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1932 Phil 2024

Phil Markert

January 14, 1932 — May 29, 2024

Syracuse

Philip John Markert died unexpectedly at his home in Syracuse on Wednesday, May 29th at the age of 92. Born near Boston, Phil spent most of his life in the Syracuse area. He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean conflict. Upon completion of his military service, he attended Lemoyne College and received his Master’s in Radio and Television from Syracuse University.

 

A natural-born entertainer, Phil’s creativity touched audiences young and old from his first broadcast to the end of his over 50-year career. His television career began in Elmira, NY, bringing him through Rockford, IL, and back to his hometown of Syracuse where he was instrumental in putting the first ABC affiliate in Central New York on the air. Indeed, he spoke the very first words heard on that station, WNYSTV, when it launched in 1962. From that moment on, Phil contributed many years of creativity as a news anchor, producing, writing, and hosting many programs including a daily variety show called, “The Markert Place.”

 

Phil then became a radio morning personality. He first brought his quick wit and spontaneous humor to Ft. Lauderdale before returning to Syracuse to host a unique morning show on WHEN-AM – Markert in the Morning. His show, which included live piano from the studio and a cast of crazy characters, quickly became the number-one morning show in Central New York, giving kids the option to “Buy it or Bag it” as he sang the school lunch menu every morning. His career also took him to other markets including Dallas, TX, Binghamton, NY, and Columbia, SC. Twice, however, he was drawn back to his hometown to host morning shows on WNDR and WTLA. Markert received the Syracuse Area Music Awards (SAMMYS) lifetime achievement award in 2006.

 

His creativity was not limited to broadcasting – he was known for his talented piano-playing, and songwriting, and even for appearing in the well-known films, David Lynch’s “Blue Velvet” and “Marie: A True Story” with Sissy Spacek, and performed in many local stage productions over five decades. 

 

The family is very grateful for the exceptional care that Phil received from the Syracuse VA, with special thanks to the Home-Based Primary Care program. 

 

His proudest and most cherished role, of course, was the role he played as husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, and uncle. He is survived by his wife, Deborah Dye Markert; children, Commander Philip J. (Patricia) Markert (USNR ret.), Amy Markert-Shaw, David W. (Dorothy) Markert, Joy (Jay) Markert-Hoxie, and Caroline (Sean) Garner and predeceased by son, Richard Donahue Markert, parents, Leonard P. and Genevieve Markert, and brothers, Leonard P. Markert Jr., and Edward C. Markert. Also survived by grandchildren, Ry Wilson, Noah Wilson, Seth Wilson, Kimberly Hucko, David Markert Jr., Shannon Hoxie, Catherine Shaw-Levine, Christopher Shaw, Dana Markert, Alexandria Hoxie, Delaney Markert, Christina Slawson, Weston Garner, and Emerson Garner; and 14 great-grandchildren along with many nieces and nephews.

 

As a proud 1949 graduate of Christian Brothers Academy, donations in Phil’s memory may be sent to CBA’s Performing Arts Program at www.cbasyracuse.org or via mail to:

Christian Brothers Academy, 6245 Randall Rd. Syracuse, NY 13214. Please leave memories and condolences on Syracuse.com/obits.

 

Calling hours will be held at Burns-Garfield Funeral Home on Sunday, June 9th from 3 to 5 pm. 

 

Funeral service will be held at Holy Cross Church, Dewitt, NY on Monday, June 10th at 11 am. 

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Phil Markert, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Sunday, June 9, 2024

3:00 - 5:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Mass

Monday, June 10, 2024

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

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