Markel, George Sidney died peacefully, January 18, 2013, with his wife of 68 years, Betty Chambers Markel, at his side. George was born on June 24, 1921 in Prescott, Arizona to Lillian Bridget Day and George Sidney “Sid” Markel. Sid was the Superintendent for the building of the Newport Pier and the sea wall around Balboa Island. Dad was the surviving elder of his three siblings, Carol Caruthers, Billy Markel, and Connie Cooper.
After meeting his beloved, Betty, in Costa Mesa, CA, they both graduated from Newport Harbor High School. He attended Santa Junior College and, subsequently, was a member of the first graduating class at Orange Coast College. He joined the United States Army in 1941 and left for technical training at Texas A & M. He served in Europe under General Patton as a member of the Hellcats in the 12th Armored Division.
A highly decorated soldier of World War II, he ultimately attained the rank of Staff Sergeant. In addition, our Dad returned home with a Purple Heart. For heroism, he also received two Bronze Stars, (one of which had an Oak Leaf Cluster), along with a French commendation and medal for valor.
He and Mom settled in Costa Mesa and raised three daughters, Cheryle Markel; Judith Markel Drace, wife of John Drace; and Melanie Haupert, wife of Bob Haupert. Together with our mother and Dad’s brother, Bill, they established a contracting and land development business after Dad became a General Contractor.
He built many structures in Costa Mesa, including three landmark motels famous during their era that he and our Mom ran together for a number of years. For the past 65 years, he was in business until his death at 91 years of age. In addition, Dad with Mom and lots of family and friends enjoyed their homes in the communities of Laguna Niguel and Desert Hot Springs, California.
Beside his three girls, he is survived by seven grandchildren, Sarah Markel Cook, Shaye Kent, Bryn Brown, Brian Haupert, Shelley Green, Chelsea Hinderleider and Tyler Drace, as well as, eleven great-grandchildren: Heidi, Chasen, Sierra, Nick, Marin, Oliver, Brynna, Kacey, Ava, Bodhi, Owen…ranging in age from 30 years old to 9 days old.
Finally, it is with great joy that all of us celebrate our Dad’s, our Grandpa’s and our Great-Grandpa’s charisma, generous heart and visionary imagination that will live on in our lives and the many lives he has touched during his life.
You are most welcome to join us in honoring George S. Markel at the following services:
January 22, 2013 (Tues.) Viewing 1:00 PM
Brown Colonial Mortuary
204 W. 17th St., Santa Ana, CA 92706