Mark William Rhyan died Wednesday, Dec. 25, 2013, at St. Nicholas Hospital in Sheboygan after a very brief illness with pancreatic cancer.

Mark was born April 5, 1960, in Milwaukee, to William Rhyan and Maxine Eitel Rhyan. He graduated from University of Wisconsin-Madison in December 1982, with a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree in accounting and married Karen Bardis on Sept. 9, 1984. They have two children: Corwin Nicholas, born April 13, 1990 and Nicola Erin, born Nov. 18, 1993.

Mark initially worked as a CPA for Price Waterhouse in Denver, Colo. For three years, he also managed a Milwaukee bakery and restaurant, La Boulangerie, Inc., and Rhyan’s Restaurant with his brother, Dale Rhyan, before returning to Price Waterhouse as tax manager in their Milwaukee office.

In 1992, Mark joined the Sargento family as director of tax. He was promoted to EVP-chief financial officer in 1997 and to EVP-chief operations officer in 2000. Under his leadership, manufacturing, engineering, procurement, quality systems, logistics and transportation evolved to successfully meet the challenges of the growing company. Mark was passionate about “doing it right the first time,” was a mentor to many, and was always willing to take on more responsibility. His actions and attitude motivated those around him to excel. Mark will be greatly missed. He served not only as an inspirational leader, but also a mentor, contributor, volunteer, at times a stand-up comedian, but most important, a dependable and loving husband, father and friend.

Mark also made many contributions to the community as president of the Plymouth Board of Education, and served on the boards of directors for Gateway Packaging Co. in Granite City, Ill.; the Sheboygan County Economic Development Corporation; US Bank in Sheboygan; and the First Congregational UCC Church Council. He served on the board of directors for Pine Hills Country Club and was instrumental in their building expansion. Mark also managed the building of The Osthoff for the Gentine family. Additionally, he taught Junior Achievement classes and coached youth athletics.

In 2011, Mark received an Educational Leadership Award recognizing his significant involvement in the development of the LTC/Plymouth High School Science and Technology Center, and the prestigious Sargento Founder’s Ring the following year.

Mark enjoyed golf, basketball, teaching and coaching, walks with his family’s dog Augusta, water sports and spending time with family and friends on Pearl Lake in Redgranite, Wis.

He is survived by his wife, Karen; son, Corey; daughter, Niki; sister, Lindy Swenson and her husband, Jeff; sister, Diane Coors and her husband, Rick; and his brother, Dale Rhyan. Other survivors include cousins, Kim Pemble and Julie Pemble Peterson; nieces, Lisa Ruble, Jennifer Ellestad, Sarah Rhyan, Andrea Santini and Anna Brown; nephews, Nicholas Rhyan, Sam Rhyan, David Coors and Spencer Brown; and many friends.

Mark was preceded in death by his father, William Rhyan; mother, Maxine Eitel Petros; and stepfather, James Petros.

A memorial service to celebrate Mark’s life and his many accomplishments will be held at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 1, 2014, at the Plymouth Comprehensive High School Auditorium in Plymouth, Wis.

In lieu of flowers, donations are suggested to the Plymouth Education Foundation and the Rhyan Family Class Exemplar Scholarship.

The Suchon Funeral Home and Cremation Services of Plymouth is serving his family. For online condolences, please visit

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