Cover photo for Mark Alan Albanese's Obituary
Mark Alan Albanese Profile Photo
1951 Mark 2023

Mark Alan Albanese

April 24, 1951 — December 31, 2023

Madison, WI

Mark Alan Albanese was born on April 24, 1951 and died peacefully at home on December 31, 2023 after a 20 year battle with an aggressive form of prostate cancer.

Mark was born in Kansas City and grew up in Omaha. He attended the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where he was a letterwinner for the Cornhusker gymnastics team. He graduated with bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University but more importantly— he met his wife Aggie. They were happily married for almost 50 years after tying the knot on May 11, 1974.

Mark and Aggie moved to Iowa City, Iowa in 1975 where he obtained his PhD in 1981. There they had four children before moving to Madison, Wisconsin in 1994.

Mark’s uneventful work career included publishing over 200 papers and articles including such page turners as “Speed (Not the Drug, and it Does Not Kill, but it Can Cause Stress)” and “Scaling: It’s Not just for Fish or Mountains.” One of his favorite papers was written with his daughters Lisa and Amy. He attended and was a speaker at conferences all over the globe— including travels to Brazil, Canada, Italy, Puerto Rico, Scotland, and much to his chagrin— frequent trips to Philadelphia.

Mark’s work career began at the University of Iowa Medical School in 1975 and continued at the University of Wisconsin Medical School from 1994 until 2009. His work in higher education included winning the prestigious John P. Hubbard Award in 1998 for his contributions to the field of evaluation in medicine. His career at both Iowa and Wisconsin included biking thousands of miles to and from work while sustaining only minor bumps and bruises over the years.

After over 34 years in higher education, Mark became public enemy No. 1 among unqualified lawyers, serving as the Director of Testing and Research at the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE)— the corporation that develops licensing tests for bar admission.

Mark “retired” in 2021 only to still work on a part time basis with NCBE up until his final days. 

A lifelong fitness nut, Mark was the 1973 Nebraska State Powerlifting Champion. An avid weightlifter, biker, runner, and cross country skier, his sporting resume includes beating an Outland Trophy winner on the racquetball courts at Nebraska. 

Mark gave back to the community, getting a grant and helping build a fitness course at Shimek Elementary School while serving as a youth coach in soccer, softball, and basketball for his four children.

An amateur historian and an avid coin collector, Mark enjoyed walking to dinner and a movie with his wife on Tuesdays, walking in the dead of winter to get coffee at the West Towne Mall Starbucks, teaching his grandkids how to bike, and spoiling the grandkids’ appetites with frequent pre-dinner trips to get frozen custard.

A dedicated father and grandfather, Mark’s four children remember childhood in Iowa City fondly, including getting bagels and pizza on Sundays, walks downtown to get ice cream or a malt, trips to Lake Macbride, and playing a lot of games ranging from Yahtzee to Sorry and Hungry Hungry Hippos. He spent countless hours playing tennis in the street and catch with his kids. His support included taking care of his kid’s non-furry pets, coaching various sports teams, and cheering on all four kids at various musical and sporting events.

Despite living in Wisconsin for almost 30 years, it took his daughter Lisa moving to Minocqua for him to try his first fried cheese curd this past August.

His super powers included being able to do one arm push-ups into his seventies, overtightening bolts, and “resting his eyes” in almost any situation.

He is survived by his wife, Aggie Albanese, mother Delores Albanese, 4 children: Anne-Marie (Dan) Lerner, Lisa Albanese, Amy (Dave) Bittrich, and Mark (Heidi) Albanese; and 6 grandchildren: Micah, Nico, Corinne and Tobin Lerner, Carissa and Drew Bittrich; 6 granddogs: Ninja and Netti Lerner, Kahlua and Astro Albanese, and Madison and Lottie Albanese; 2 grandtiles: Benny and Morticia Bittrich, 4 poison dart frogs and 2 hermit crabs.

A visitation will be held at Cress Funeral Home, 3610 Speedway Rd in Madison, on Sunday, January 7th from 1 PM – 3 PM. The funeral service will be held at Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Church, 401 S Owen Dr in Madison, on Monday, January 8th at 10:30 AM.  Luncheon will follow at Cress Funeral Home. A private burial service will be held for family.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the UW Carbone Cancer Center or Agrace Hospice.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Sunday, January 7, 2024

1:00 - 3:00 pm (Central time)

Cress Funeral & Cremation Service - Madison - West

3610 Speedway Rd, Madison, WI 53705

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Visitation

Monday, January 8, 2024

10:00 - 10:30 am (Central time)

Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Church

401 S Owen Dr, Madison, WI 53711

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Mass

Monday, January 8, 2024

Starts at 10:30 am (Central time)

Our Lady Queen of Peace Catholic Church

401 S Owen Dr, Madison, WI 53711

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