Mill Valley mourns the loss of native son, Markham Johnson, who passed away unexpectedly while on vacation with his family. Loving father, husband and friend—Markham was incredibly dear to so many of us. So to honor his memory, we have committed ourselves to building a college fund for his only daughter Lucille, 9.
Above all else, Markham was a doting father. Friends recall how he once made play crutches for Lucille from scratch, after she came home from school, curious about another child who had broken her leg. And despite teachers’ warnings, Markham couldn’t help but bring Lucille’s forgotten homework to her at school. He was also always the one to show up in the middle of the night at friends’ houses when Lucille decided she wasn’t ready for a sleepover after all.
But Lucille wasn’t the only recipient of Markham’s warmth and caring. Parents knew Markham, who was a fixture at Tam Valley Elementary, as a dedicated school volunteer and deeply involved parent. In helping Lucille with the school science fair, he would watch dozens of videos of science experiments with Lucille, carefully considering the different options and then eagerly purchasing all of the materials to make for a fantastic display. Markham always wore a warm and welcoming smile and had a particular talent for understanding and engaging with children.
Markham’s friends also attest to his deep and unwavering love for Claire, his wife of 13 years. Claire and Markham met while traveling for Backroads, fell madly in love, married and built a life that centered around Lucille. Aficionados of great art and fine food, they dreamed of someday moving to the south of France.
In addition to being an avid cyclist and world traveler, Markham was also an innovative artist and photographer and he was committed to sharing this passion with family and friends. Markham founded a local culture club to promote the creation of art and music, and he frequently treated friends and their families to personalized tours of the De Young Museum, where his immense knowledge and sincere passion were both educational and infectious.
Raised in Mill Valley, Markham was a well-loved member of the community and lifelong friend of many. We are heartbroken by his sudden passing.
Inspired and touched by Markham, his remarkable dedication to his wife and child and his passion for beauty and creativity, we have created a college fund for Lucille so that she might have every opportunity to pursue her dreams. Donations to this fund will go directly to Lucille’s college savings plan.