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Mark Ribich (1972 - 2012)

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Mark Ribich


Mark David Ribich, age 39, of Grimes, IA died on May 12, 2012, at St. Mary's Hospital in Rochester, MN, following a courageous six-month battle to overcome the complications of congestive heart failure. At the time of his death Mark was on the heart transplant list awaiting a donor organ. Mark was born on November 16, 1972, in Baltimore, MD to Trish and Fred Ribich, currently of Waverly, IA.

Mark lived life with a zest and spirit that was infectious. He embodied the best of what it means to be a family man, deeply devoted to his wife, Kelly Gilfillan Ribich of Logan, IA, his two step-sons, Tyler and Parker, and their daughter, Sayler Marie. Mark and Kelly were married on August 12, 2003 at Beach's Resort in Jamaica. Mark graduated from Waverly-Shell Rock High School in 1991, earned his bachelor's degree in business from Buena Vista University in 1995, and an MBA degree in 2003 from Washington University (St. Louis). He worked for the Iowa 150 Bike Ride/A Sesquicentennial Expedition in the summer of 1995, for the Des Moines Children's Chorus, and most recently for Meredith Corporation in Des Moines. Mark loved his work at Meredith and found great joy in working as part of a team and tackling new challenges.

Mark had a passion for working with youth and freely volunteered his services in support of various charitable causes. He served on the board of directors for the Children & Families of Iowa agency. Whether as a coach or spectator, Mark never missed the sporting events of his children. He spent many of his adult years coaching youth teams in a variety of sports, but he especially loved baseball. Mark also excelled in golf and bowling, loved country music and live concerts, and was an avid, life-long St. Louis Cardinals fan.

Mark is survived by his wife, two step-sons, daughter, his parents, and his brother, Tim, of Scottsdale, AZ.

Visitation will be Wednesday, May 16, from 4 to 8 p.m. at Hamilton's on Westown Parkway, 3601 Westown Parkway in West Des Moines. The funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. on Thursday, May 17, at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, 7075 Ashworth Road, West Des Moines.

The family asks that Mark's life be honored by saving the lives of others through registration as an organ donor. Memorials may be sent to the family in support of establishing a fund to commemorate Mark's work with children and youth. Mark's family extends sincere thanks and appreciation to the many physicians, nurses, therapists and medical staff who worked with and cared for Mark during his months at St. Mary's Hospital. Their skills and compassion brought great comfort to Mark, his family, and friends.

Published in Des Moines Register from May 16 to May 17, 2012