John "Pete" Markey


John W. “Pete” Markey, age 85, of Fargo, passed away at Rosewood on Broadway on Tuesday, June 11, 2013.

Pete joined the love of his life, June Beverly Gronland, on Tuesday, June 11, 2013, having been married to June for 57 years. They were wed on August 22, 1949 at First Lutheran Church in Fargo. John was born to Frank and Ruth (Satter) Markey on November 5, 1927, at Casselton, ND. He grew up in Casselton and attended school there until moving to Fargo with his family where he attended Fargo Central HIgh. Pete enlisted in the Navy and served during World War Two. He was an officer/member of Messiah Lutheran Church for many years, cooked at the Wild Game Feed, the Mother-Daughter Banquets and numerous church events. He served on the Fargo City Commission from 1958 until 1974. He joined Northwestern Bell Telephone Company and worked there for 38 years until retiring. Over the years Pete was a Boy Scout leader for 12 years, a former president of the Communications Workers of America Local 7303, President of the Fargo Blazers Hockey Club, and a member of Teamster Local 116, Fargo American Legion Post 7, Life member Casselton VFW Post 4655, and Telephone Pioneers of America.

He is survived by his daughter, Peggy, Detroit Lakes; his son, Jim (A.J.) Markey, Casselton; his daughter-in-law, Debbie Markey, Fargo; 6 grandchildren, Kristie, Emmy, Brandon, Joseph, Mariah, and Jacob; 9 great-grandchildren, Rhiannon, Belladonna, Byron, Mason, Hallie, Neil, Braden, Madalyn, and Jaxon. He was preceded in death by his wife, his parents, 3 brothers: Albert, Robert, and Frank Jr., 1 sister, Betty, son, John, and grandson, Tim.

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  1. Pete Markey was an amazing person whom all of Fargo will miss dearly. As a neighbor, he was one of the cornerstones of the north side. My family (Art and Irene Johnson and eight kids) had the pleasure of living across the street from Pete and June for many, many years. Beyond being neighbors, Pete and my father worked together at Northwestern Bell and were great friends.

    Pete loved our family as his own, and his caring for us spanned generations. My older siblings saw Pete’s love for youth during their years in hockey and scouting. Many years later, I saw Pete’s caring as he took interest in my twin brother (Shane) and me when we were living on our own. He would check on us, and even give us his amazing ham and bean soup.

    Written on behalf of Art, Irene, Ted, Cindy, Sherry, Dave, Brooks, Sue, and Shane

  2. Pete was a terrific person! I have a special place in my heart for him as he saw something in me knowing that I could make a difference in people’s lives. He was a wonderful mentor and had a great sense of humor. One of his more memorable quotes was at a dinner for Quentin Burdick – the chicken was so small that Pete said LOUDLY, “Must be a Republican chicken!” We still can’t look at a small chicken served without repeating his words! 🙂
    Our thoughts and prayers are with the entire family. We are all blessed having known him.

  3. Centerville GADear Family,

    I join you in mourning the passing of Pete. My thoughts and prayers are with you all. I worked at the phone company for 29 years, a short time with Debby. I know he will be missed.

    Love, Deb

  4. Osage MN
    Deb and Markey family: I guess you already know how much I enjoyed and looked up to Pete. As a new union steward, I looked up to Pete as our local President, and realized soon that he was so very caring and witty. I remember when ever there was a “gathering” of union members for whatever reason, when he would leave he would tell everyone “remember now, everyone call in sick tomorrow”. At first I wasn’t sure if he meant it or not…too funny! He even used to stop out to the Union office when I was local President to give me his advice and encouragement when there were “issues” going on. He was a wonderful person who cared about so many things and so many people. Long live the memory of Pete Markey. R.I.P. my Union brother!

  5. Fargo North Dakota
    “Pete” was a great guy. It’s been many years since I’ve seen him, but I remember always enjoying talking with him when I ran into him on the job many years ago. He was a great Union President also, one of the best.

  6. Bella Vista ARTo The Markey Family:

    John was a great friend during the years I knew him while working for Northwestern Bell back in Fargo. He always had a smile and some cute quip to add. May wonderful memories sustain you during this sad time and may it help to know that others share your grief. My deepest sympathy!

  7. Fargo ND
    North Dakota
    Sorry for the lost of your Dad Jim. He had a long and fruitful life and I’m sure he will be missed by all. Another loss for our “BELL FAMILY” too. Mike Vandrovec

  8. I have a lot of wonderful memories of my Uncle Pete and Aunt June. My Dad Albert was the oldest brother. Robert, Franklin, Betty and then Pete was the baby. My Mom and Dad would go to Fargo in the summer and for a few years we would all get together at a lake resort. I remember that Uncle Pete was always telling jokes and told me that the Markey’s were part Gypsies and I believed him(for a few years anyway). He also told me that sunflower seeds were Russian peanuts. Uncle Pete had a great sense of humor. He never took himself too seriously and loved life. Great times with my cousins John, Peg and Jim. John was a great guy. The cool cousin. I looked up to him like a big brother. Jim and I would spend countless hours playing Baseball in the backyard or at the park. Peg and I would always hang out and try not to get into too much trouble (or at least not get caught!) I am sorry to hear about Uncle Pete’s passing. He’s the last of that great generation. We’ll miss him!

  9. Watertown SDAs kids, we a liked going to Pete and June’s house for Markey gatherings…. there was always plenty of family, fun, and food! Will see you on Monday….

  10. FARGO ND
    Pete and my father Edwin Anderson (former Chief of Police) knew each other for many years. Pete and my Dad were at Rosewood on Broadway together for a period of time, until my Dad’s passing. The years mellowed both of them and they had some wonderful stories to tell. Pete will be missed.

    With God’s Love,
    Frank Anderson

  11. Our thoughts & Prayers are with you all Peg & Jimmy. I have lots of fond memories of times with Pete & June love to you, Randi Mark & family

  12. Chanhassen MN
    I am sorry to hear of Pete’s passing. I have many great memories of him…such a funny guy. When I lived in Fargo, he had this uncanny ability to track me down wherever I was working and then bring me all kinds of homemade canned goods…chicken soup and pickles most of the time. I loved it! He will be missed. Thinking of all of you.

  13. Casselton ND
    The loss of Papa Pete is a great loss for the Markey Family. He so enjoyed the fun times he had with all his grandchildren and great grandchildren. There was always a sparkle in his eye and a smile on his face when he was around his family. The Markey Family requests that if you have a funny story or a fond memory about Papa Pete that you write it down and give it to the family or you post it on his guestbook. Thanks!

    Jim & AJ Markey and Family

  14. Strawberry Lake MN
    I have so many good memories of Pete and June while growing up in the Washington/McKinley neighborhood. We used to tune into the City Commission meetings on the radio just to hear the latest from Pete! The best memories revolved around Pete’s support of the Fargo hockey programs from grade school on through the Blazers. Pete and June raised a great family and made tremendous contributions to the Fargo community over the years. I know that our family was blessed to have known them.

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