Cover photo for Martin "Mark" Bear's Obituary
Martin "Mark" Bear Profile Photo
1944 Martin 2022

Martin "Mark" Bear

September 3, 1944 — November 12, 2022


Martin “Mark” Bear, age 78, of Verona, died November 12, 2022, at the Villa in Middleton, WI.

Mark was born in Louisville, KY on September 3, 1944. Shortly after his birth he and his parents, Richard and Virginia (Clements) Bear moved to Chicago, Illinois, before ultimately settling in Fox River Grove. Growing up Mark enjoyed water skiing with friends and worked summers hauling paint bags for DuPont.  During this time Mark also learned golf from his parents who were avid golfers.  Mark was among the first class to graduate from Cary Grove High School. After high school, Mark enrolled at the University of Illinois in Champaign. Before his senior year, he married his high school sweetheart Carol Kiley on September 11, 1965, in Crystal Lake, IL.

After college, the US Army made Mark “an offer he couldn’t refuse” and once drafted Mark chose to enroll in Officers Candidate School. He served as a 1st Lieutenant at Fort Hood, Texas in the Finance Corp. Although Mark was only in the military for a couple of years, his service was important to him and provided him with ample humorous stories to share with friends and family. After his military service, Mark worked in Investments with the Bank of Chicago, M&I in Milwaukee, and ultimately WARF in Madison, WI where he served as Director of Investments. Mark retired from WARF in 2004 to help care for Carol in her struggle against Muscular Dystrophy. He remained by her side until her death in 2015, celebrating over 49 years of marriage. Mark and Carol had one child, their daughter Kerry and many four-legged friends over the years.

Mark’s free time was spent playing golf, bridge, following the market, and working outside. He also followed Illini football and basketball, and the Chicago Bears. He jokingly tried to convince people the Bears were named after his family (they weren't). In recent years he’d also become a UW Woman’s Volleyball fan.  He was an avid reader who enjoyed everything from Tom Clancy novels to Westerns. During his retirement, Mark also served as a member of several local Boards, including Deltanoid Pharmaceuticals.

Left to honor his memory are his daughter Kerry (Walter) McLaughlin, Grandson Kyle McLaughlin, and partner Cynthia Vander Woude as well as many friends who will miss his stories and jokes. He was preceded in death by his parents, and his wife Carol.

Mark was the kind of man who never met a stranger and could always be counted on to make people of all ages laugh with his jokes and stories.  He judged people by their character, not their title or their wealth. He was a wonderful partner, friend, mentor, father, and grandfather and is dearly missed.

A visitation for friends and family will be at the Cress Center, 6021 University Ave., Madison on Saturday, November 19th at 10:00 AM, a service will follow at 11:00 AM.  Contributions in Mark’s memory may be made to the American Cancer Society, the National MS Society, the Alzheimer’s Association, the USO, or the charity of your choice

Special thanks to the staff at the Villa and St. Croix Hospice for their compassionate care and support.

This link will allow you to register and participate in the live stream.

Cress Center

6021 University Avenue

Madison, WI 53705


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Martin "Mark" Bear, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Saturday, November 19, 2022

10:00 - 11:00am (Central time)

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Celebration of Life

Saturday, November 19, 2022

Starts at 11:00am (Central time)

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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