Published: Friday, April 19, 2013 at 8:28 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, April 19, 2013 at 8:28 p.m.
For his 100th birthday, Clifford Markuson took a ride on a speedboat.
A Sebastopol real estate agent remembered for living life to the fullest, Markuson died from heart complications April 2. He was 101.
Markuson was born Aug. 29, 1911, in Gull Lake, Saskatchewan, to parents Albert and Mary Markuson. His father worked both as an auto salesman and farmer. His mother, a homemaker, died during his late childhood years.
In 1929, Markuson moved to Minnesota for college and attended the University of Minnesota. Graduating in 1933 with a degree in business, Markuson returned to Canada. He spent time hiking and working his way across most of the Canadian provinces before returning Saskatchewan.
“He was a goer and a doer,” said daughter Patricia Paulsen of Sebastopol. “He loved life everyday, and couldn't understand why people would sit around in front of the TV.”
While in Saskatchewan, he met Antoinette Vachon and they married in 1940. During World War II, Markuson joined the Canadian Army, serving as a desk sergeant until the end of the war.
Returning to Minnesota, Markuson attended commercial art school and worked for a feed company. He and his wife welcomed two daughters, Patricia and Connie, in 1954 and 1955. Markuson later took a job with Equitable Life Insurance.
“He was such a gentleman and so kind,” said Paulsen. “I never heard him swear in my life.”
In 1968, Markuson decided to move his family from Minnesota to a new state. His insurance job allowed him a choice of transfer to multiple locations. They took a cross-country road trip, visiting Texas, Colorado and New Mexico before landing in Sonoma County.
“He never had a fear of change,” said Paulsen. “If he needed a job change or a city change, he did it.”
The family settled in Sebastopol.
Soon after their arrival, Markuson switched careers and became a real estate agent. He opened his own realty office, Sebastopol Realty, in 1970.
“We would work at his office on the weekends,” said Paulsen.
Markuson lived in Sebastopol until 1992, when he retired to Arizona at the age of 81 to be near some of his cousins. While in Arizona, he enjoyed golfing, hiking and rattlesnake photography.
“He liked snakes and never wanted anyone to harm them,” said daughter Connie McCullough. “He was protective and a great animal lover.”
Markuson returned to Sonoma County in 2008 to be closer to his children and grandchildren. He spent his remaining years as an active resident at The Lodge at Paulin Creek in Santa Rosa.
“He really lived life every day, even at 101,” McCullough said. “He was always looking forward to the next event and wanted to be active. It's something that we all admired.”
Markuson is survived by his daughters, Connie McCullough of Santa Rosa and Patricia Paulsen of Sebastopol; grandchildren Richard McCullough of Santa Rosa, James Nielsen of Florida and Nicole Nielsen of Santa Rosa; along with numerous nieces and nephews.
A private memorial service will be held at the Pleasant Hill Cemetery at a later date.
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