Last Friday, we reported on a death at West Seattle Stadium the day before. Today, we know the man who died at the track was 44-year-old West Seattle resident Donald Markey; we have heard from his wife Leslie Markey, a native West Seattleite (who says old friends from WSHS/Madison/Alki would know her as Leslie Rhodes). She says her husband was in training for the upcoming physical exam to join the Seattle Police Department, and that she is thankful for SPD and Seattle Fire Department medics’ “beyond hope” efforts to save her husband’s life – “an unbelievable effort by our local fire and police.” Here is the remembrance she shared:
Donald Graham Markey, born March 8, 1969 died suddenly and unexpectedly at the age of 44 of a heart attack, on March 21, 2013. Son of Nancy Graham Markey (deceased) and John Cornelius Markey (deceased) of Charlotte, North Carolina. He is survived by his wife, Leslie C. Markey of Seattle; brother John Cornelius Markey, Jr. of Graham, North Carolina; Aunt and Uncle Steve and Cornelia Robinson of Charlotte, NC; and two beloved cats; Arnold and Abner.
Handsome, humorous, personable, and polite, Donald was smart, highly educated, motivated to be of service to others, and a man of faith. He was baptized a Christian in Anacortes in 2003. He was devoted to seeking a better understanding of God by exploring spirituality so that he could live in the sunlight of the spirit. He shared this journey with his wife. Donald’s relationship with Leslie began in 1999 and they then married in 2007 in Seattle, WA. He was blessed with a faith that worked, and it showed in the way he smiled, talked and loved.
Donald graduated from NC State University in Raleigh, North Carolina in Mechanical Engineering and received his high-school diploma from Charlotte Country Day School in Charlotte, NC. Donald also graduated from the Marine Carpentry program at Seattle Central’s Wood Construction Center, with advanced boat-building skills. He worked in that profession in Anacortes for Northern Marine. Primarily though, he was employed for approximately 18 years as a marine mechanical engineer, with two of his past employers being Todd Shipyard and Kvichak Marine. At the time of his death, Donald had chosen a strong departure from his prior marine-related careers, pursuing job opportunities with the City of Seattle Police Department. He was preparing for the physical-exam portion of the application process when his life was cut short.
Donald loved the water. He loved the Northwest and made it his home for over 20 years. He was a resident of West Seattle for the last 7 years. He loved the outdoors and enjoyed sailing, boat-building, surfing, and reading. He was an avid supporter of animal charities; a true guardian of animals in need, and was personally responsible for giving safe, lifelong, loving homes to 10 rescue cats. He considered himself to be politically progressive and cared deeply about national issues. He had great passion for the U.S., but loved all things U.K., with hopes of one day spending an extended amount of time touring in Scotland with his wife. He will be dearly missed by all who loved him and we are all better for having known him.
A memorial service will be held at St. Paul’s United Church of Christ in Ballard, Washington. Donations in lieu of flowers are requested to either the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), the Seattle Humane Society, or the Center for Wooden Boats.
Leslie says the service is already at capacity, so condolences would be appreciated in the form of thoughts or cards sent to her: Leslie C. Markey, 6307 California Ave SW #3B, Seattle, WA 98136.
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