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WEST LAFAYETTE -- June Markley of West Lafayette recalls how an appendectomy, and a visit to the roller skating rink brought her and her husband, Dan, together almost 60 years ago.
It was 1953, the day after Labor Day, and the first day of school, but June Moore, daughter of Charles and Helen Moore, would be missing that first day and spending it in the Coshocton City Hospital following an attack of appendicitis. About a week later, somewhat sore and stitches still in place following her surgery, June decided she felt well enough to go to the Lake Park roller skating rink with her girlfriends, though she was not able to skate, she planned to just watch and visit with her friends. While sitting at the roller skating rink that evening June noticed a young man about her age, and says she also noted, "He was a very good skater."
Friends later introduced her to him and everything rolled along from there!
Dan Markley, son of Eugene and Ruth Markley of Coshocton, worked at the skating rink in the evenings after school tightening all the roller skates for those coming in to skate (most people wore skates that clamped to their shoes via the use of a roller skating key, shoe skates were not as plentiful, and more costly). Dan recalls his pay for tightening the skates each day was that the owner gave him free admission to skate. Dan enjoyed skating and even received a few awards for some of special skating events that took place at the skating rink.
The Markleys recall that the Lake Park roller skating rink was later closed, and demolished to make way for the construction of the new highway (Route 16-36) in the early 1960s. The skating rink was located where the intersection of Routes 16-36 and County Road, 83 north is located (past Lake Park).
Dan and June continued to date off and on through high school even though they both attended different high schools. Dan later graduated from Coshocton High School with the class of 1955, and June from West Lafayette High School (now Ridgewood) in the class of 1955.
A year after graduation, they set the date for their wedding, but a month to the day before their wedding, Dan suffered a severe burn to his right hand, and forearm following an accidental spill of hot roofing tar. He recalls being unable to use the arm for quite some time and being right handed it was a real problem accomplishing much. He said back then there was very little known treatment for removing hot tar from skin other than with the use of gasoline. He said the doctor was unsure of the extent of damage to his skin and could not risk the use of the gasoline. Eventually the tar cooled and was able to be removed. He recalled that his arm swelled double its size and the pain was so terrific that he required pure morphine to relieve it. He said he required help with many simple, everyday tasks for quite some time afterwards.
On Aug. 26, 1956, Dan and June married at the Main Street Methodist Church in West Lafayette. They both remember how when it came time to drive to their honeymoon destination (Niagara Falls, N.Y.) that Dan was going to need some help in getting there! Since Dan was right handed and still could not use his right arm from the burn injury, they had to devise a way to drive their 1951 standard Chevy. Dan drove with his left hand, and worked the gas pedals, and brakes, while June operated the gear shift.
June said, "It would be so illegal to do that now, but back then people didn't pay much attention."
On May 8, 1958, Dan and June became parents to their first child, Charles Daniel, but their happiness would soon be short lived as the child passed away three days later following complications from a pre-mature birth.
They eventually became parents again to daughter, Joellen, and two sons, David and Timothy. Daughter Joellen is married to Marc Gellart and they reside in Lima. Son, David and wife Darla, reside in West Lafayette, and son, Timothy and wife Kelly, live at Sunbury. The Markleys are grandparents to four grandchildren, Dana, Drew, Kendall, and Kate.
They recall purchasing their home, a 55-acre farm in 1960 at the cost of $6,500.
Dan was employed at Penn Michigan in West Lafayette for many years, and June worked in sales and service at Jones Metal for several years. Even though they were both busy with their jobs, farm, and three children, they both were active in community organizations. Dan found time to serve on the Coshocton County Fair Board for 10 years, and was a member of the West Lafayette Rotary for 38 years. They also both served as local 4-H leaders for 20 years.
Being retired now, the Markley's primary interest these days is their involvement with their church, the First Baptist Church at West Lafayette, and their love of preserving the local history of West Lafayette, and surrounding Coshocton County.
Dan, along with the late realtor/auctioneer, Dale Gress founded the West Lafayette Museum (located in the Gress Realty/Terry Longsworth building on west Main Street in West Lafayette).
The Markleys cite their "secret" to a happy marriage as telling your spouse everyday how much you love them. You help each other, support each other, be a team.