Robert Charles Markey Sr., founder and longtime publisher of the “The Town-Crier” in Wellington, died Saturday in Greenacres. Mr. Markey was 80.
“I remember he and my mother pasting up the newspaper on our kitchen counter. He mailed me one of the first editions while I was in college. When I opened that envelope, it was one of the proudest moments of my life,” said his son Robert Markey II, who worked at the paper as a reporter and editor — and eventually, owner — until it was sold in 1998.
A New York native and Korean War veteran, Mr. Markey started at “The Brooklyn Eagle” and “New York World Telegram and Sun” and worked at “The New York Times.” A former advertising executive with “The Palm Beach Post,” Mr. Markey started “The Town-Crier” in 1980. He and his wife Patricia and their three children moved to then-tiny Wellington in 1977.
The newspaper grew as the population boomed in the west-central Palm Beach County. At one time, the newspaper employed about 60 people and published twice a week from its own building, on Thursdays and Saturdays. The company owned its own printing presses in the late 1980s and early ’90s, said Robert Markey II.
Mr. Markey took on many local issues, from building new roads to local school issues to leading the effort to incorporate Wellington, in his weekly column called Stray Thoughts.
One particular issue was the former Fred’s Motel at Lantana Road and State Road 7, a regular stop for drug dealers that was torn down and is now a Target store. Mr. Markey called for readers to demonstrate at the motel to demand action from the Palm Beach County’s Sheriff’s Office.
“The Sheriff’s Office called and asked us to call the meeting off. Then they invited us to cover the drug raids,” Robert Markey II said.
Mr. Markey was predeceased by his wife of 49 years. He is survived by daughter Patricia Bachi (husband Dan), sons Brian Markey (Janice), Bob Markey II (Lynda Eads) and five grandchildren: Daphne Markey, Collin and Devyn Bachi and Hunter and Sydney Markey.
Funeral arrangements are being made through Palms West Funeral Home in Royal Palm Beach. A visitation is set from 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday, (memorial at 5:30), funeral Mass at 11:30 a.m. Monday at St. Therese Catholic Church on Lake Worth Road in Wellington and veteran’s burial immediately afterward at the South Florida National Cemetery on SR 7 south of Wellington. The Markey family requests than in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Hospice of Palm Beach County.