First Responders 07

William "Bill" Harold Markgraf

December 6, 1936 ~ September 10, 2021 (age 84)

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William “Bill” H. Markgraf, 84, of Columbia passed away unexpectedly at home on September 10, 2021.

Family will receive friends from 4:00 – 7:00 p.m., Tuesday, September 14, 2021 at Bach-Yager Funeral Chapel. Funeral Services will be held at 11:00 a.m., Wednesday, September 15, 2021 at St. Andrews Lutheran Church with Pastor David Frerichs officiating.

Bill was born December 6, 1936, in Joliet, Illinois, the son of William and Myrtle Lee Markgraf and they preceded him in death.  Bill was a 1955 graduate of Joliet Township High School.  In 1981, he married Linda D. Koerner in University City, Missouri and she survives. 

From a very young age, Bill loved music.  He started playing the Saxophone and Clarinet in grade school and continued his music through high school. In 1953 his band went to Washington, DC to perform for President Eisenhower’s inauguration.  After graduation he enlisted in the US Air Force and played in an Air Force Band near Detroit.  Bill continued his music by playing in the Columbia Community Band.

When Bill turned 18 he joined the East Joliet Fire Department and continued with the Volunteer Department until the mid 2000s.  Bill earned his AA degree in Fire Science from the College of DuPage and a Bachelor’s Degree in Business and Public Administration as well as a Master’s Degree in Human Learning and Development from Governor’s State University, both in Illinois.  He was the Director of Fire Science and taught fire science programs at Columbia College.  In 1977, Bill served as the Fire Chief at University City, where he served for 11 years.  In 1988, Bill filled the position of Fire Chief of the Columbia MO Fire Department for 23 years, before retiring in 2011, after serving more than 55 years in fire service. Bill was a lifelong member of the International Fire Chief Association.  A past president of the Missouri Valley Fire Chiefs Association and for 50 years he attended the Fire Department Instructor’s Conference(FDIC).

Bill was a active member of the Rotary Club of University City and when coming to Columbia, joined The Rotary Club (Down Town Columbia), where he served as President for one year.

Bill became a member of the Chamber of Commerce Ambassadors in November of 1994.  Bill was recognized as the Ambassador of the Year in 1998.  In the almost 27 years as an Ambassador, Bill earned almost 3,700 ribbon cutting points, the third highest lifetime total in the group's 40+ year history.

He is survived by his four children, Christopher Markgraf (Susan), Jeffrey Markgraf (Anne), Elizabeth “Beth” Markgraf-Grudzinski (Ted) and David Markgraf (Roberta); brother, Richard “Dick” Markgraf (Aura); six grandchildren, Matthew (Asia), Sarah, Scarlet, Sage (Jillian), Stasic and Sasha; four great grandchildren, Griffin, Dimitri, Indy, and Leya.                                                    

Memorials are suggested to the Fire Fighters Memorial Foundation of Missouri or charity of donor’s choice, c/o Bach-Yager Funeral Chapel, 1610 N. Garth Ave., Columbia, MO 65202



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September 14, 2021

4:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Bach-Yager Funeral Chapel
1610 N. Garth Ave
Columbia, MO 65202

Funeral Service
September 15, 2021

11:00 AM
St. Andrew's Lutheran Church
914 West Blvd. South
Columbia, MO 65203

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