Mark Salisbury

May 19, 1927 - March 24, 2018
Vicksburg, MI



Tuesday, March 27, 2018
4:00 PM to 6:00 PM EDT
West Mendon Community Church
22994 Portage Lake Rd
Mendon, MI 49072


Wednesday, March 28, 2018
11:00 AM EDT
West Mendon Community Church
22994 Portage Lake Rd
Mendon, MI 49072


At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.

United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) Advance #999895
PO Box 9068 GPO
New York, NY 10087-9068
Web Site


Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.

Heirloom Rose
407 S. Grand St.
Schoolcraft, MI 49087
(269) 679-3010
Driving Directions
Web Site

Life Story / Obituary


Generous and kind, Mark Salisbury lived a life firmly rooted in integrity, service, and love of family. With faith in the goodness of others and an undauntable work ethic, Mark lived his life in service to his family, friends, and community he treasured. Always true to his word, Mark met life’s challenges with confidence and embraced his good fortune with much appreciation. In so doing, he proved a powerful role model for all who came to know him. Revered by many, Mark will long live in the hearts and memories of those who were blessed to share time with him.

The 1920’s were marked by tremendous confidence, prosperity, and previously unknown comforts. The economy boomed, wages rose for most Americans and prices fell, resulting in a higher standard of living for most. With the inventions of the washing machine, vacuum cleaner, self-winding watch, bulldozer, the instant camera, drive-in restaurants, Band-Aids, and the convertible, the post-war, era marked significant advancement and morale flourished throughout the land. This vibrant time grew even more brilliant in Cadillac, Michigan as Jay & Fern Salisbury welcomed their son Mark into their hearts and home on May 19, 1927.

Born in a time of plenty and raised during a time of tremendous challenge and change, Mark learned from a very early age the importance of family and the value of hard work. While Mark’s mother worked as a housekeeper, his father provided for the family by farming and working as a roofer. The family was centered in their faith community and attended Seventh Day Adventist Church. A proud big brother to his siblings; Virginia, Herb, Dick, and Bill, Mark embraced his role as oldest with honor and forged close relationships that lasted their entire lives. Recognizing the need to help provide for his family, Mark quit school after 8th grade. After selling his 4H cow to buy an apple cider press, Mark used the press to make apple cider which he sold to supplement the family’s income.

Following the attack on Pearl Harbor, Mark and a couple of his friends hitchhiked to Traverse City to join the military. Having arrived after the military offices had closed for the day, the young men decided to spend the night sleeping on park benches. Upon being discovered by the local police officer who found them, the boys shared their intentions, and the officer allowed them to sleep in the jail overnight. The next day, Mark enlisted in the US Navy. A short time after, as his ship was set to sail, Mark and his fellow sailors were struck with rheumatic fever.

At the age of 18, fate gave Mark the greatest gift of his life, Betty Wilson. The young couple met at a local basement bar, The Hole. Though Betty was supposed to be at a church Christmas party with her cousin, she’d skipped out on the event and soon found herself arguing over the jukebox with Mark. Recognizing an undeniable spark of attraction, Mark wisely conceded that Betty won the argument, and the fire that fueled a lifetime of love was lit. The young couple began dating, and it wasn’t long until they found themselves deeply in love. With a desire to spend the rest of their lives together, Betty and Mark married on September 7, 1946, in Cadillac.

The newlyweds soon moved to Kalamazoo where they first set up home and welcomed the birth of their daughter, Sally, who increased their joy and completed their family. In the 1950s, they moved to the Vicksburg area where they eventually joined the West Mendon United Methodist Church and spent the rest of their lives.

A proud husband and father, Mark worked hard to provide a loving home and fine example of faith, generosity, and integrity for his treasured family. For most of his career, he worked as a Millwright welder. With his beloved wife, Mark and Betty gave much of their time and talents to many organizations. For many years they were very involved in the Colon Grange and St. Joseph County Farm Bureau as well as supporting their church fellowship. Mark and Betty spearheaded a number of pancake breakfast fundraisers at Kline’s Resort.

When not working or volunteering, Mark enjoyed traveling with his bride of nearly 70 years. Together they explored the world and its wonders both near and far. After retiring from Allied Paper in Kalamazoo, for 22 years they shared the good fortune of being able to winter in Arizona where they enjoyed many seasons volunteering as ushers for the Arizona Diamondbacks. Whether organizing bus trips to see their beloved Detroit Tigers or cruising the ocean, Mark knew how to embrace each day with wonder and gratitude, enjoying every moment he was gifted.

Mark’s legacy was not only built on the values of hard work, family, helping others, and enjoying the day; it also includes a firm belief in education and a resolve that ensured his grandchildren would have the education he did not. Because he never finished school, Mark made sure all of his grandkids had the opportunity to attend college and earn degrees. Mark also relished in simple delights, like food! He was willing to try anything, and frequently hounded folks to make his favorites for him. He especially enjoyed Betty’s famous candy and fudge.

Without a doubt, the world feels far less certain in the absence of Mark’s steadfast presence. May the sweet memories we have of this good man afford deep comfort. May we also find comfort in knowing that with each kindness we extend another, and each moment we share with family and friends we carry his light forward where it will continue to inspire others.

Mark M. Salisbury, of Mendon, passed away on Saturday, March 24, 2018. Mark’s family included his daughter Sally (Walt) Garrett, of Holland; grandchildren Shannon Garrett of Holland, Tracy Garrett of Holland and Kristina (James) Shoulders of Zeeland; great-grandchildren Isabella and Eligh; foster son Jeff (Polly) Hollenbeck of Portage; and many siblings, nieces, and nephews. Mark was preceded in death by his wife of nearly 70 years, Betty Salisbury. Visit with family and friends on Tuesday, March 27, 2018, from 4:00 to 6:00 at the West Mendon Community Church: 22994 Portage Lake Rd Mendon MI, 49072. A funeral service will be held on Wednesday, March 28 at 11:00 at the same location. Please visit Mark's memory page at www.mccowensecord.com where you can sign the guestbook and share a memory. Memorial contributions may be made to the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) Advance #999895, Advance GCFA, PO Box 9068 GPO, New York, NY 10087-9068, www.umcor.org.