Remembering George Marks

A bit of Westport died Thursday.

George Marks Sr. — the former police officer who marched, ramrod straight, in dozens of Memorial Day parades, and then rode with grace and dignity in many more — passed away in Norwalk Hospital. He was 96.

One of his greatest honors came in 2010. He and his son, George Marks Jr. — also a former police officer, who looked like he could have been his father’s brother — served as dual grand marshals of the annual parade.

At the 2010 Memorial Day ceremony (from left): First Selectman Gordon Joseloff, and grand marshals George Marks Jr. and Sr. (though it's hard to tell which is which).

At the 2010 Memorial Day ceremony (from left): First Selectman Gordon Joseloff, and grand marshals George Marks Jr. and Sr. (though it’s hard to tell which is which).

George Marks Sr. was born in Brooklyn. But he moved here with his parents at age 2, so calling him a “native Westporter” is no stretch.

He graduated from Staples High School on Riverside Avenue in 1938, then worked as a pressman for the Westporter Herald. In 1940 — as war loomed — he joined the Merchant Marine as a navigation officer.

His first ship left New York and stopped in Baltimore for refueling. While there, Marks became sick and was hospitalized.

Shortly after leaving port, the ship was hit by a German torpedo. All aboard were killed. Marks served on other ships crossing the Atlantic, loaded with troops and supplies. In 1944 he participated in the D-Day landing at Normandy.

George Marks Sr.

George Marks Sr.

Marks joined the Westport Police Department in 1948. He rose to the rank of lieutenant detective before retiring in 1974. He then joined Westport Bank and Trust as a security officer, continuing his familiar presence in town.

Marks was president of the Westport Fish & Game Club. He also was a life member of Temple Lodge No. 75 AF&AM, a member of the American Legion, an original member of Westport PAL, and a 20-year volunteer at Norwalk Hospital.

Survivors include 2 sons — George Marks Jr., who retired from the police department in 2006, and his wife Jacqueline of Seabrook, South Carolina, and William D. Marks and his wife Sandra of Missoula, Montana — his daughter Sandra M. Marks of Tucson, Arizona; 4 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren.

The family will receive friends tomorrow (Sunday, August 28, 4 to 8 p.m.) in the Harding Funeral Home. Graveside services with full military honors will take place Monday, August 29 (10 a.m.) at Willowbrook Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to Alzheimers Association of Connecticut, 200 Executive Boulevard, Suite 4-B, Southington, CT 06489.

12 responses to “Remembering George Marks

  1. Anthony Palmer

    I heard of George s passing yesterday and was saddened to hear about, it,I would see George at home football games he was almost always the first person in the stands and for away games a ride was always found for him so he could attend. He was a true gentlemen always saying hello before you could . I will miss not seeing him sitting in the middle of the stands just below the pressbox,Staples football will miss a true fan along with the many friends that he made. God Bless George rest in pease my friend.

  2. Charles Taylor

    I remember him as a very fair policeman and good man

  3. Virginia Lewis

    So sorry to hear. I remember George from his time at WB&T,M when I worked there. My condolences to his family.

  4. Linda Dinsmore Tufts

    So sorry to hear of Georges passing. Have so many memories of him and my step-father (Al Brown) through out many many years. From the traffic court in Wspt to him sitting with us and swapping old stories of Westport. My deepest sympathy to his family. Linda Dinsmore Tufts

  5. Michael Calise

    A True Westport Gentleman and public servant we are fortunate for the years he was with us

  6. Roberta Tager

    Sincere condolences from all the Tager family.

  7. Jann Colabella

    A wonderful man and public servant. I’ll miss seeing him around town

  8. Sanrdra Calise Cenatiempo

    Westport lost a good one….We will miss George. His first stop every morning for years and years until he was ill was in our store, Calise’s. (I’m in my 50’s and worked at the store since I was a kid so that’s a long time!!) He loved to come in and tell a few stories or jokes and every summer when the passion flowers bloomed in his yard he would bring one to the store floating in water, how sweet – who does that?! George remembered the important things in life amid all the hustle and bustle of our busy Westport town. He would say hello to everyone in the store – whether he knew them or not to strike a conversation. He genuinely cared about others. Who knows how many lives he brightened by saying that small but powerful word “hello”. So, thanks George….We will remember you for your service to our country and our town, your kind heart, spreading beauty with your flowers and for all the lives you touched by simply saying “hello”. xo

  9. Sorry to hear of George’s passing, growing up I remember him as being a very good friend of my father Dominick.

  10. Maryann Krysiuk Schiff

    Sorry to hear of George’s passing, a wonderful father, friend …. always a smile and very caring to everyone he met. Sandra and I went to Staples High together ….

  11. Helen Ranholm

    I worked with George at Westport Bank and Trust. Every morning he would open the door for all of us with a smile on his face and a jolly greeting. I also remember meeting George at Stop and Shop after we both had retired. I was shopping for groceries and George was getting apples for the deer who came up to his back door looking for their treats. George was a special man and those of us who knew him have had a loss, but have wonderful memories of a really really nice person.

  12. I also have fond memories of George H. Marks, Sr. He was a fixture @ Norwalk Hospital volunteering weekly — wheelchairing patients half his age throughout the hospital. Well into his 80s, he made it a point to check in on a number of elderly, home bound Westporters. Rock solid, loyal and patriotic. He was born to be a Police Officer. My father and George served on the Westport PD together until they each retired 1974-75.