Friends, Host Family Hockey Game Celebration in Honor of Mark Sertich’s 100th Birthday
The week of what should have been Sertie’s 100th birthday, his friends and family gathered at the Heritage Center on Tuesday morning for a game of hockey, something Sertie had been doing for years on his birthday.
DULUTH, Minn. – On Sunday, Mark “Sertie” Sertich, a native of Duluth and the oldest hockey player in the world, would have been 100 years old. He passed away last August, but his friends and family still wanted to celebrate his 100th birthday, and what better way to honor and celebrate the local hockey legend, than on the ice.
“This is the game that Mark loved,” said Sertie’s friend Dane Youngblom.
Prior to his passing, Sertich spent his birthday every year for more than a decade on the ice surrounded by friends and family.
“Like 13 years ago we got his first birthday skate for him and he said why don’t you wait until I’m 100 and we thought it was a joke but it wasn’t a joke, ”said Youngblom, who spent years skating with Sertie at the Heritage Center several times a week.
So, the week of what would have been Sertie’s 100th birthday, his friends and family gathered at the Heritage Center on Tuesday morning for a hockey game.
“He really wanted to hit the 100. Mark would never miss a skate, he skated three times a week and he would be here,” Youngblom said.
“100 birthdays, not many people reach that milestone and for someone who was on the ice a year ago and playing hockey with us, coming close and passing away was really heartbreaking in a lot of ways, but it did. had a great life, great friends, great family. We think this is a great way to show our appreciation for everything he has given us over the years. It really is a testament to how much he was appreciated and respected in the community, ”added Sertie’s fellow friend and hockey teammate Butch Williams.
“Every person here loved Mark and loved his work ethic and loved the man, he’s an amazing man,” Youngblom said.
And even at age 100, her friends know that Sertie has been on the ice trying to make things happen.
“He would definitely try to score the most goals here, I know that because he was such a competitive nature and I think that’s one of the reasons he lived almost 100 years,” said Williams.
“He would be on the ice asking for a pass. He could beat the puck, put it in it, ”added Youngblom.
Sertie’s friends plan to put a photo of him in the locker room and there’s also a special birthday banner that will be hanging at the Heritage Center for next year.
“There’s a big hole, there’s a hole in the locker room, he sat in the same place, he sat right next to me in the locker room and I miss him,” said Youngblom.
“We have a lot of youth hockey tournaments here in Duluth and all those kids that walk through those doors are going to see this banner of him and they are going to recognize him as the oldest hockey player in the world and that provides inspiration in a lot of. ways to young hockey players, ”added Williams.
Everything to continue to remember the hockey legend for more birthdays to come.
“We don’t forget that, that’s for sure. We will always remember him, he will always be dear to our hearts and be a part of our lives, ”said Williams.