Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Former Town Council Chairman Donald P. Markham

Donald Prescott Markham, 85, beloved husband of Pauline (Lindquist) Markham, passed away Friday April 26th after a long convalescence.  A life-long resident of East Hampton, Donald, born November 5, 1927, was the son of the late Percy P. and Rose (Knotek) Markham.  Family, community, service and commitment defined him.  Donald, who preferred to be called Don, upon graduation from East Hampton High School in 1945, enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps. WWII ended during his basic training, but he was placed as a member of the inactive reserves.  He worked for the FBI in Washington, DC from 1946-1947, and in 1949 was called to active duty, becoming a decorated Veteran of the Korean Conflict.  Upon returning to East Hampton, he worked for Thatcher Drug and then the Sisson Drug Co. of Hartford until 1961, at which point President Kennedy appointed him East Hampton Post Master; a position in which he proudly served for 26 years. 
Don was actively involved in the life of the East Hampton community in various capacities.  He was a Master Mason for over 50 years and served as Master of Anchor Lodge No. 112 AF & AM during the 100th Anniversary (1971), as well as serving on the Masonic Temple Association Board.  He was a founding member of the East Hampton Lions Club, Inc. in 1957.  Don served as Commander of American Legion Post No. 64 and was a life member, and, along with other veterans, revived Old Home Day, serving as Co-Chair in 1953 and 1954.  He was a Charter member and first President of the Chatham Historical Society, and was honored as Chairman of both the East Hampton Bi-Centennial Committee in 1967 and the local Bi-Centennial Committee celebrating the founding of our Nation in 1976.  He was also a board member of the Lake View Cemetery Association. 
Serving his fellow citizens in town politics, Don, a lifelong Democrat, was elected to the Board of Education in 1956, and from 1969 to 1976 was an appointed member of the Water Pollution Control Authority.  From 1952 through 1960, he served as the Democratic Town Committee Chairman.  Don was elected to the East Hampton Town Council in 1995, serving as Chair, and was reelected to 4 more terms (serving through 2005). 

Donald Markham - Town Council Chairman with (l-r) Chris Goff, William Farrell, Thomas Distefano, & Jane French.
Don is survived by Pauline, his wife of 65 years, and sons: Dean P. Markham and his wife Debbie of East Hampton, their children Nicole F. Markham of Newport, RI, Danielle P. Mathias and her husband Greg and great-grandson Desmond of Phoenixville, PA, and Gregory D. Markham and his wife Kira and great-grandchildren Sandra and Alexander of East Hampton; and Allan N. Markham and wife Sharon of East Hampton, and their sons David A. Markham of East Hampton, and Stephen P. Markham and his wife Colleen and great-grandson Chase of Pembroke, MA.  The family sincerely thanks the caring and loving staff of Middletown Health Care who provided for his well-being and comfort.  Friends are invited to call at Spencer Funeral Home 112 Main Street East Hampton on Monday April 29th between the hours of 5-8 P.M.  Funeral services will be conducted by The Rev. Michelle Madsen-Bibeau (Haddam Neck Covenant Church), at Spencer Funeral Home on Tuesday April 30th commencing at 11 A.M.  Burial will follow at Lake View Cemetery.  Pall Bearers were Robert Lanzi, Robert McKinney, Evan Rea, Philip Visintainer, Gregory Mathias and Gregory Markham.
In lieu of flowers, the family would appreciate a donation in Don's memory to a local charity or organization such as the East Hampton Food Bank, 20 East High St.,  the East Hampton Ambulance Association at P.O. Box 144, or the Lake View Cemetery Fence Restoration Project at P.O. Box 71,  all in East Hampton at 06424, or give the gift of life - become a blood donor with the American Red Cross.

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