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Avid Sportsman, Drag Racer Dies at Age 31

Burnsville resident Mark Austin Smith, 31, died due to complications resulting from kidney disease and blood clots.

Mark Austin Smith, of Burnsville, died on Nov. 8, 2012 at Fairview Southdale Hospital due to complications of kidney disease and blood clots. He was just 31 years old. 

Smith's family describes him as a gregarious young man with a contagious sense of humor. He was an active man who loved to hunt and ice fish. While in school he also loved sports, particularly basketball, football, skateboarding and soccer, "his true love." He was a longstanding member of the traveling soccer team for Valley United. 

He was also an automotive enthusiast. After graduating from Apple Valley High School, Smith attended Dakota County Technical College where he studied to become an autobody technician. In his spare time, he worked on custom cars of his own.

"The supercoupe was his baby. Whether he was drag racing, showing it off at car shows or just goofing around in public, they were inseparable," his family wrote.

He is preceded in death by his father, Sheldon and grandparents, Dorothy and Harold Nemitz and Alice and Chuck Smith.

He is survived by his mother, Bonnie; brother, Jeff (Sandy); and nieces, Sophia and Stella; and many friends.

"Mark, you will be missed by all, but we know you are with your dad, that you never knew," his family wrote.

A funeral service for Smith was held on Sunday, Nov. 11, 2012 at White Funeral Home. He will be interred at Knapp Township in Wisconsin today.

If you wish to express your condolences, quite a few people have left touching messages for Smith's family on the Star Tribune's obituary guestbook. You can also send a memorials to the Mark A. Smith Benefit Fund, Wings Financial Credit Union, 14985 Glazier Ave Suit 100, Apple Valley, MN 55124. Donations can be made at any of the 15 metro branches of Wings Financial.

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