Mark Benda

Mark N. Benda, 43, of Waukon died suddenly Thursday, February 9, 2023 at his home. Memorial services will be held Friday, February 17 at 11 a.m. at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Waukon with Pastor Kim Gates officiating. Friends may greet the family from 4-8 p.m. Thursday, February 16 at Martin - Grau Funeral Home in Waukon. In lieu of flowers and gifts, memorials are preferred for his daughter, Nalia.

Mark Neal Benda was born February 9, 1980 in Waukon, the son of Paul and Kathy (Palmer) Benda. He was baptized and confirmed at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Waukon, where he remained a lifelong member. Mark attended Waukon schools and graduated in the class of 1998.

He worked in concrete construction for Rusty Berger and for his brother, Matt. For the past five years, Mark worked for the City of Waukon as an operator at the sewer plant. Mark loved working on the family farm as a kid and continued to help his neighbors and friends with their farm work.

He also enjoyed DJing at various events. In 2012, while DJing in Spring Grove, MN, he met Janel Clauson. Mark and Janel were married June 6, 2015 at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church in Waukon. He was a dedicated husband and father and always put his family first as he knew how blessed he was when Janel and Nalia came into his life. As an extremely proud father, Mark loved coaching his daughter Nalia’s basketball team, watching her play other sports, and taking her fishing.

Mark liked to tinker around the house. One of his favorite things was growing a garden and sharing the produce with everyone. As a big sports fan, he watched pretty much everything. Mark will be deeply missed by his family and many close friends.

He is survived by his wife, Janel, and daughter, Nalia, of Waukon; his mom and dad, Kathy and Paul Benda of Waukon; his brother, Matt (Michelle) Benda of Decorah; his nieces and nephew: Marissa and Micah of Decorah and Quinn and Will of White Bear Lake, MN; his sisters-in-law: Jackie Clauson of Spring Grove, MN and Jen (Lance) Zafft of White Bear Lake, MN; his brother-in-law, Joseph Clauson of Spring Grove, MN; his mother-in-law, Anita Clauson of Spring Grove, MN; his father-in-law, Neil (Lori Lange) Clauson of Spring Grove, MN; and many uncles, aunts and cousins. He is also survived by many close friends.

Mark was preceded in death by his grandparents: Mary and Lawrence Benda and Shirley and Neal Palmer; and his cousins: Tanya Schnuelle, Ted Benda, Josh Palmer and Kadin Harmening.

Online condolences may be left at