Jon Markey, M.D.
(1961 - 2015)
By Thomas Kane, D.O.
Jon and I first met when we started residency together at the Detroit Psychiatric Institute in 1990. I immediately saw that he was a man of integrity with high ethical and family values, who had a genuine interest in psychiatry, as well as caring for and about others. In the words of Marvin Margolis, M.D.: “Jon did well both as a resident and later as a candidate at MPI. He was honest, straightforward, sincere, well respected, always ready to show his work, impressive in his presenting, and always willing to be helpful.”
We continued on as fellow residents, fellow psychiatrists, eventually fellow analysts, and long-term rental partners. I could not have had a more trustworthy and sincere friend. If I requested Jon’s consultation, he was often very helpful, whether it involved a professional or personal issue for me. His example, encouragement, and support played an important role in my eventual pursuit of analytic training, as well as for others.
Jon had a special interest in children, leading him to become Board Certified in Adult, Child, and Adolescent Psychiatry. This led him to seeing children, adolescents, and adults in private practice as well as at the Beaumont Center for Human Development for 12 years. He worked there with a team of developmental pediatricians, psychologists, and social workers, to make the final diagnoses in children with neurological and psychiatric disorders. The staff there described him as a “wonderful, warm, giving person, who did well with kids and families. He was a giver with a great sense of humor and a big smile-just a good guy!”
Jon’s last two years of work were at St. Clair County Community Mental Health. Malachy Browne, M.D., medical director, described him with many of the above noted characteristics, including how he touched the lives of so many with whom he worked and treated. “We witnessed this brave, quiet, gentle soul make time for all whom he served.”
His sense of humor was noted at his MPI Graduation when he described meeting his wife, Barbara. As young undergraduate college students unknown to each other at the time, they were taking the same martial arts class when the instructor put them together to practice sparring. Jon’s words were, “We’ve been sparring ever since.” When they were still undergraduates and dating, Barbara learned of his physical strength and resourcefulness. While canoeing on the Pine River, their canoe was swamped leaving Barbara clinging to a branch up to her neck in deep water. With brute strength, Jon quickly rescued her by getting her to shore, and then got the canoe out of the water and emptied it. He then built a fire to warm them. At that point, Barbara knew he was the one for her. Later they both went on to graduate from medical school at Wayne State University.
Due to his unassuming and modest nature, Jon’s athletic skills were not always apparent. He excelled at cross-country running, swimming, and tennis. He ran the Detroit Free Press Marathon in 1993, won the Beaumont doctors golf scramble at Boyne Mountain in 2007 and 2010, was a Club Champion at the West Bloomfield Sports Club in his age group in 2007, and a Player of the Week at the Jewish Community Center.
Jon’s love and pride in his family was always there. When his children were little and he came home, the first thing he did was interact with them. As previously described to me by Barbara, “When Jon comes home, he is all dad.” This love and pride continued with his frequent descriptions of his children’s successes both in academics and sports activities as they grew. He continued to interact with them until the end. He proudly watched as his son, David, age 19, began attending U of M last fall, where he plays roller hockey. He traveled with his daughter, Grace, age 16 and a junior at Walled Lake Northern High School, to interview at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, CT where she accepted a scholarship to play college D1 Hockey.
Finally, another unassuming and modest but very positive characteristic of Jon’s was his sense of spirituality. St. Hugo of the Hills Parish in Bloomfield Hills was a focal point of his life and his family. He is also buried there.
Jon’s spirit and goodness live on within all of us who knew him well. He is sorely missed by me and many others.
Rest in peace my friend.