Weldon Markham

Weldon R. Markham passed away peacefully Thursday, Nov. 7, 2013, surrounded by his loving family. He was born May 15, 1934, in Montgomery, Ala. He was of the Baptist faith. The Markham family moved to Chattanooga in 1951. He and his identical twin brother, Wilbourne, are 1952 graduates of Central High School. He received his bachelors degree from Carson-Newman College in 1962 where he majored in political science and minored in sociology. He volunteered for the United States Air Force in 1953. He was a Korean War Veteran, having served on Okinawa in the 372nd Bomb Squadron of the 307th Bomb Wing. He remained in the active reserves and was called back to active duty in 1990 during the First Gulf War, serving as the NCOIC of the OBGYN Surgical Clinic at England AFB Hospital in Louisiana. He retired after 40 years of service. When he returned from college, he served as a visiting teacher (truant officer) for the Chattanooga School System. He then worked with his friend Dalton Roberts in the Neighborhood Youth Corps. After brief employment in Houston, Texas, as the director of the Foster Grandparents Program sponsored by Houston Protestant Charities, he was employed with the Hamilton County School System developing community outreach programs. He retired from the city of Chattanooga after 25 years of service. At the time of his retirement he was director of City-Wide Services. Prior to this he served as the administrative assistant to the late Commissioner Steve Conrad and later was an aide to the late Commissioner Paul Clark. Weldon was "a lifelong, proud, unabashed liberal yellow-dog Democrat." He always said his political philosophy was grounded in the teachings of the Christ of the New Testament. He believed the Beatitudes and the Sermon on the Mount was paramount in the driving force behind this philosophy. He was president of the Young Democratic Club of Hamilton County in 1965, and was elected to two four-year terms on the Tennessee Democratic Executive Committee representing the 10th Senatorial District. He was a John Kerry delegate to the 2004 Democratic National Convention in Boston. Weldon was an avid supporter of Tennessee football. He loved Rocky Top and wore Big Orange colors almost everyday. A close second was his love for the San Francisco 49ers. He was preceded in death by his parents, Clyde Leslie Markham Sr. and Leona Pearl Sturdivant Markham; and a sister, Dorothy Nell "Dot" Welton. He is survived by a family he loved without measure: one son, four daughters, and 13 grandchildren: son, Weldon R. (Tracy) Markham Jr.; daughters, Cheri Markham-Couter (Bob), Leslie Markham (Greg) Phillips, Michelle Markham Mann and Beth Markham (Tom) Herring. His grandchildren are: William Weldon Markham Couter, John Christian Markham Couter, David Theron Markham Couter; Weldon R. (Tres) Markham III, William Reed Markham and Robert Christian Markham; Matthew Gregory Phillips; Joel Alexander Phillips; Chelsea Irene Markham Lyle, Chloe Michaela Lyle, Sophia Rose Lyle; Brock Markham Herring and Ian Carter Herring. His loving siblings include: sister, Marjorie Pearl Markham Duncombe, of Paradise, Calif.; brothers, C. Leslie Markham Jr., of Chattanooga, Leonard E. (Nancy) Markham, of Brentwood, Tenn., Wilbourne C. (Delores) Markham Sr., of Signal Mountain, and a dear family friend, John E. Stewart; plus a host of nieces and nephews. Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. today, Nov. 9, at Lane Funeral Home, 601 Ashland Terrace with Chaplain Leonard E. Markham and the Rev. and Honorable Sam Payne officiating. Burial with full military honors will follow at Chattanooga National Cemetery at 2:30 p.m. The family will receive friends one hour before the service today at the funeral home. Condolences may be sent to www.lanefh.com. Arrangements by Lane Funeral Home 601 Ashland Terrace, 877-3524.

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