(The following is an excerpt from an email exchange between Steve Markle
and Claude Williams. - ed)
I wrote this in the hours following the passing of my Dad in 2000. We are told that a measure of life is not how you want to be remembered, but how others remember you.... There is not a day goes by that we , as a family, remember this man that we were fortunate to call Dad, Husband, and friend. We were lucky to have him in our lives.
An American Hero died today.
He wasn't a name that you would see in the papers much or a name bandied about on the evening news, but he was a hero nonetheless.
He was part of the true backbone of this country. A child of the depression, spending time in an orphanage as a youth, entered the Army to protect this country during World War II, and continued to serve through the Korean War and beyond. He had a commitment to this country and those around him.
His life was simple in its efforts. He regarded God, family, and Country above all other. It troubled him when anyone worked against what any of these stood for, even though it is what all of this great country was built upon. He fought to keep these standards high in a society of declining morality.
While his physical life is over, he will continue to live in all of those that he has touched over the years. His voice can and will continue to be heard being echoed through the voice of reason and in the lessons that he has taught all of us.
For those lucky enough to know him, it was easy to call him husband (Elaine, his wife of almost 54 years), father (sons Jim, Jerry, Glenn, Steve and daughter Cheryl), grandpa (Tracy, Adam, Brian, Derek, David, Angelina, Trevor and Rosalinda) and friend to all.
No he wasn't what society has currently described as a hero, but he was the real deal. He was the man that helped make us who we are and we are much better off for knowing him.
Eugene (Gene) Charles Markle
Born October 4, 1923
Died June 11, 2000