and Jesse Henry, of Pennsylvania; as well as his three grandsons, Brady Aukema, Jackson Allen and Mitchell Allen; Sisters, Lori Riegel, Nellie Campbell, Arline Jordan, brother in law- Chuck Jordan, sister in law- Sharon Aukema; Mark is also survived by many nieces, nephews, great nieces and great nephews. Mark was predeceased by his brothers, Owen, William and Thomas Aukema, and his sister Anna Aukema.
A Funeral Service, conducted by Pastor Howard Dalton will be held at 3 o’clock pm on Saturday, April 6, 2019, at Reformed Church of Shawangunk in Wallkill, New York. The family will receive friends from 2 to 3 p.m. prior to the service. A Graveside committal service will follow at the Bruynswick Rural Cemetery in Wallkill, New York. A light Repast will follow in the Church fellowship hall.
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