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Willard Vincent "Bill" Markey


1913 – 2012 - | Obituary Condolences
Willard Vincent "Bill" Markey Obituary
Bill Markey, a La Jolla resident for 64 years, passed away on February 12, 2012. He was born April 4, 1913, in Brooklyn, New York, to Andrew Vincent and Maude Renaud Markey.
Bill attended Public School 152 and Erasmus Hall High School in Brooklyn, then finished his education at Webb Institute of Naval Architecture in the Bronx from 1931-1935, where he met his future wife, Florence Baasch, whom he married in 1940. He remained a loyal supporter, friend and participant in Webb events, having attended his 75th reunion and Alumni Homecoming at Webb in 2010 as the oldest Alumnus.
Upon his graduation from Webb Institute, Bill attended Yale University School of Engineering and obtained his Third Assistant Engineer's License in 1936. During the next eight years including WWII he built ships for the Navy, holding positions as Quaterman Shipfitter, Hull Inspector and Assistant Hull Supt. at Sun Ship, Bethlehem-Sparrows Point, Baltimore, Maryland, and Consolidated Steel Corporation. Orange, TX. After WW II, he purchased and ran, Teche Steel Works, Inc., New Iberia, LA, where he built small Naval vessels under 100 feet.
In 1948, Bill and his wife, Florence, moved to La Jolla. He managed apartments on Bon Air Street for three years during which time he participated with the La Jolla Players Community Theater, the patrons for which included Ms. Caroline Cummins, Ms. William S. Kellogg, and Gregory Peck.
In 1951, Bill bought Acme Ornamental Iron Works, Inc., in National City, which he ran as President for 27 years before his retirement in 1978. At Acme, he parlayed his shipbuilding skills into steel fabrication and participated as a subcontractor in the construction of many San Diego buildings, including the Aviary at the Wild Animal Park, Scripps Memorial Hospital, The Bishop's School, Mr. A's, and the San Onofre Power Plant. His favorite construction always remained his home on Country Club Drive and the Two-Headed Eagle at the Scottish Rite Center on Camino Del Rio South in Mission Valley. Bill donated the eagle after being a member of the first Scottish Rite class to be held in that building.
Bill was a member of the La Jolla Masonic Lodge No. 518 for 54 years. He served as Master of the Lodge in 1964, and received the Hiram Distinguished Service Award in 2000. He was an avid and excellent bridge player, joining the La Jolla Men's Bridge Club in 1948, where he served as President several times, organizing annual meetings and fund raisers to encourage new membership. After his wife's death, Bill played duplicate bridge at the Soledad Bridge Club, the La Jolla Beach and Tennis Club and Adventures in Bridge, eventually becoming a Bronze Life Master. Also, he was a Life Associate and 50-year member of The Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers.
Because Florence and Bill loved to travel, they visited many countries. After her death, Bill joined Global Volunteers Service Program to teach English to high school students in China, Thailand, Vietnam and Italy, even though he was in his late 80's. He also volunteered in the community by reading to pre-schoolers at the La Jolla Library and kindergarten at Pacific Beach Elementary.
His strong sense of civic responsibility, commitment to bettering the community, and love of La Jolla led him to establish the Markey Family Grove of Trees, at the La Jolla Cove.
Bill was known not only for his many accomplishments but also for being a true gentleman. He could be spotted a block away by his warm smile, beret and bowtie. He enjoyed people, young and old alike. He was always up for an adventure and showed a vitality and passion for life to the end. He will be profoundly missed by many.
He was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 53 years, and two brothers, Milton and Richard. Survivors include one daughter, Melissa R. Markey of La Jolla, California; nieces and nephews, Lynne and Hank Geib of Seattle, Washington, Nancy and Terry Comstock of Beaverton, Oregon, Caryl and Paul Morrell of Denver, Colorado, Jacquelyn and Leslie Collins of Warwick, New York, Joanna and Pete Christman of Oneonta, New York, John and Joanna Taylor of Phoenix, Arizona, Pamela and Mark Stutman of Yardley, Pennsylvania, and Sue and Steve Latus of Long Island, New York. Surviving grand-nieces and nephews include Suzanne and Dick Steiner of Severna Park, Maryland, and Christopher and Amanda Collins of Warwick, New York, among others.
A memorial service will be held on his 99th birthday April 4, 2012, at 2:30PM at St James By-the-Sea Episcopal Church, 743 Prospect Street, La Jolla. Interment and reception will follow immediately.
Published in La Jolla Light on Mar. 22, 2012
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