Willard “Bill” Markham of Caro, age 80, passed away on Monday, May 16, 2022, at the Tuscola County Medical Care Community in Caro. Bill was born May 2, 1942, in Grand Rapids, and was raised by his mother and stepfather, Lucille (Maciejewski) & Ed Kreger. He was raised in Grand Rapids where he graduated from high school and excelled in swimming. Following graduation, he worked as an attendant at Mary Free Bed Rehabilitation Hospital in Grand Rapids where he met the love of his life and future bride, Janet Light. The couple was united in marriage on September 4, 1965, in Vassar and cherished more than fifty-six years together. Bill and Janet lived for a brief time in Ann Arbor and Vassar before making Caro their home in 1966. Bill spent the majority of his career serving as a supervisor at the Caro and Lapeer Regional Centers. While there, he continued his education at Saginaw Valley State University and the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, earning his Master of Social Work degree on December 21, 1984. Bill later used his professional skills as a therapist with Catholic Family Services. Deeply proud of his Native American heritage, his final position was with the Ottawa Tribe in Grand Rapids as a program director. Bill was a naturally curious person and avid reader. He believed anything could be accomplished with a little research and proved his point by studying carpentry when an addition to their home was needed to accommodate their growing family. Bill was a superb cook and gracious entertainer. Quiet times were often spent playing Scrabble with Janet, fishing, and gardening.
Left to cherish Bill’s memory are four children and their spouses, Willard William Markham, Jr. of Alpena, Peter Thomas & Lory Markham of Richmond, Virginia, Paul Edward & Cheryl Markham of Pensacola, Florida, Susan Cecilia & Michael Hogan of Spruce, and nine grandchildren. In addition to his parents, Bill was preceded in death by an infant daughter, Sara, and son, John Edward Markham.
A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, May 21, 2022, at St. Christopher Parish, Sacred Heart Church in Caro. Bill’s family will be present to receive friends at the church on Saturday from 10:00 a.m. until the time of the service at 11:00 a.m. Those planning an expression of sympathy are asked to consider memorial contributions to the Markham Family Discretionary Fund, c/o Janet Markham, 205 West Sherman Street, Caro, MI 48723. The family was assisted with these arrangements by the Ransford Collon Funeral Home of Caro. Friends may share memories, thoughts, and prayers online at www.RansfordCollon.com.