Friday, August 26, 2016
George H. Marks Sr., a lifelong Westport resident and 26-year Westport police veteran, died Aug. 25 in Norwalk Hospital. He was 96.
In 2010, he and his son, George H. Marks Jr., also a Westport police veteran, served as dual grand marshals of Westport’s Memorial Day parade.
The husband of the late Irene Lillian Lynch Marks was born May 11, 1920 in Brooklyn, N.Y., son of the late Henry and Ada Carruthers Marks. The family moved to Westport two years after his birth.
He graduated from Staples High School in 1938 and found work as a pressman for the Westporter Herald. In 1940, he joined the Merchant Marine and was a navigation officer.
His first ship left New York and stopped in Baltimore for refueling. While there, Marks became sick and was still hospitalized when his ship left, a fortunate happenstance.
Shortly after leaving Baltimore, the ship was hit by a German torpedo and all aboard were killed. It was a time when U-boats devastated merchant shipping off the U.S. East Coast as the United States was too undermanned and ill-equipped to defend its own shoreline.
Marks served on other ships crossing the Atlantic loaded with troops and supplies. He participated in the D-Day landing at Normandy.
“He one of the only people I know with four honorable discharges, from the Merchant Marines, the Navy, the Army and the Marines,” said Westporter Bill Vornkahl about Marks, Sr.’s service that involved all branches. Vornnkahl has organized Westport’s parades for more than four decades.
Marks joined the Westport Police Department on March 1, 1948 rising to the rank of lieutenant detective before retiring Nov. 1, 1974. During his tenure there, his wife worked as a police matron and crossing guard.
Marks was extremely proud of his police service and kept a scrapbook of news stories about cases he worked on.
In his retirement, he was a frequent visitor to Westport Town Hall and delighted in showing his scrapbook to town employees.
In 1974, he joined Westport Bank & Trust Co as a security officer.
He served as president of the Westport Fish & Game Club, was a life member of Temple Lodge No. 75 AF&AM, a member of the American Legion, an original member of Westport PAL, and a former 20-year volunteer at Norwalk Hospital.
Survivors include two sons, George H, Marks Jr. (a nearly 35-year Westport police veteran who retired in 2006) and his wife Jacqueline of Seabrook, S.C., and William D. Marks and his wife Sandra of Missoula, Montana; one daughter Sandra M. Marks of Tucson, Arizona, four grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
The family will receive friends on Sunday, Aug. 28 from 4 to 8 p.m. in the Harding Funeral Home, 210 Post Road East. Graveside services with full military honors will take place Monday, Aug. 29 at 10 a.m. meeting directly at Willowbrook Cemetery, 395 Main St.
Memorial contributions may be made to Alzheimers Association of Connecticut, 200 Executive Boulevard, Suite 4-B, Southington, CT 06489.
Posted 08/26/16 at 09:42 PM Permalink