Daniel Marken was born in October 1946, in Camrose, Alberta, to Edwin and Adelaide. He had two older brothers, John (RoseMarie) and Ron (Patricia). In 1946, WWII was over – but no one told Dan. His parents gave him “Olaf” as a middle name, to remind him of his Norwegian heritage. But Dan was more Viking than Lutheran homesteader. Dan was uncompromising but visionary, reclusive but loving, stubborn but courageous, infuriating but funny, rugged but gentle, and a genius. Obstacles invigorated him. Regulations were always a challenge. Authority and authorities had to earn his respect. Dan was not a pleaser.
His grandchildren, however, adored him. He pleased them mightily: Jack, Charlie, Ben, Damon, Ebin, Zoe, Aidan, Bradley, Liam, and Shane. Dan’s grand love further embraced his grand-nieces and nephews Zak, Jake, Max, Haakon, Astri, Erik, Leif, Luke, Anna, and Bennu.
If machines and technology have souls, Dan understood them perfectly. He taught industrial instrumentation at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology, he worked as a private technology consultant, he devised inventions ahead of their time, he graced the acres near Winlaw with buildings, art, and a home. If your car or computer ever stalled, they relaxed and purred again as soon as Dan came close.
On Wednesday, April 24th, in Nelson, B.C., though, Dan Marken surrendered peacefully to his final foe – cancer. His beloved partner, Inger Ulstein-Bruaset, had been his fierce ally through the entire fight. Dan’s daughters and their mother, Sandy, Kristen (Josh), Mali (Patrick), and Kaley (Rob), have holes in their hearts, as do his step-children Duane (Kelly) and Stacey. His nieces and nephews ache – Erik, Siri (Brett), Kristian (Leonor), Liv (John), Kari (Oguz), and Paul (Susanne). Dan’s mother and father, his four grandparents, and his brother John passed ahead of him.
We all ache.
But Dan can make you believe in Valhalla.
Dan’s family is extremely grateful to the caring staff at Kelowna General Hospital and Kootenay Lake Hospital in Nelson. In a private ceremony, the family will commit Dan’s ashes to the ground of his beloved acres near Winlaw.