Sunday, May 14, 2017
Delmor (Del) B. Markoff of Westport died May 12 at Norwalk Hospital. He was 99.
He was born Jan. 22, 1918, the eldest of three sons of Catherine and William Markoff. He grew up in Chicago where he began his lifelong pursuit of learning.
After high school, he attended the University of Chicago, then earned an MBA from Harvard Business School. Two years ago, the Harvard Business School honored him and a fellow 1939 class member as the school’s oldest living alumni.
He started work toward a law degree at Northwestern Law School, but was sidetracked by his military service in World War II.
In addition to his formal education, he traveled widely and enjoyed language classes in Hebrew, German, and especially French.
He devoted quite a few years to military service, starting with ROTC at the University of Chicago. During World War II, he achieved the rank of captain in the U.S. Air Force. He was stationed at Wright-Patterson field in Ohio and Fort McPherson in Atlanta.
After almost 10 years of military service, in the 1950s, he moved into the business world.
He built on experience gained in his father’s company, Rembrandt Lamps, and ended as a sales executive for Chatham Fabrics, a textile firm.
In between, he worked with several entrepreneurial ventures, including radio advertising/broadcasting, and he consulted on innovative projects like the Lava Lite, Twiggy Lamps, and an Ocean Thermal Energy Converter venture.
He had two sons in his first marriage. Widowed in 1949, he remarried in the 1950s and had three more children, all daughters. In 1972 the family moved from Highland Park, Illinois to Westport, where he lived for the rest of his life.
A devoted baseball fan, he expended considerable energy following his team—originally the Cubs, temporarily the Red Sox, and ultimately the Mets—exulting in their victories and anguishing over their defeats.
He was also an aficionado of Jazz, and went on many jazz cruises, where he and Phyllis stayed up into the wee hours listening to music, even through in his late 80s. He formed many lasting friendships on those cruises.
In his final years, he was happiest surrounded by his family, devouring nonfiction and newspapers, and enjoying his meals (a lot).
He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Phyllis; his sons Richard (Judy) and John (Laurie); daughters Cathy (Jim), Janet, and Nancy (Devin – dec.); grandchildren Alisa (Andy), Bill (Anita), Briana, Lily, Jack, Kane, Blaze; and great-grandchildren Sophia, Lydia, Aaron, and Alec.
Services will be held Monday, May 15 at 11 a.m. at Temple Israel. Following the burial, the family will greet people at the Markoff home.
Posted 05/14/17 Permalink