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Victim of plane crash in Moorhead remembered as devoted father, builder

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Mark Yaggie and his three boys, from left: Trevor, 16; Austin, 18; and Dylan, 13. Submitted photo2 / 6
Mark Yaggie with a young fan, Lauren Blaufuss. Submitted photo.3 / 6
Mark Yaggie is pictured here with his good friend, Sara Blaufuss. Submitted photo4 / 6
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MOORHEAD -- Sons of a Breckenridge area man who died Sunday evening, July 2, in a plane crash near Moorhead remembered their father on Monday, July 3, as a proud backer of his family’s athletic efforts and as a maker of things when he became restless.

“He was always building stuff,” said Trevor Yaggie, 16, remembering his father, Mark, 41, who died when the plane he was piloting crashed in a field just west of the Moorhead airport.

Clay County Sheriff Bill Bergquist said Monday that Yaggie died at the scene.

Austin, 18, the eldest of Yaggie’s three sons and a recent graduate of Fargo’s Shanley High School, said his dad was a frequent visitor at sporting events to show support for his boys, which include son, Dylan, 13.

“He was always there, cheering us on,” Austin Yaggie said.

Yaggie was a farmer in the Breckenridge area and also operated a spray plane business.

His sons say their father’s hobbies included collecting vintage warplanes that he took to air shows as a way of honoring veterans.

They said the plane he was flying when he crashed was a Trojan T-28, a type of plane used to train pilots starting in the 1950s.

Yaggie’s parents, Jeri and David, said that for the past several years their son had been working with them on transitioning the farming operation to ensure it continued into the next generation.

Jeri Yaggie said her son loved to fly old warbirds and “felt very strongly the importance of passing on that era of history to future generations.”

Mark Yaggie’s uncles, Don and Richard, described him as very aggressive when it came to projects he wanted to do and that he was not afraid to try new things.

His friend Sara Blaufuss described Yaggie as very loyal to friends and said the most important things in his life were faith, family, farming and flying.

Yaggie’s plane went down near the Moorhead airport on the south side of Interstate 94, according to the Clay County Sheriff’s Office.

The crash was reported at 6:05 p.m. Sunday.

It was unknown if the two-seat private plane was trying to land at the time of the crash.

Investigators from the Federal Aviation Administration are handling the crash investigation.

Mark Yaggie and his family are well known in the Breckenridge community and the Yaggie name is associated with a number of businesses, including farming and trucking.

In recent years, a family charitable trust was set up by a number of Yaggie family members that, according to an article that appeared in the Wahpeton Daily News in 2016, included Mark Yaggie’s father, David.