Lucile Ruth Markel of Niles, Michigan, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, teacher, traveler, and devout Methodist died peacefully at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, April 8, 2022 at Brentwood of Niles having attained the remarkable age of 96 years. Her family is grateful for the kind and compassionate care provided for 8 years by the staff of Brentwood, and more recently by the staff of Caring Circle Hospice at Home.
She was born on September 3, 1925 in Waukesha, Wisconsin to Frank V. and Elsie (Tanke) Van Alstine, and was graduated from Kenosha (Wisconsin) High School. She continued her education, earning a Bachelors Degree from the National College of Education in Evanston, Illinois (now National Louis University) which was founded to train teachers. She began her teaching career in Wisconsin in the Milwaukee and Kenosha schools. She lived in Elkhart, Indiana for five years prior to coming to Niles in 1954 where she taught in Kindergarten and First grade for twenty years in several of Niles’ elementary schools, retiring in 1982.
Lucile was a member of New Journey United Methodist Church in Niles (formerly Wesley United Methodist Church) since 1954. At Wesley Church she was a longtime member of the United Methodist Women, had taught Sunday School, had been Sunday School Department Superintendent, and when her children were younger she along with her husband were an adult leaders of the Methodist Youth Fellowship. She was a former member of the American Association of University Women, the Niles and Michigan Education Associations, and the Noon Optimist Club ladies’ auxiliary, the “Opti-missus”. She volunteered with the Niles-Buchanan Habitat for Humanity, and the Niles-Buchanan Meals on Wheels.
She enjoyed traveling, had visited all 50 United States, and had toured Europe. She was an accomplished artist, beginning with oil, but finding her passion in watercolor. She maintained gardens for roses and for vegetables, and liked to use the fresh vegetables and canned the surplus.
On August 21, 1948 at the First Presbyterian Church of Kenosha she married Robert S. Markel with whom she celebrated the remarkable Fifty-third anniversary of their wedding, nearly a year prior to his death on August 11, 2002. She was also preceded in death by her parents, Franky and Elsie Van Alstine, and Lucile’s brother, Robert Van Alstine.
Surviving family includes her children, Janet (& David) Kuehn of Fowlerville, Michigan, David (& Janet) Markel of Niles, and Paul (& Mary Jo) Markel of Orlando, Florida; grandchildren Jessica (& François) Torrentz, Christopher Kuehn, Joel Markel, Josilyn Markel (& fiancé Emmanuel Kiegaing), Andrew (& Emma) Markel, Benjamin Markel, and Abigail Markel; great-grandchildren Natalie Torrentz, William Kuehn, and Harrison Kuehn; and many nieces and nephews.
The funeral service for Lucile Markel will be at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, April 14, 2022 at the New Journey United Methodist Church, 302 Cedar Street in Niles with the Rev. Robert L. Snodgrass II of the church officiating. Committal will follow at Mission Hills. The service will be available livestreamed at: https://www.facebook.com/halbritterwickensfuneralservices/ .
The family will receive relatives and friends beginning at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday at the church. Contributions in memory of Lucile may be made to the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR), 458 Ponce de Leon Avenue NE, Suite 1, Atlanta, Georgia, 30308, https://umcmission.org/umcor/ , or to Fernwood Botanical Garden, 13988 Range Line Road, Niles, Michigan, 49120, https://www.fernwoodbotanical.org/ . Arrangements were made at the Halbritter-Wickens Funeral Home, 615 East Main Street in Niles. Online condolences may be left at:
Ninety-six years is a long life, beyond the Biblical “three-score and ten”, and Lucile used those years well, raising her children and teaching many others, helping to provide shelter and meals, and being a part of the church; all fulfilling the command to Love God and Love People.