Josh Bladzik, Mark Pierson, Jackie Molen, Jim Zajicek the crew of the Big Circus Sideshow.  On a jump from Salt Lake City UT to Waco TX Sept. 2009



Mark Pierson past to the Great Midway, at his Mother Home

Nov. 17th 2009


Received a call earlier today from Jim Zajicek


With some sad news. Jonathon "Mark" Pierson passed away yesterday.

He had returned home at the seasons end and while visiting his mother in Canada suffered a heart attack.

Mark started on the Vargas show on the big top crew in 1977 and eventually worked his way to the elephant dept. He was with Vargas off  and on til 1993 where he worked under VC Arivett, Tom Larson, Erik  Jaeger and especially enjoyed working for Ted Polk and Rex Williams.

He also worked a short stint for Alan Campbell and then worked for the  Hawthorn corp. under Gary Thomas.

 In more recent times, he spent 16 years off and on working for Jim Zalicek around the elephants and later manning the ticket box on Jim's  Big Circus Side Show.

Last winter he put some time in at the Endangered Ark Foundation in Hugo.

A private family service will be held in Canada.

James C. Hall




Mark in Ticket box Big Circus Sideshow





Mark and Gyp













Mark rear right, Circus Vargas




Mark with a few friend - Last Round-Up



Longtime cohort, navigator and Friend Mark Pierson passed away yesterday...We closed last week in Shreveport LA, and he went home to visit his Mom, he died of a Heart attack... Mark rode 1000's upon 1000's of miles with me....I am deeply saddened by his passing as he was like a Brother to me....                                                                           

 Jim Zajicek



I have spent the last four years traveling the country with the BCS, I consider Mark and Jim my family.  I am really at a loss for words about Marks death, I mean a week ago we were telling stories and laughing together and now he is gone and will never have the opportunity to share his company again, when you spend that much time around someone it is a very depressing thought to know you will never get to again.


At least I no he is up in that big top in the sky with Cliff and Rex.
                                                                                                                                          Josh Bladzik


Mark in the ticket box Shreveport LA was probably the last photo taken of him before he went home to see his mom.  He hadn't been home for two years.  He was looking forward to getting home and visiting his mom.  It's a blessing he made it. Nov. 2009


I talked to Jim this morning...this is going to be very hard for him, He and Mark did a lot of miles together.


Mark had a gruff exterior but a kind heart. He loved to share jackpots, especially if they were about his latest casino adventure. He enjoy gambling and enjoyed telling you about the plays he made.


When I was getting ready to head home from Shreveport, the last thing Mark told me was, "Tell Abby I said hi".  I didn't forget to tell her.


We'll miss Mark's stories.

We'll miss his wise cracks.

We'll miss Mark.

 Rick and Abby West and the Gatorman




A good book, his cigar, some peanuts, and a coke.  Cutting up jackpots with friends.


 That is Mark.


I will miss Mark and his stories.

John Robinson


I didn't get to know him for long, but this pretty much sums up the Mark I did know. He knew how to make the most of his own capabilities. I never knew him to refuse a helping hand if it was sincerely asked for -or if he saw the need for one. He was just one of those quiet guys who always seem to be there, hovering in the background while others take center stage. He was the prop man, the stage crew, the sound effects guy, one of those the show just can't go on without, but whom nobody seems to notice -till he's not there.

All the animals of the BCS, I'm sure, will miss his care and regular clean-ups. The whole show will be much harder to operate without him. I believe Mark Pierson was much more important to the BCS than anybody ever imagined.

May he be at peace and find his way through the mists to a reserved seat at that Big Circus in the Sky.



I am saddened to hear this. I met Mark & Jim for the 1st time this past April while performing with Donny Vomit at the Pima County Fair in Tucson. He was a "real" character and his stories were great. I will have fond memories of us at the TTT and him waiting for the cab to take him to the casino. I was hoping to see him again this coming season, but at least I got one and that is more than some can say. See ya buddy!!

John Shaw





Ah, the card games and how he loved to go to the casino or put up his table and you bailing him out...The newspapers he would save for me...

