Mark Musolf (Class of ’59) – added 03/15/09

(posted 03/15/09 – from obituary appearing in Madison area newspapers)

Musolf, Mark E.

On Saturday, March 28, 2009, at 1:30 p.m. at MADISON’S LUTHER MEMORIAL CHURCH, family and friends will gather to celebrate the life and contributions of Mark Edward Musolf. Mark died tragically on Dec. 16, 2008, in a motor vehicle accident in Price County which also left his wife, Jocelyn Jacobs, with severe injuries from which she continues to recover. The accident was a terrible shock to their families and friends including many in Madison, where they lived and worked for many years, and in Bayfield, their adopted community where they operated a bed and breakfast and where Mark served on the city council. Mark was born on Sept. 23, 1941, in Fond du Lac, to Helen J. (Bonham) and Claude E. Musolf. He grew up in Madison’s University Heights where he attended Randall Elementary School and West High School. During his high school years Mark and several friends faithfully wrote and published the “Heights Herald.” Its volumes still document the comings and goings of the neighborhood during the 1950s. Mark received his undergraduate degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he played in the Marching Band, including at the 1963 Rose Bowl, and sang in campus vocal groups. He graduated from UW-Madison Law School in 1966, and was a devoted fan of UW athletics, especially football and hockey. Mark had a lifelong interest in politics and public service, including student government participation in grade school, high school and the university. He campaigned both on behalf of candidates he supported and on his own behalf in two valiant, if unsuccessful, campaigns for the Wisconsin Assembly. He was a key member of a group of moderate Republicans who helped Lee S. Dreyfus become governor in 1978 and served as revenue secretary in the Dreyfus administration. He served as deputy attorney general from 1987 to 1991 and was appointed chairman of the state Tax Appeals Commission during the 1990s. Mark was known for his integrity and generosity, and while nominally partisan, the manners and civility he brought to politics and public service earned him friends on both sides of the aisle. In Madison, Mark was a longtime Boy Scout leader and won the organization’s Silver Beaver distinguished service award for his many contributions to scouts and scouting. He was a lifelong environmentalist; he was active on behalf of the Wisconsin Chapter of the Nature Conservancy and served a term as state chairman. He, along with Jocelyn, was also active in the Bayfield Regional Conservancy and had joined its board shortly before his death. While they retained an apartment in his beloved Madison, Mark and Jocelyn spent much of their time in Bayfield, where they restored a one-time lumber baron’s residence which they opened as Wachsmuth House Bed and Breakfast. In addition to lending his voice to Bayfield’s city government (he was twice a winner in council races, raising his lifetime election record to 2-2), Mark also lent his deep voice to the Rittenhouse Singers for their annual Wassail dinner concerts. Mark was known for a laugh that approached a roar, for vanity license plates that tracked his running mileage over many years and for his loyalty to a close group of friends with whom he regularly shared breakfast at Mickie’s Dairy Bar or microbrews after work. Mark had the gift of making whomever he came into contact with feel welcome and at home in the world, but no one more so than his wife, Jocelyn, who misses him terribly. In addition to Jocelyn, and of course their dogs Max and Sophie, Mark is survived by his brothers, David Musolf (Roger Packard) and Richard Musolf (Sandy Musolf); niece, Kourtney (Musolf) Feldhausen (Joe Feldhausen, Emma, Cade and Elliot); and nephew, Chad Musolf (Gabby Camacho Musolf). He is further survived by sister-in-law, Roxanne (Andy) Koepke (Ben, Becky); mother-in-law, Carlene (James) Dusek; and father-in-law, Elwyn Jacobs. Following the service at Luther Memorial Church there will be a reception in the Wisconsin Memorial Union’s Main Lounge. Private inurnment will take place at a later date. A memorial service is also planned for Bayfield in June.

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