Chilton Pharmacist Memorialized with Honorary Gift by Chilton Medical Center Foundation
November 18, 2015, Pompton Plains, NJ - Family often brings the greatest joys in life. That may be why the late Walter A. Markley II is keenly remembered for his radiant, charismatic smile. He probably considered himself the luckiest man in the world.
Because this longtime pharmacist and Morris County resident didn’t have just one family to cherish. He had two.
In addition to his beloved wife, Diane, his three sons and five grandchildren, Walter found a second family at Chilton Medical Center, where he worked the Pharmacy’s evening shift for 30 years. By all accounts, he was deeply devoted to the hospital, his patients and colleagues – often regarded as a friend and mentor. So it seems only fitting that the Markley family chose to honor Walter’s generous heart with a generous donation to the new Children’s Center at Chilton.
“My father’s death was a shock to all of us, but our family takes great comfort in supporting the charity he cared about most,” asserted his eldest son, Brian Markley. “He loved Chilton and he loved kids, so I’m certain he would be very proud.”
Raised in Dumont, New Jersey, Walter Markley discovered his passion for health care at an early age. In fact, his professional pursuits emerged as a teenager, when he was hired by a local pharmacy to deliver medication to area residents.
According to one of his co-workers, the high school job inspired Walter’s “calling,” leading him to Rutgers University where he earned his registered pharmacist certification in 1974. After beginning his career in Newark, Walter secured a part-time position at Chilton – and worked two jobs until the perfect opportunity came along in 1983. That’s when he stepped into a full-time role at Chilton, operating the Pharmacy at night so he could be with his children during the day.
“He was a great dad,” said Brian. “He worked a lot, but moved our family to Pompton Plains so he could spend his dinner hour at home.”
At Chilton, Walter quickly earned the respect and admiration of his peers, who describe him as diligent, meticulous and kind. “He knew everyone at the hospital, from the surgeons to the custodians,” noted Brian. At one time, people referred to him as the “Mayor of Chilton,” because Walter established relationships with all of his colleagues and many patients, too.
“He was a guy who really enjoyed meeting people, getting to know them and caring about them,” his son added. “That’s what made him an exceptional pharmacist, and part of the fabric of the institution.”
As a testament to his work ethic and accomplishments, Walter was named Chilton Medical Center’s very first “Employee of the Year” in 2002. His children would beam with pride when they visited their father at work, and saw Walter’s picture hanging on the wall.
According to his son, Dr. Jonathan Markley, the young men viewed him as a tremendous role model who led by example – and taught them to make a difference in the world. One of Walter’s sons became an attorney and two practice medicine, proudly perpetuating their father’s legacy. In fact, you can often find Dr. Daniel Markley in Chilton’s Critical Care Unit, healing patients and compassionately helping those in need. Just like his Dad.
While his life on earth has passed, Walter Markley will have an everlasting presence at Chilton Medical Center – through the stories and memories shared by his co-workers, a new generation of Markley physicians, and the countless lives he touched over the course of his 66 years. In recognition of the Markleys’ philanthropic generosity and Walter’s inspiring service, the Chilton Pharmacy has been named in his honor.
“Walter would have loved it,” stated Chilton pharmacist Sushil Jain. “This was Walter’s second home, and he was part of our family.”