Illusion 03

Mark Andrew Freij

June 12, 1951 ~ October 6, 2020 (age 69)


Mark Andrew Freij passed away at Catholic Eldercare in Minneapolis on Tuesday October 6th, 2020, after a life well lived.

Mark was born in Red Wing, MN on June 12, 1951 to Betty and Lloyd Freij.  He was the first of 3 sons, and loving brother to 5 sisters.  He attended St. Joseph’s Grade School and graduated in Red Wing High School's class of 1969.

Mark graduated Magna cum Laude from St. Thomas College in 1973 with a BA in math education.  He pursued further education in computer programming at Brown Institute.  While attending Brown, he volunteered as a carpenter at the Guthrie II.   This brought him back to his passion for theater & set him on a different career path.  Mark had a career with theater companies across the US.  He worked at Milwaukee Repertory, SUNY Purchase in NY, the Ashland OR Shakespeare Festival, the Arizona Theatre Company in Tucson, and finally, as Master Carpenter at the Minneapolis Children’s Theater Company.  His craftsmanship produced castles, sailing ships and so much more, all to delight and entertain audiences of young and old alike. 

Mark was a maker as well as lifelong lover of art and music.  In art, his eye was drawn to the modernists.  He loved both renowned, modern artists and supported the rising artists at MCAD. His mind was always busy with new ideas and projects. He loved the act of creating.  Personally, he was a woodworker, stained glass artist and sculptor. He loved many types of music, be it rock, blues or folk.

Mark is preceded in death by his parents, Betty and Lloyd Freij and brothers Kevin Freij and Steve Freij.  He will be continually loved and missed by his sisters, Janine of Minneapolis, Jody (Mike Tonder) of Duluth, Jayne (Rob Reid) of Eau Claire, WI, Jennifer (Jim Christiansen) of Minneapolis and Julianne of Red Wing and brother, David Mutebi of Kampala, Uganda.  Also his 7 beloved nieces and nephews, 4 great nieces and nephews, aunts, cousins and many lifelong friends.  He will be remembered for his inherent kindness, love, loyalty, and sense of humor.

Mark died of complications of underlying medical conditions and intracranial seizures.

In lieu of flowers, family suggests people could personally support an artist or arts organization of their choice. Online condolences may be sent to the family at

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