Michael Maynard Markovits
August 23, 1943 – March 27, 2018
Michael Maynard (Young) Markovits passed away on Tuesday March 27, 2018 in Pensacola, FL, after a long illness. She was 74 years old. Her four children, Jon, Liz, Dianya, and Lara, will miss her fiercely every day, as will her step-children-- Amelia, Mimi, Scott, and Clare, and her ex-husband and best friend (despite what either of them said) Andrew. Her grandchildren, Joe, Ilona, Mara, and Chase, will miss their effusively proud Grandma, who was never hesitant to tell friends and even complete strangers all about them.
The daughter of Robert Leeson Young and Elizabeth Janette Godfrey, Michael was born in Bell, California on August 23, 1943. Her early years in Lynwood, California were filled with loving grandparents and great-grandparents, from whom she received equal parts Quaker gentleness and Viking spirit. She learned about gardening, raising animals, and storytelling from her Grandparents George Joseph & Winifred “Pearl” Godfrey (née Johnson). Her Grandma Alta Marie Young (née Hodson) loved to make clothes for her, resulting in a lifelong love of sewing. She spent hours tinkering with vacuum tubes and wires in the shed with her Grandfather George Beaumont Young, upon whom we can blame not only her packrat ways, but also her insatiable curiosity and keen insight for the world around her. The family always spent Christmas with her Grandma Pearl and her dear Aunts Ella & Lillian, instilling in her a deep sense of tradition and a love for celebrations of all kinds. Grandma Pearl had worked as a Private Investigator in Hollywood and sometimes took Michael along on “stakeouts,” letting her stay up late eating donuts. From this, Michael learned to love great adventures, all sorts of gossip, and any good mystery. Michael also loved spending time with her beloved next door neighbor Tía Elena, as well as the many children her parents fostered throughout her years in Lynwood. Each of these experiences contributed to her becoming a loving, compassionate, and (above all else) open-minded parent to her own children, step-, and grandchildren.
In October 1960, Michael had her first child, Jonathan David Hoopingarner. As a single mom, she relied on the support of her family, her Tía Elena, and her belief in women’s strength and independence. She eventually moved to Big Bear, California, where she worked in banks, waited tables, and earned her nursing degree, securing a position in the emergency room of Lake Arrowhead Hospital. Michael always loved working in the medical field the most, feeling the importance of her contribution in caring for others. After one particularly snowy winter, she’d had enough of the cold and moved with David and her mother Betty to Santa Cruz in order to be closer to her Grandma Pearl and her aunts. She worked at Dominican Hospital, where she met Andrew Markovits, whom she married in 1975. She was always grateful for the four children--Amelia, Mimi, Scott, and Clare--he brought to their family and loved them dearly. They soon added Elizabeth (1975), Dianya (1978), and Lara (1979). In 1979, they moved to Pensacola, FL, where she had lived since. In Pensacola, she worked raising her children and caring for her family, and served many years as a “Navy wife.” In addition to the ongoing adventure of life, her most adventurous tour of duty was Andrew’s station in Cairo, Egypt in 1982, where she moved with three very young children into a one bedroom apartment. She also worked as a travel agent, real estate agent, medical assistant, Wal-Mart sales representative and “Loss Prevention Specialist” (no doubt using skills learned as her Grandma Pearl’s “assistant”). From 1986 - 1992, she and Andrew owned The Travel Store of Pensacola, for which she was also General Manager. It was a perfect fit for her, given how much she loved traveling. When she and Andrew lived in California, they had often flown together in planes he piloted, spending time throughout Mexico and the western U.S. She was never one to shy away from “the road less travelled” (perhaps influenced by her love of the poet, Robert Frost), preferring places like Haiti, Venezuela, and Russia, or camper-vanning across Western Canada or Eastern Europe.
A great beauty herself, Michael always appreciated making the world a more beautiful place to live. She was constantly writing lists of groceries to buy for this or that special dinner or birthday party, happy to host any party any time. Birthday parties for her children were planned long in advance and tailored to the individual, with the right theme and all the special touches that make such gatherings particularly memorable. Her Thanksgiving dinner table was often full of new friends, as she refused to allow anyone she heard was alone to NOT have dinner with her and her family. A lifelong artist, she could draw just about anything and was often painting, usually landscapes. Michael was constantly decorating and redecorating her house, mostly on a shoestring. She had deep faith in the power of a single can of bright paint and new window treatments. Stray animals knew which house in the neighborhood would be most likely to leave out a bowl of food or outright adopt them. Christmas presents were elaborately wrapped, bowed, sprinkled with glitter, and lovingly addressed—whether placed under her tree or shipped across the country. She sewed many of her children’s clothes, from kindergarten jumpers to Halloween and Mardis Gras parade costumes to Givenchy copies for high school dances.
Her friends and family will most immediately miss her sense of humor. Ranging from silliness bordering on the truly absurd to wry, dark humor, Michael was a constant joker with a gift for withering one-liners and clever turns of phrase. In her final months, she spent her time entertaining her care teams and flirting with any handsome guy who came by her room. She regaled her visiting friends and family with sarcasm or laughter throughout her final months, and was lovingly tended to by her children and friends through her passing. Her family would like to extend their deepest appreciation for those who cared for her as her health declined, especially her indefatigable neighbor and best friend Isobel Jacobs, her trusted friend Art Page who enabled her to remain in her home for as long as possible, as well as the staff at Select Specialty Hospital, where she was treated with exceptional care and dignity in her final days.
Michael is survived by her ex-husband, Dr. Andrew “Bandy” Markovits (Retired Captain, US Navy); her son Jonathan David Hoopingarner (and his partner Timothy Hughes; Rockville MD); her daughters Elizabeth Markovits (and her husband Bennett Hazlip; Amherst, MA), Dianya Markovits (St. Augustine, FL), and Lara Markovits (and her husband Jay Cartwright; Chapel Hill, NC); her stepchildren, Amelia Dean (Shasta Lake, CA), Mimi Markovits (and her partner Richard D’Amato; San Jose, CA), Clare Markovits (and her husband, Nick Szluk; San Jose, CA), and Scott Markovits (Tuscon, AZ); and her grandchildren, Chase Bryant (Rockville, MD), Mara Christina Szluk (San Jose, CA), Joseph Markovits Hazlip and Ilona Pearl Markovits Hazlip (Amherst, MA). She also leaves her beloved dog, Jack, who undoubtedly misses her dearly, but has found a loving pack with Lara and Jay and their dogs in NC.
Michael Maynard Markovits
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Julie Law (Faust)
April 3, 2018
My heart is breaking for all of you. From the time I was 4 until I left for college I feel like I was at your house everyday! Your mom treated me like one of her own, she made us laugh, she would roll her eyes at all our shenanigans, and she made sure to let us know when we were out of line too! She was so loving and welcoming even letting me hang out until you’d get home Dianya. I can remember hanging out at the travel agency, helping redecorate your room a million times and so much more. She is part of my childhood memories. I am wrapping my arms around all of you from afar at this time and the months to come. Love you all! ❤️