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WILSTRUP, MARK ALAN, On July 27, 2013 went to his Heavenly Home. His life began on June 17, 1955 in Portsmouth, Virginia. As the second son of John and Miriam (Jack and Jerry) Wilstrup he completed their family. After two years, the family moved to Houston, Texas and then to St. Petersburg, Florida where his parents still reside. High school years in St. Petersburg prepared Mark for scaling to heights that he did not dream of at the time. Three years at Emory University (he was always in a hurry to move on-but he did meet his lifelong best friend Tom Lacy there) and then four at Baylor College of Medicine provided him the education he required to practice medicine. He stayed a fourth year at Baylor to wed the love of his life Lisa Grace Troy (one of many graces in his life) and enjoy their initial year of what was to be their 34 together. He completed his residency training in Obstetrics/Gynecology in Richmond, Virginia spending four years and making lifelong relationships. Mark and Lisa relocated to Orlando in 1984 for him to join Don Diebel and Arnie Lazar in an Obstetrics and Gynecology medical practice on Clay Street in Winter Park. He considered them mentors, partners, role models but mostly friends. Their practice grew and Mark contributed to the growth as his talents allowed him. Soon afterward Mark and Lisa adopted Alexandra Grace and later Jacqueline Grace. (The daughters that he cherished and lived for) As he raised his daughters he tried to instill in them the values that he considered most important - Faith, Family, Charity, and Love - but the greatest of these is love. Mark's earthly accomplishments are numerous-many times being selected on the Top Doctor list by Orlando magazine, obtaining an additional master's degree in recent years, hosting his own television show, delivering over 5000 babies in thirty years of practice, hitting a couple holes in one, completing many bike races, marathons, and even finishing in the top third of his age group in his last Ironman at the age of 55, - but hopefully overshadowed by the footprint that he left spiritually. Whether teaching Sunday School classes or Bible studies at his church, going on medical mission trips to Panama and Ecuador or maybe just sharing his message on a one to one basis, Mark's faith was the most important thing to him and it was a faith that was both cerebral and action based. He studied scriptures exhaustively and read theological texts intensely to find truths and God's Will in his life. His challenge was then to implement his lessons on a daily basis. At the end of the film "Saving Private Ryan", James Ryan kneels in the cemetery on Normandy and ponders whether his life was worth the sacrifices that had been made in June of 1944 to save his life. The elder Ryan turns to his family and asks "Was I a good man?" That is what Mark wanted to be in this life - a "good man." Mark is survived by his parents who were the best anyone could ask for - providing for him and teaching him every important lesson in life. He is also survived by his brother, Steve Wilstrup, and the closest person to him on this earth. Steve served as support from the moment of his diagnosis of pancreatic cancer in March 2012, through his surgery, radiation, chemotherapy and was always there when needed. Steve's wife Rhonda - cancer survivor extraordinaire - served as his surrogate sister since high school and also survives him. His wife and the love of his life, Lisa, survives him and will rise to fulfill the needs of his daughters in all that they need from both parents during their lives. Finally, and of course most in need at this time are his two daughters (Alex and Jackie) who will need someone to shelter them, listen to them, attend all those dad/daughter events and of course walk them down that aisle when the time comes. Mark left this life with the knowledge that the cloud of loving friends and family that carried him through this journey will make sure his daughters are supported during the difficult days ahead. That knowledge allowed him to depart with a peace which passes all understanding. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Dr. Mark Wilstrup Fine Arts Legacy Fund at the Orangewood Christian School 1300 W. Maitland Blvd. Maitland, FL 32751. A service and reception will be held at Orangewood Presbyterian Church (1300 W. Maitland Blvd.) in Maitland, Florida on Saturday, August 3, 2013 at 10 AM.
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Published in the Orlando Sentinel on Aug. 1, 2013
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