SUBMITTED BY SAM CHANDLER
Military veteran Bill Markert celebrated his 100th birthday last Friday surrounded by family, friends and neighbors.
As part of the neighborhood picnic in the Town N Country Subdivision, neighbors marked the milestone. About 13 veterans live in the subdivision, according to Sam Chandler.
The Markert family donated a sweetgum tree in his honor.
In 1941 after he graduated from duPont Manual High School in Louisville, Markert snagged a job at Naval Ordinance and worked there until the age of 19. He worked as a head assembler for the tubes used to fit on the decks of destroyers for above water torpedoes for the Navy.
Born in 1923, his parents were Anna, originally from Switzerland, and William Markert, from Germany.
From age 12, he delivered papers for the Courier Journal until he graduated high school. While at Manual, Markert played trumpet in the marching band.
Markert was sent to Camp Hood, now known as Fort Hood in Texas, for basic training when he was drafted.
He was ready to go to North Africa but was held over in quarantine because one of the men in his unit fell ill with spinal meningitis.
He was then transferred to the replacement center for training in the anti-tank company.
It was here that he was given an intensive 4-hour exam and was selected for the Army Specialized Training Program at Lafayette College in Easton, Pa. Here, he studied mechanical engineering.
From Lafayette, Markert deployed to the 84th infantry division, then transferred to the 192nd Army signal repair unit.
Markert served in England, France, Germany, Holland and Belgium and repaired technical equipment for 18 months until World War II was over. He then entered the Army of occupation supervising German soldiers on work detail until he was discharged in April 1946.
In September 1946, he enrolled at the University of Kentucky and graduated in three years due to credits he earned in Pennsylvania, and he earned a degree in mechanical engineering in 1949. He developed special metals and designed parts for many government specialized projects.
He worked at Smuths as a printing press designer until 1952. He worked as a designer engineer at Tube Turns and was in charge of nuclear components for submarines.
In 1967 Markert moved the family to Princeton, Ky. and worked with Grinnell as an engineering manager, where he designed parts for the Alaska pipeline.
He returned to Tube Turns as engineering manager until the company was sold to a foreign manufacturer, then he consulted on engineering projects. The last large project he developed was for oil recovery pars for Halliburton, used in under sea oil wells.
He retired in May 1988.
Markert loves sports, especially his alma mater, UK, and used to play golf and bowled. He belongs to First Baptist Church.
His wife is Marianne and they have two daughters, three grandchildren and six great grandchildren.