Noah “Buggy” Jon Markstrom, 6, of Centralia, Wash., was welcomed home into the Kingdom of Heaven, Nov. 6, 2019, following a valiant battle with brain cancer. He was born Jan. 20, 2013, in Olympia, Wash., to Kyle and Kara Markstrom.
Noah continually battled for two years. He was first diagnosed with a tumor on his brain stem in December of 2017, when he was four years old. This was followed by a return and spread of the disease in February of 2019. Throughout this time, he taught us the true meaning of strength and courage. Noah was a kind, loving, funny and intelligent boy, who touched many lives. Despite countless surgeries, procedures, pokes and discomfort, he never once complained about the hospital stays and treatments he endured. Noah never asked “why” this was happening to him. Noah never had envy or a cold heart. He lived, loved and laughed every single day. He had more dignity than anyone would think was humanly possible. We are all better for witnessing Noah’s example. Like Noah in the Bible, he was ever the optimist. With his usual smile, Noah always found a way to do what was asked of him, while also finding a way to help others.
Noah is survived by his parents, Kyle and Kara Markstrom; grandparents, Bill and Lori McAllister of Centralia; grandfather, Jon Markstrom of Grayland; great-grandparents, Melvin and Jean Bluhm of Chehalis; grandparents, Kirk and Debra Parnham of Centralia; and grandparents, William and Dixie Rogerson of Tracyton. Also included are many aunts, uncles, cousins, extended family members, and close friends he considered family. Noah loved and was loved by all in his family.
Noah was preceded in death by a stillborn brother, James, Dec. 3, 2011. They will be laid to rest together near family at Claquato Cemetery.
Noah was blessed to live in the same town with grandparents and great-grandparents. He spent every Thursday with great-grandparents, Mel and Jean. Noah loved his time at Westminster Presbyterian Church with Grandma Jean. There he attended VBS, worked on projects, and grew to know and love Christ. Noah enjoyed going to movies and spending Fridays with Grammy Lori and Papa Bill. Noah also liked being outside, helping dad and Grandpa Jon with projects. He played in the tree house with Grandpa Kirk and did art projects with Grandma Deb. He also liked playing baseball, camping in the family RV, backyard barbeques, going to the races, target shooting with Dad, and riding his 4-wheeler at Shawn and Kacee’s house. Noah had a special bond with his cousin Lane. He enjoyed any time spent with him, especially playing online video games and nerf dart or water balloon battles in the backyard. We are certain Noah’s exposure to multiple generations helped shape him into the kind and loving boy he was. It also made him wise, far beyond his years.
Of the things Noah enjoyed, school was at the top of his list. He took pride in being a Tiny Tiger at Fords Prairie Elementary and loved everyone there. He was a voracious learner who was constantly expanding his intellect. Even after enduring multiple rounds of radiation to his brain, radiation that should have caused severe cognitive deficits, Noah remained at the top of his class.
Noah was very fond of his Momma and never teased her like he did his Dad. When Dad would ask him why he didn’t tease Mom, he would say, “Because Momma is so beautiful”. She was the love of his life. He absolutely adored her. Noah’s last words were to his Momma, “You are my sunshine”.
Noah received all his treatment and care at Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital. He grew exceptionally close to a few of the people there, but loved everyone. He never dreaded a trip to the clinic or hospital, even when he knew at the very least, there would be some pokes. They always found a way to make his treatments tolerable and add joy to the experience. Because of those people, Mary Bridge was always a place of peace for him. Noah enjoyed sharing his many jokes with the doctors and nurses who cared for him. He loved to make them laugh. Our family could not be more thankful for all the care and compassion we received from the doctors nurses, and staff who tried tirelessly to cure Noah of his cancer. Their skill and compassion afforded us as much earthly time as possible with Noah. For that we are forever grateful.
Our family would like to thank nurses, Sarah and Michele, who loved and cared for Noah at home and at school. We are also grateful to Jovie and the staff with Providence Hospice who helped us ensure Noah was comfortable in his final days.
Noah’s battle has been very difficult for our family. Without all the love, support and prayers from countless people, it would have been impossible. Our families, churches, community and strangers have stepped up and carried us though this battle. We hope each and every one of you feel our sincere appreciation and gratitude. Because of you, we were able to focus solely on Noah throughout his battle. This ensured he had the best care and highest quality of life possible.
We would also like to thank the Rachel Lynn Henley Foundation, Austen Everett Foundation, Make-A-Wish, Soulumination, Thurston County Court, Jacob Haider, USAF 4th Airlift Squadron, Mandi Mcdougall Photography, and all the great people and organizations that helped make Noah feel special. These will be lasting memories for our family.
A celebration of Noah’s life will be held at NW Sports Hub, 701 Allen Ave., Centralia, at 3 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 23, 2019. Casual dress is encouraged.
In the United States, about 4,600 children per year are diagnosed with brain and central nervous system cancer. Each year, more children die from brain tumors than any other form of cancer. The children who survive are often left with life-long side-effects from horrible treatment. After Noah’s passing, his tumors were donated for research use by the team at the Pediatric Brain Tumor Research Fund. Please consider making small annual contributions to the PBTRF (pbtrf.org) so we can find a way to stop this monster. “Many hands make light work”.
Even though Noah’s life was cut very short, his legacy will have a lasting impact on this world. The family is starting the Noah Jon Markstrom Foundation. NJMF will be providing college scholarships and grants to people pursuing careers in pediatric medicine. Donations in Noah’s memory can be made to the Noah Jon Markstrom Foundation (noahjonmarkstromfoundation.org) in the coming months and/or the Mary Bridge Children’s Foundation (marybridge.org/about/giving/).
“No more earthly suffering, our sweet boy. We love you to the moon and back, Noah Jon!“
2 Timothy 4:7-8
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award me on that day – and not only to me, but all who have longed for his appearing”
1 Corinthians 2:9
“What no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, and what no human mind has conceived, the things God has prepared for those who love him”