Gene L. Markley
WAUNAKEE-Gene L. Markley (affectionately know as “Pete Ramble”, the Mountain Man), age 82, of Waunakee (formerly Orangevale, CA) passed away peacefully on Monday, March 27, 2017, at Waunakee Manor with his brother and nephew by his side.
He was born on May 25, 1934, to Conrad and Dorothea (Hardy) Markley on Hawkins Creek in Richland County. Gene had fond memories of roaming and exploring the rugged hills and valleys of beautiful Richland County. Gene attended and graduated from Richland Center High School. In high school, being very athletic, he enjoyed football, track, and boxing. His proudest accomplishment was having twice earned the Gold Glove and Fightingest Fighter Awards. In 1952, Gene joined the U.S. Marine Corps and served three years with the U.S. Fleet Marine Force stationed in the Far East during the Korean Conflict. He was discharged with the rank of Sergeant in 1955. After the Corps, he went to Sierra College in Auburn, CA and then onto UW-Stevens Point where he received his BS Degree in Conservation/Forestry. He then moved back to California where he worked in the US Forest Service in Northern California for five years many of which were fighting forest fires. He went back to school and worked for Placer County, CA in Social Service for over 30 years. Gene was a lover of the outdoors, Mother nature, and the wilderness. He climbed large scale mountains all over the world and participated in leading hundreds of trips into the Sierra Nevada mountains and in high deserts of the Southwest, first with the Sierra Club and then with Adult Education where he taught the history of gold mining camps and Native American culture. He started the sport of “gorge scrambling” into the wild and remote river canons of the Northern Sierras. Gene was a lecturer, author of several books, and historian of the West. Gene is listed in the 6th edition of the 5,000 Personalities of the World and in the 13th edition of Who’s Who of America.
Gene was preceded in death by his father, mother, and sister, Darlene. He is survived by two brothers, Conrad (Genevieve) Markley and Homer, Jr. (Sandy) Frye; nephews, Steven Markley and Brandon Frye; nieces, Sheri Berg, Connie Starch, Susan Sainsbury, Bethine Wetzel, and Rose Putrow; and many other family and countless friends.
Gene’s family would like to extend their sincere appreciation to the entire staff at Waunakee Manor and for the comforting assistance provided by Agrace Hospice.
A celebration of Gene’s life will be held at a later date at the Richland County Cemetery in Wisconsin and in the Sierra Mountain of Northern California. Gene was a mentor to many and a legend to all. He will be deeply missed, but never forgotten.
Winn-Cress Funeral and Cremation Service
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