On December 12, 2020, Joseph (Joe) Howard Markt, 58, passed away from COVID-19
Joe was born with Down Syndrome but was blessed with a high intellect and verbal
skills and enjoyed mainstream schooling and a vibrant social life. In his youth he was a
boy scout, participated in the Special Olympics, and played for the West Denison and
Shaker Beverage softball teams. He graduated from Mayfield High School in 1984,
where he was on the wrestling team. He later worked as a service worker at many local
businesses, most notably Menorah Park.
As an adult, Joe stayed active in sports, participating in a bowling league (a 200 game
to his credit), basketball, and putt-putt golf. He was a devoted fan of amateur and
professional sports in Cleveland and beyond, closely following the Browns, Indians, and
Ohio State Buckeyes, and would don his Masters blazer every April for “a tradition
unlike any other.” He was also a WWE aficionado. He loved to read the sports page
from cover-to-cover, taking in and mentally cataloging statistics and players’ and teams’
names to share later.
Joe loved polka music and going to his monthly dance club. Many of his days were
spent happily reading the newspaper and watching TV. He loved the daily weather
forecast and acting as the family’s weatherman….but Tanchak was his guy.
Joe was a close friend to all who met him. He lived for the next holiday or family party,
and really knew how to work a room. If you did not know somebody at a party, Joe
would quickly make an introduction. He was a ladies’ man, always quick to share a
compliment. Joe particularly reveled in telling his brothers’ wives about their former
girlfriends. He was also known for his legendary, oftentimes awkward, toasts at family
gatherings, and no one was spared. He had no filter. He was honest, kind and loving,
gave the greatest hugs, and showed everyone how to be gracefully vulnerable. Friends
would often ask his family members,
“Why can’t more people just be like Joe?”
Born in Cleveland on June 6,1962, Joe was the beloved son of Sandra Lee Crumley of
Lyndhurst, OH and the late Howard J. Markt. He was a loving brother to Timothy (Heidi) Markt
of Mayfield Heights, OH, John (Pamela) Markt of Shaker Heights, OH and Steven (Keri)
Markt of Phoenix, AZ.. He was the uncle of Chris (Lauren) Markt, Sara (Russell) Whitmore, Kyle
(Kim) Markt, Lauren (Aaron) Ybarrondo, Robert (Sarah) Markt, Bill Markt and Anne
Markt. He was also a great uncle to Ansel, Lucinda, Calvin, Taylor, Cameron, and Caroline. Joe
was beloved also by his stepsiblings Lynn Hambleton (Bill), Julie Hambleton (Harry),
Laura Hambleton (John), Tom Hambleton and Lois Markt, his late stepmother.
On this occasion we honor his devoted and loving father and, now 90-year-old mother
Sandra who refused to buckle when institutional and healthcare obstacles
occurred. Thanks also to his many friends - you all openly welcomed Joe into your lives,
and he truly cherished your friendships. Please remember a time Joe touched your life.
Keep that memory.
Thank you to the care community, his devoted doctors, the Lake County Board of DD,
The Waterford Assisted Living Community, and the West Heisley House in Mentor,
where Joe last lived. You have been great resources and advocates for Joe and words
cannot convey our family’s profound gratitude to all of you for his care all these many
Due to public health concerns, a life celebration service for Joe will be scheduled in late
summer of 2021 for family and friends to gather to remember this special life. We ask all
who choose to honor Joe’s life at this time to consider making a financial donation in his
name to The Special Olympics (link attached to this webpage).