Mark Alan Kanitz

Mark Alan Kanitz, age 64 of Merrill, WI passed away at home on Wednesday, June 21, 2023 surrounded by his loving daughters. He was born in Merrill, WI on February 18, 1959 to the late Marvin and Dorothy (Doering) Kanitz. Mark lived an incredible life and his passing has left an immense void in the hearts of those who knew him. You could always count on him for advice or just to lend a listening ear. Mark had an infectious smile that earned him the nickname “Smiley” and an incredible sense of humor. He loved nothing more than having fun and making people laugh.  Mark was a devoted father and grandfather. His family was truly his pride and joy. He had a special bond with his grandkids and was always there for them no matter what. Nothing made him happier than the multiple trips with his family or friends to Minocqua and The Doering Pond.   Mark worked at Wisconsin Public Service for over 35 years, starting at the Weston Power Plant and then finishing his career as a Hydro Operator. He was a hard-working man that took on projects, tinkered with stuff, and took pride in his yard work. In his earlier years, he enjoyed fishing, but more recently he could be found cruising through town, enjoying ice cream, or watching the Brewers. He was a NASCAR enthusiast and enjoyed attending local car races and going to classic car shows. In the winter months, you could find him being the biggest supporter of the grandkids’ snowmobile races. He never missed a race and always made sure his vehicle was packed with goodies to share.  While this loss will undoubtedly leave a hole in their hearts, those who knew Mark will always remember him for his infectious smile, fun-loving personality, and the impact he had on their lives.

He is survived by his daughters: Leah (Nathan) Strand and Lisa (Dan) Folta, grandchildren: Trentyn Strand, Tavyn Strand, Ainsley Folta, step-grandchildren: Nyomie (Eli) Heimerl and Danny Folta, siblings: Kaye (Jim) Rell, Bruce (Paula) Kanitz, and Jan Lemmer as well as many cousins, nieces and nephews. He was preceded in death by his parents, and many beloved aunts, uncles and cousins.

The family would like to extend a heartfelt thanks to the caregivers at Inner Peace Home Care Services LLC., and the support they have received from Aspirus and their friends and family.   A celebration of Life for Mark will be held on Sunday, July 16, 2023 from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm at Rock Island, N2737 WI-107, Merrill, WI 54452. Waid Funeral Home & Cremation Service of Merrill is assisting the family with arrangements.  Online condolences are encouraged and may be made at

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