Dubuque community gathers for final goodbye to former police chief Mark Dalsing

Community members gathered at the Church of the Nativity Thursday morning for former Dubuque police chief Mark Dalsing’s funeral mass.
Published: Apr. 21, 2022 at 9:12 PM CDT
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DUBUQUE, Iowa (KCRG) - Family, friends, city officials, community leaders, and neighbors gathered at the Church of the Nativity Thursday morning for former Dubuque police chief Mark Dalsing’s funeral mass. Dalsing passed away unexpectedly last Friday at the age of 55.

”Well this came as quite a shock to everyone, me included,” Father Andy Upah said during the homily.

Dalsing worked with the Dubuque Police Department for 32 years and became chief of police in 2010. He retired last September.

Even though neither police nor the Dalsing family spoke during the Mass, those in attendance got to know their thoughts of Dalsing through Father Upah. He said police officers he spoke to referred to Dalsing as a “cop’s chief.”

”The kind you like to work for, because he protected them and had their back, all of them, even going out on a limb for them,” he mentioned.

Father Upah also shared what Dalsing’s children, Ben and Emilie, and his wife Jennie thought of him.

“Mark was a great dad and very proud of his kids, acting as a ‘coach, mentor, best friend and superhero; he was the best’ Ben said, and he was sure Emilie would agree with that,” Father Upah commented. “And Jennie said the same thing from a spouse’s point of view, she could not ask for a better best friend. Mark loved his family and did good for them along with everyone else.”

Away from work, Chief Dalsing dedicated much of his time to charitable causes. After retiring as police chief, Dalsing started working as the affordable housing director for Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Dubuque. Those who knew him say he also loved spending time with children, including those at St. Mark Youth Enrichment.

“He wanted to be a part of everything with our kids and our kids knew his name and they thought it was the coolest thing in the world that the chief of police wanted to spend time with them,” Beth McGorry, director of donor relations at St. Mark, said. “And that has grown into a beautiful relationship with our officers and the young people here in town. Mark was the beginning of that and we are forever grateful for it.”

McGorry described Thursday as a “sad day”, but recognized Dalsing’s legacy would be everlasting.

“His legacy is pure community involvement and community engagement and we are going to feel this for years,” she said. “The love that he had of his community, it will be here forever.”

After the funeral mass, law enforcement and emergency vehicles from departments from across eastern Iowa, including Cedar Rapids and Iowa City, escorted Dalsing to Mount Calvary Cemetery, where he was laid to rest.

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