Monday, July 4, 2011

Military Monday - George D. Marks

George David MARKS was born 22 August 1921 to Albert Joseph MARKS and Mary Iretta STICKLE in New Castle, Pennsylvania.  He was the seventh of twelve children.  He grew up in New Castle and was educated there.

George was drafted into World War II on July 7, 1942.  Induction occurred at Erie, Pennsylvania followed by basic training at Sea Girt, New Jersey.  From Sea Girt, the now Private First Class (PFC) Marks was sent to Fort Monmoth, New Jersey where he attended radio signal school.  His next stop was Fort Sam Houston, Texas where he became part of the 117th Radio Signal Intelligence Company.  He was in Texas from October 1942 to March 1943.  Then his company took a train to Fort Dix, New Jersey.

From Staten Island, the young soldier boarded the Santa Elena, a Grace Line ship, and headed across the Atlantic.  Four days later, the ship arrived at Oran, Algeria in North Africa.  In total, PFC Marks spent 32 months overseas.  After North Africa he was in Sicily and Corsica and was in Sarrebourg, France on Christmas Day 1944.  He served in Luneville, France; Darmstadt and Stuttgart, Germany; and Augsburg, Bavaria.  When George left Europe, he boarded a Bardstown Victory ship in Marseille, France and landed on Staten Island, New York where his journey had begun.  PFC Marks was discharged November 10, 1945 at Fort Indiantown Gap, Pennsylvania.

Every Memorial Day is a celebration for George.  Donned in his original Army uniform, he along with members of the community, place the American flag on the graves of military veterans. On Memorial Day 2011, George posed for the photo (above) at Sylvan Cemetery in Citrus Heights, Sacramento County, California.

In November of 1946 George moved to California. In 1949 he met Sharon Loretta ANDERSON at a folk dance class.  They were married March 24, 1950 in Oakland, California.  The couple has two children and two grandchildren.

George attended school to learn to be an aircraft mechanic.  He received $75.00 a month on the GI Bill.  After he married he received an additional $30.00 a month to support a wife!  During this time the veteran had several jobs including driving a truck and working in a nursery with plants.  Later, while attending school in the morning, George worked at the Oakland Airport on swing shift as a tank sealer on DC-4 cargo planes from the Berlin Airlift. For 25 years, before his retirement in 1985, George worked at McClellan Air Force Base as a sheet metal worker.   Occasionally he worked on electric motors, aircraft engines, jets and gasoline engines.

Genealogy has been part of George’s life for many years. He is a charter member of Root Cellar Sacramento Genealogical Society.  Since it was established in 1978, George has participated in many Society activities.  He has served as Bulletin Board Chairperson and faithfully hauled the bulletin board and notices to every meeting.  George is the Society’s “raffle ticket salesman extraordinaire.”  He has sold raffle tickets for every event.  You will always see George with his “raffler’s hat” and lengths of tickets wrapped around his neck.

He has researched his STICKLE, NEWTON and HOUK lines back many generations.  His photographic memory and “computer brain” can recall the exact facts, details and relationships with amazing accuracy!

George loves folk dancing.  He became fascinated with dancing when he was in the Army after seeing an exhibition.  When he came to California he joined the San Leandro Folk Dance Club and then was asked to join the exhibition group.  He participated in the exhibition group for two years.  During the 60’s, George was an officer in his club, Pairs and Spares.  In the 70’s, he was President of the Sacramento Folk Dance Council.  He also was in the Folk Dance Federation of California, North, from 1975-1976.  George has been dancing for over 58 years! George’s other activities include selling various items for the Folk Dance Council such as pencils, t-shirts and tote bags.  He sells buttons for the Camellia Festival each year, and raffle tickets for various groups.  He likes going to “swap meets” and enjoys longs walks where he often finds coins and other objects.

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Posted by Denise Hibsch Richmond

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