Obituary: Mark “Elby” Christopher Cossette, Sept. 6, 1963 — March 28, 2018
Mark “Elby” Christopher Cossette passed away peacefully on Wednesday, March 28, 2018, at Denver Health Medical Center in Denver.
Elby will be remembered by his family and countless friends as a free spirit who loved travel, adventure and sharing his passion for inline skating and winter sports. As a goodwill ambassador for Rollerblade and the International Inline Skating Association during the early days of the sport, Elby introduced thousands of people to inline skating through demonstrations and lessons. He later spent more than a decade managing the Lionshead Children’s Ski and Snowboard Center in Vail, where he was known for his constant smile and infectious laugh.
Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Elby loved playing ice hockey as a boy. He attended school at St. Rose of Lima, Hill-Murray High School, Ely High School, Babbitt High School and the College of St. Scholastica, all in Minnesota. He lived in many places, including Minnesota, North Dakota, North Carolina, Virginia, Colorado and Alaska.
Elby loved music, laughter, sunshine, Luna Dogs, “Luna” the moon, dancing and most importantly, “living in the moment.” He was diagnosed with diabetes at age 12, but lived his life to the fullest and managed his disease with good humor and optimism, especially after a successful kidney transplant at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, from his brother Duker, nine years ago.
Even well into his 40s, Elby would put on inline skates and a superhero outfit (complete with cape) to transform himself into “Captain Rollerblade” and spread his joy for inline skating. We can still hear Elby saying, “Act your shoe size, not your age!”
Elby was preceded in death by his father, William “Bill” Nelson Cossette and his brother, Thomas John “Red” Cossette, and is survived by his beloved mother, Joan Kieley, of Brainerd, Minnesota; siblings, Tony (Julie) Cossette, of Minnesota, Clyde (Susan) Cossette, of Kentucky, Ken “Duker” Cossette, of Alaska, Mary Kaye (Kevin) Schniebel, of North Dakota, Paul “Goob” (Natalie) Cossette, of Alaska, and Meg (Jayson) McGuire, of North Dakota; sister-in-law, Alyssa Dornfeld, of Minnesota; as well as many aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins and other “framily” (a word Elby used because he considered all friends as family).
A Mass of Christian burial will be held Saturday, April 14, 2018 at 11 a.m. at St. Andrew’s Catholic Church in Brainerd, Minnesota, followed by a reception. In addition, a celebration of Elby’s life will be held in Colorado this summer, with details to be decided. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the American Diabetes Association.