My friend and Broadcast Engineering magazine's longest writer, Don Markley, died on Oct. 22 in Peoria, IL. Many longtime Broadcast Engineering readers will recognize Don for his 30-plus years of writing articles in the magazine, many under the column titled “Transmission and Distribution.”
He was widely recognized for his expertise about electronics and especially RF systems for television. He was involved in some of the largest and leading-edge television projects in the country. The Sears Tower was one of them.
Don was a Navy veteran and served aboard the destroyer USS Hyman. Upon completion of his naval career, he attended the Milwaukee School of Engineering and Bradley University where he graduated with both BS and MS degrees in electrical engineering.
In 1964, Don began teaching in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Technology at Bradley University. He continued teaching until establishing his consulting firm D.L. Markley & Associates, which has been in business for more than 40 years.
Don was a member of the AFCCE and the IEEE, where in 1992 he was named Engineer of the Year for the Illinois Valley Section. He belonged to the Bradley University Chiefs Club and numerous honorary organizations and was a registered professional engineer in the state of Illinois. Don was an avid pilot, boater, RVer and supporter of Bradley basketball. He was a ham radio operator with call sign K9WFG.
Don mentored a number of young engineers in the broadcast field throughout his career, including his protégé, Jeremy D. Ruck of Canton, IL.
Socializing and enjoying good wine, whiskey and cigars were some of his favorite pastimes. Don's favorite saying was "Laissez les bons temps rouler." That would be “Let the good times roll” for our French language-challenged readers.
Don Markley was known in these pages for always being able to combine excellent instruction with a clever wit. I remember a photo he provided for an article on lightning protection. Near the end of the article he mentioned how lightning often travels down guy wires. He included a photo showing the legs of a bird that had apparently been sitting on a guy wire at the wrong time. The only thing left were the bird’s pair of stubby legs.
Don was always able to make learning fun. I will miss having Don Markley as a Broadcast Engineering writer. Most of all, I will miss him as my friend.
Memorial contributions can be made to the D.L. Markley Scholarship Fund at South Side Bank in Peoria. Funds will be used to establish a scholarship for electrical engineering students at Bradley University.
Don Markley, K9WFG, Silent Key.