Northern Lights Bakery owner Mark McCleary dies at 51

Mark Alan McCleary, 51, of Corolla, NC died unexpectedly Thursday, November 25, 2021.

Born in Toledo, Ohio on March 23, 1970, he was the only child of Patricia (Kuhn) McCleary and the late John McCleary. When he was 2, they moved to Tucson, AZ where Mark grew up. After graduating high school, he attended the University of Arizona and ASU and worked as a chef and greengrocer.

In 2003, he married the love of his life, Kristina Rodatz. Since 2008, they have been Corolla’s adored bakers along with their daughters Bailey and Peyton at the Northern Lights Bakery.

He had a smile, a kind word, a fresh donut, or a stunning cake for everyone. Known to many as “Cheffy,” he will be remembered as a caring friend, loving dad, and an adoring husband. When not in the bakery he was with his family in the kitchen, or on a drive up
the beach, or boogie boarding. Mark always had a new fascination, podcast, or video to share.

He is remembered by his friends as being a listener with solid advice who loved all children. Nevertheless, he sometimes suffered from the misconception that he was
an inadequate friend and father. Mark always had a smile so when his friends reflected, “He could have at least left a note – one that would have simply read, ‘Here’s my butter chicken recipe’” it’s because they knew he would laugh with them. They are all
shattered by this loss.

A service will be held for Mark on Monday, December 6, 2021, at 12:00 pm on the grounds of the Currituck Beach Lighthouse where he spent many happy days with his friends and family. It will include a live video broadcast. You are welcome to tune-in or
come in person.

if you wish, a donation to the Corolla Fire Department is suggested as that’s something near and dear to Mark’s heart.

Twiford Funeral Homes, Outer Banks is assisting the family with arrangements. Condolences and memories may be shared at

A GoFundMe has been established to assist family members traveling from Arizona, California and Canada to be with the McCleary’s.

“We just want to say thank you to each and everyone of you for reaching out. This is an amazing community and we feel so loved! Love you all,” Kristina said.