PEORIA - Donald L. Markley, 73, of Peoria died Thursday, Oct. 22, 2009, at Proctor Hospital.
Don was born in Peoria on June 10, 1936, to Roy K. and Mabel Markley.
He has one sister, Betty Roeder of Peoria, Ill.
Don attended Hines Grade School in Peoria. The Markley family moved to Ipava, Ill., where Don attended and graduated from Vermont-Ipava-Table Grove (VIT) High School. His high school friends remained close to him throughout his life.
Don enlisted in the Navy in 1954. He trained at Great Lakes and then at Treasure Island, Norfolk, Va., and Key West, Fla. Don served in the Navy for three years, 11 months, nine days and 1/2 hour. Three years of that were served aboard the destroyer USS Hyman.
Upon completion of his naval career, he attended the Milwaukee School of Engineering and Bradley University. He graduated with both a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science in electrical engineering.
In 1964, he began a teaching career in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Technology at Bradley University. He continued teaching until establishing his own consulting firm for radio and television, which has been in business for more than 40 years. Don's firm serves local, national and international clients.
Don was a member of the Association of Federal Communications Consulting Engineers; the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, where he was named Engineer of the Year in 1992 for the Illinois Valley Section; Bradley University Chiefs Club; and numerous honorary organizations; and was a registered professional engineer in the state of Illinois.
Additionally, Don mentored a number of young engineers in the broadcast field throughout his career, including his protege, Jeremy D. Ruck of Canton.
In 1964, Don married Phyllis Harris in Vermont, Ill. They have two daughters, Angela (and Garth) Peterson of Kansas City, Mo., and Melissa J. Markley of Valparaiso, Ind. Don has one granddaughter, Caroline Peterson.
Don always took great pride in his daughters and their accomplishments.
Don was an avid pilot, boater, RVer and supporter of Bradley basketball.
He was a writer of hundreds of articles on radio and television, as well as a frequent conference presenter, and was an amateur radio operator with call sign K9WFG.
Don had a wonderful sense of humor and was a great storyteller. He loved to entertain and throw parties. Socializing and enjoying good wine, whiskey, and cigars were some of his favorite pastimes. Don's favorite saying was "Laissez les bons temps rouler."
Visitation will be held on Sunday, Oct. 25, 2009, from 1 to 4 p.m. at Shawgo Memorial Home in Astoria, Ill. Funeral services will be private. Interment will be in the Vermont Cemetery.
Memorial contributions can be made to the D.L. Markley Scholarship Fund at South Side Bank in Peoria. Funds will be used to establish a scholarship for electrical engineering students at Bradley University.
Alternately, contributions can be made to the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, 383 Main Ave., Fifth floor, Norwalk, CT 06851, in memory of Don.