Giving back was a guiding principle of Mark Scheidhauer's life.
Scheidhauer, a banker at Wells Fargo, used his business acumen to lead the Wayzata Area Crime Prevention Coalition, serve as a Greater Wayzata Area Chamber of Commerce board member and help organize dozens of community and charitable events, including the annual James J. Hill Days celebration.
Scheidhauer also rolled up his sleeves to pitch tents, man the barbecue, or sit in the dunk tank at charity events — infusing every endeavor with unyielding optimism, family members said. He was named the chamber's 2012 Wayzata Person of the Year for his charitable works and he received the Jim Fish Award for his crime prevention efforts.
Scheidhauer died on Feb. 25 at Mayo Clinic Hospital from complications of leukemia after a yearlong battle with myelodysplastic syndrome. He was 61.
"His claim to fame was his positivity. That's what everyone said about him," said his wife Mary Shimshock. "We went into this horrible diagnosis and he felt he would beat the odds with a positive attitude and the grace of God."
More than 500 community members gathered to honor his life on Friday at the Hamel Community Building, celebrating with a keg of beer, hot dogs, brats and s'mores around a campfire.
"He showered all who knew him with positivity, with joy, and with love. Mark greeted every day with that amazing smile and positivity that could warm you, even on the coldest days," said Rev. Laura Duffee Snyder, a longtime family friend and chaplain at Maple Grove Hospital.
Scheidhauer was born in Toledo, Ohio, on April 5, 1956, one of four children of Al and Millie Scheidhauer.
The family moved around for Al Scheidhauer's career in the meat processing industry, eventually settling in the Twin Cities for a job at the Ambassador Sausage Co.
Scheidhauer graduated from Robbinsdale High and went on to earn a business degree from the University of Minnesota in 1979.
He and his wife met during summer break when they both worked at Ambassador. They married in 1983.
After college, Scheidhauer launched what would be a 39-year career in banking. He started at the Bank of Minneapolis, joined Wayzata Bank and Trust in 1984 and helped transition the bank to Norwest and finally Wells Fargo.
He became a vice president at Wells Fargo, serving as the affluent customer segment leader for central and northern Minnesota and the western suburbs.
The company tapped Scheidhauer, who lived in Medina and worked in Wayzata, to oversee much of its community philanthropic work — a role he embraced.
He played a leadership role in the American Cancer Society Relay for Life and for Sponsor A Family MN, which connects needy families with donors at Christmastime. In addition to helping organize James J. Hill Days, he also helped with the annual Chilly Open, a zany golf fundraiser held on frozen Lake Minnetonka.
"He was just a constant source of positive energy. He always had a smile on his face and was always the first one to raise his hand to offer help volunteering," said Becky Pierson, president of the Greater Wayzata Area Chamber of Commerce. "He was really great at putting together a team of volunteers, rallying the troops, coming up with creative ideas and seeing it through."
Scheidhauer was also devoted to family, especially to his nieces and nephews.
"Mark was the ultimate family guy. He was the fun uncle and was at every sporting event and play," said his sister-in-law Barb Shimshock. "He went above and beyond. He was always there."
He was the proud owner of two dogs, Leo and Bailey, which he rescued from the Animal Humane Society.
In addition to his wife, he is survived by siblings Linda Eastman, of Burnsville, Gary Scheidhauer of Champlin, and Bob Scheidhauer, of Parkville, Mo. Memorials are preferred to MDS/AML research at Leukemia Lymphoma Society, events.lls.org/pages/mn/MarkS, or mailed in honor of Mark to LLS, 1711 Broadway St. NE, Minneapolis MN 55413.