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home : obituaries : local obituaries July 22, 2017


3/8/2017 8:52:00 AM
Mark Anton 'Leon' Laesch
April 7, 1954 - March 4, 2017

Mark Anton "Leon" Laesch, age 62 passed away peacefully at his home March 4, 2017, after a yearlong battle with Lou Gehrig's disease.

He was born April 7, 1954, in Bloomington, Ill., to Daniel Anton Laesch and Alta Lockenvitz Laesch.

He graduated from Normal Community High School, Normal, Ill., in 1972, where he was a star athlete. He continued his athletic career in college as a member of the Indiana University baseball team and graduated in 1976 where he also earned his MBA.

After college, he worked a short time for Ross Perot at EDS in Plano, Texas, before returning home to Bloomington, Ill. to run the family dairy business. During this time, bhe turned his passion for statistics into a business called Golfstat. He had been a passionate competitor and follower of sports since he was a young boy playing little league. He improved his batting average in college as a member of the Indiana University baseball team through statistical analysis. Golfstat began as a way to use stats to improve his golf score and went on to be the exclusive partner of the NCAA for college golf over the last 28 years. With the advancement in technology, his passion to innovate Golfstat has been integral to the expansion and success of college golf.

A very important part of his life was his friendships with his Zeta Fiji brothers. Multiple brothers walked this very difficult journey alongside him this past year. It was in his sophomore year at Indiana University he decided to join Phi Gamma Delta fraternity and it proved to be one of the most rewarding decisions of his life. Through times spent on the fraternity intramural teams as a multi-sport athlete or just living in the house, he literally ended up having more than 50 best friends for life. Key to this longevity was the Fiji "Dick the Dog" annual golf tournament (truly the 5th Major of golf) which he started and ran for more than 40 years. As his health waned and confined to a wheelchair, a proud moment for him was being the keynote speaker on faith and the triumph of friendship to over five decades of Zeta Fijis at the recent dedication of their newly constructed fraternity house at Indiana University in Bloomington.

Survivors include his three children, Brian Laesch of Chicago, Jordan Laesch of Los Angeles, and Kelsey Laesch of Indianapolis, IN; his fiancée, Jennifer Porter; one sister, Ellen Laesch Dalrymple (David) of Chicago; and brother-in-law, Dennis Gieseke.

He was preceded in death by his parent; his sister, Diane Gieseke; and brother, Steven Laesch.

Visitation is scheduled from 10 a.m. to noon, with Memorial service scheduled for noon, Saturday, March 11, 2017, at Second Presbyterian Church, 7700 North Meridian St., Indianapolis. Dr. Lewis Galloway will officiate.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in Mark's memory to the Golf Coaches Association of America (GCAA) Presidential Scholarship, 1225 W. Main St., Suite 110, Norman, OK 73071. It benefits academic scholarships of current GCAA member coaches' children and grandchildren.

Arrangements have been entrusted to Randall & Roberts Funeral Homes.





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