Ethel Kathleen Markan, of Vicksburg passed away on Monday, April 25, 2022 at the age of 72. Ethel was born on March 3, 1950 in Vicksburg. She was the daughter of Robert James and Florence Kathleen (Keener) Isaac. Ethel attended Vicksburg Community Schools and graduated from Vicksburg High School with the Class of 1968. After high school Ethel attended Parsons Business School, now known as Davenport University. She earned her certificate in business in 1969. She also attended various courses related to child care issues and instructional techniques in public education from Kalamazoo Valley Community College.
Ethel loved her community. She was always proud to say she was from Vicksburg. She would frequently relate childhood memories of Vicksburg as a thriving small mill town and farming community filled with working families and independent businesses. She remembered when the local farmers would bring their harvest to town using tractors and wagons. She recalled how they would meet at the local restaurant to drink coffee and discuss their prospects while waiting their turn to sell their crop. For a period of time her parents owned and operated a farm in the Fulton area. She loved helping her mother in the garden and Sunday afternoon visits with other farming families. She would play all afternoon with her friends and later help with their chores. Nobody had much money in those days but they were all honest people rich in friendship and neighborly love.
Her working career started at Simpson Lee Paper Company in Vicksburg. There
Ethel had a special talent for working with young children. After her mother’s untimely death, she was instrumental in raising her younger brother, Norman. She
Ethel’s patience and kindness allowed her to see the good in every child. She worked to bring out the best in each of them. After her own children entered school, she chose to work with elementary school children. She used a positive approach teaching them how to make good decisions, and encouraging them to be successful in school and life. Many of the children she supervised at Sunset Lake Elementary would greet her with a kind word when she later met them in their adult roles in life. In this way, Ethel gave more than she took and left her community a better place for all to live.
Ethel is survived by her husband of 46 years, Ronald; three daughters: Kathleen (Douglas) Klostermann; Kristeen Markan; and Kourtney (Todd) Ellens; five grandchildren: Emily, Ethan, Rozlyn, Adelynn, and Rowan. She is preceded in death by her parents: Kathleen and Robert Isaac; and younger brother, Norman (Debbie) Isaac.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Tuesday, May 3rd at 11am at St. Martin of Tours Catholic Church, with Monsignor Thomas Martin officiating. The family will receive friends at the church beginning at 10 am until the time of the service. A burial will follow at Schoolcraft Cemetery.
While at www.amsfuneralhomes.com please take time to sign Ethel’s guestbook and/or share a memory with the family. The family requests that charitable contributions be made to the American Cancer Society.
The Markan family is being cared for by the Avink, McCowen & Secord Funeral Home, 409 South Main Street, Vicksburg, MI 49097 (269) 649-1697.