Lincoln Alternative Funeral and Cremation Services

Those we love don’t go away, they walk beside us every day.  Unseen, unheard, but always near, still loved, still missed and very dear.

 Obituary Post Date: 

Mark A. Gividen, 66, of Lincoln, NE, January 30, 1957-September 15, 2023


On September 15, 2023, Mark Gividen, 66, of Lincoln, NE went home to be with Jesus. In his kindness, the Lord used Mark’s brief battle with cancer to minister to everyone he crossed paths with. Mark spent his final days assuring his family, medical staff, and friends that he was eager and ready to join his Savior in eternity. His family and friends were brought great comfort by his joyful anticipation of Heaven.


Mark Alan Gividen was born on January 30, 1957, to Marlys Kroese and Noble Gividen in Des Moines, IA. He had three sisters: Kathy, Susie, and Kris. He spent his early childhood in New York, where his love for the Yankees began. When he was a kid, he attended a game where he caught a foul ball hit by Bobby Murcer. That ball became a lifelong prized possession, and still sits on a shelf in his home today.


In 1966, Mark moved to Schaller, Iowa with his mother and sisters. He enjoyed his years there, hunting and fishing with his stepfather, Kenny and modeling his life after his cherished uncles, Dennis and Dean. He and his baseball team, the Schaller Rockets, rose to local fame and recently reconnected to revel in their glory days.


Mark graduated from Schaller High School in 1975 and then earned his degree in Elementary Education from Iowa State University in 1980. He later received his Master’s Degree in Educational Administration from Cal State Bakersfield. He began his teaching career in Iowa and later taught in Colorado, Arizona, and California. Mark met his beautiful bride, Elizabeth, in 1986 at Wagner Elementary School. For him, it was love at first sight. He loved to recount the story of his pursuit of her. Elizabeth loved the Lord, and she faithfully shared the gospel with Mark. He quickly realized, as he liked to put it, that he needed to be “all-in” with Jesus, or he was going to lose this girl. Mark and Elizabeth married on December 20, 1986.


Their children, Nicholas, Amy, Lucas, and Linsey were raised in a home filled with love, with their dad as their biggest fan. They have fond memories of dad singing “Take Me Out to the Ballgame” as one of their many bedtime lullabies (always root, root, rooting for the Yankees, of course)! On more than one occasion, he came home with a stray dog that would inevitably become a part of the family.


Road trips were the highlight of his summers. He would load the family up and drive them across the country, stopping at national monuments and state parks, visiting family and sharing his love for the outdoors.


Mark and Elizabeth spent most of their married years in Tehachapi, CA where they both worked as teachers. Mark was a devoted educator, beloved by the hundreds of students that he taught over his 39-year career. The joy of Mr. G’s classroom was the stuff of legends; including whale-watching field trips, capture-the-flag tournaments, planting trees on campus, and the highly-anticipated “Tom Sawyer Day.” The influence he had on his students cannot be overstated. In fact, in recent days, many former students have reached out to his family to share the impact he had on their lives.


His servant leadership was exemplified in his heart for adoption and his desire to minister to the most vulnerable. He led several missions trips to orphanages in China, sharing the gospel, advocating for adoption, and even ensuring and establishing physical therapy and medical care for children that would endure long after he returned home. The impact of Mark Gividen’s life is truly felt worldwide.


In 2019, Mark retired and moved with his wife and two youngest children from California to Lincoln, NE. He began his days with an exuberant exclamation of, “I love my life!” and spent his time riding his bike, befriending every barista in town, cheering on his Yankees, and serving at First Evangelical Free Church. Mark was also known for beautifying the spaces in which his family lived. His yard in Tehachapi, CA was known to many as the “Disneyland Yard” with winding stone pathways, bridges and trees. When his family moved to Lincoln, he told them he was done working in the yard, he would simply mow the grass. It didn’t take long for that vision to change. Twenty five trees, multiple flower gardens, and two picnic areas later, he created another paradise for his family and friends to enjoy.


Mark is remembered by his beloved wife, Elizabeth, his children, Nicholas (Sarah) Gividen, Amy (Aaron) Garness, Lucas Gividen, and Linsey Gividen, his seven grandchildren, Abigail, Alayna, Anna, Amelia, Cora, Paul, and Liv, his dad, Kenny Kroese, and his sisters, Kathy (Tom) Box, Susie Mayou, and Kris (Todd) Bloyer.


Those who knew Mark rejoice that his faith has been made sight. “Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” -2 Corinthians 4:16-18


His service will be held 2:00 p.m. Tuesday, September 26, 2023 at First Evangelical Free Church, 3280 S. 84th St, Lincoln, NE 68506.


His burial will take place September 27, 2023 at the Schaller Cemetery, 206 N. Berlin St. Schaller, IA 51053.


Memorials to First Free Church, 3280 South 84th Street, Lincoln NE 68506

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