Barbara Hoffmann



Seems like yesterday I was talking to you guys on the phone on your way to SLC and he was telling me about how the carnies thought you put him in the Texas Hold 'em Tournament as a ringer haha.


Andy Crossley



Wow Good ol' Mark's! Gone =( I'm happy to have met him! & share some great times! I'm sure Rex wanted his main guy to tend to his girls!!! RIP Mark

Crinou Barrello



Jim I don't know what to say other than that saddens me deeply that I will never get the chance to see him again I am grateful for the time that I had with you guys in Waco call me if you need to talk.


Christopher Springman






I am Sorry for your loss... I did not know Mark well however I remember working on the same shows with him through the years, the first being Circus Vargas in 1986 and then many other shows through the years. I remember him always being kind.

Tracey Degirolamo Bannister


This is terrible. I am so sorry for your loss. I remember playing cards with mark a few different times after the show and with all the guys and my Dad of course. Mark was a great guy and will truly be missed.

Rachael Bellman



Sorry to learn about Mark ,never will forget the night me you Mark my dad and Devin went Jackpot NV in Devin's car ....Hans Klose



Sorry to hear about Mark passing. He sure could tell some stories. He had a remarkable memory and was a serious card player too, in addition to being a knowledgable elephant man. The Big Circus Sideshow won't be the same.

David Pitts



Mark Pierson leading "Col. Joe" w/ Ted Polk and "Leon"...



Jim even though I knew Mark from not only working with you but meeting him when I was with tigers and he was with Elephants and working on Vargas and once when working a date for Tommy at Auburn Hills when I was with Roy. He was always a good guy to be around. Jess said when she heard Hey wasn't he the guy with Sideshow Jim who used to be Elephant.  Jim at the shrine, that got me on the elephant for the first time that I remember going on one with out having to be a shown a photo? Said yep and she said bummer and sorry about that. But what she remembered was his gruffness but kindness to her around the girls. Now I will go smoke a Dinapoli in is honor and a diet coke. May he find Bianchi's Pizza to his hearts


 Mark was a all around good guy. He will be missed.  Robert Schneider



I'm gonna really miss Mark. He was one of a kind and I had fun talking to him and soaking up all of his stories while we drove around every little town looking for food or cigar shops on the road. He ALWAYS had a new story to tell and wasn't afraid to tell you what he thought about something. He was the genuine article and he will be sorely missed. My thoughts go out to all his friends and family...


So sorry to hear about Mark. He was always so helpful to us on the Vargas show, he remembered every lot, where the supermarkets were, and anything else you needed. Maybe Bill and mark will get together and talk about old times. May both rest in peace. Trudy Strong


Guys like him is what makes our business work he will be missed. Dennis Warner


Terrible news, and very sad.  An honest to God showman.  Blessing on that new lot where he's sitting at the bally or working bulls.  Ben Trumble


I had a good long conversation with Mark there in Waco when I was passing through! When you told me he was leaving you to take care of his mother, I remember thinking "that was awfully GOOD of him".

God rest his soul! He was a good worker for you, and a friend to many! He will be sorely missed, by many!

Jim, I am so sorry for your loss!  Peter Sturgis



I'm so sorry to hear that! I always enjoyed talking with him, especially about elephants. He was a heck of a guy. Adam Johns



 I can't believe it! All those Jeopardy answers.... that intelligence and loyalty. Mark will be missed!
Sara Gordon



Wow, really sorry to hear this. Our prayers are with you and his family. He wasn't the one I met that was with you and Jackie when I met up with you, was he?  Storm Lightning



Sorry to hear the news of the passing of your friend, fellow and long time compadre, Mark Pierson. The elephants will circle with sadness and the ticket box will be draped in black.

 In Sympathy,
 Jeffrey Reid




 Lilo Rankin



Jim, so sorry for your loss. Mark was a gentle soul. I will remember his kindness to me always.


Diane Arthurs



Were sorry to hear about Mark. He will be missed at our poker games on Crabtree Amusements. 

 Annie Crouch




 An Interview with Mark Pierson



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