Thank you for all you did for Chattanooga.
You will always be an important part of this city.
It would not be the same unique and wonderful place it is without your work. I send gratitude and respect.
I want to say how much I appreciate Mr. Bill M made on our precious Chattanooga Community. I grew up watching Mr. Bill M on the news . He had such a influential voice. He had a way about him to bring the news in a most purposeful way . I am now reflecting on his contribution to the Chattanooga community .I want to thank you for investing in my community. I want to thank you for investing in me I am eternally grateful. I am now an adult. Your influence has been apart of who I am. I appreciate your kind heart. I appreciate your hard work . I appreciate your commitment to my community . I am now a successful hospice administrator in Chattanooga. My hope is that you and your family have the comfort and support of hospice. This is the most difficult journey you and your family will ever endure. My prayer is that you have peace and comfort. You have touched many lives and I hope you and your family know how you changed Chattanooga. Me and my family love you and your family . We are here with your family as you continue to live your internal life . This is not goodbye. This is see you later, sir. Thank you for your works on this Earth .God Bless!
Uncle Bill, even though we only spent about 9 months living in the same city, you have had such a lasting impact on my life. You took me in and treated me like your own daughter. I have so many fond memories of that year I spent living with you and Aunt Gail. I fell in love with Chattanooga and I got to know you two so well and that means the world to me. Oh man, where do I start with the memories! I remember that one time you took Jessica and I up to Lookout mountain just to see the view and then out of the blue you took us hang gliding! That was one of the funnest days of my life! You took me camping in your RV, to Pigion Forge, and you took me to meet Pat Boone. You sold me my very first car! Oh how I loved that green hatchback Subaru and it served our family well for so many years. I still remember how when I started my relationship with Tyler - YOU were the one that gave him the nick name “Mr. Wonderul”! haha and we called him that for years. You came to my wedding half way across the country and gave such a lovely speech. How I wish I could have spent many more years living with (or at least near) you two. I will never forget the love and generosity you poured out for me. I love you, Uncle Bill!
I am so heartbroken for Bill and Gail.
We like everyone else watched Bill every night on the news. We were even featured on Crime Stoppers after our car was broken into. The bad guy was captured almost immediately.
And then we were fortunate enough to take 4 trips with Bill and Gail on trips co-sponsored by WRCB and Holiday Vacations. Bill and Gail are both great people - nice and very friendly - just real, everyday folks.
Heard some great stories from Bill - about opening a hotel door in New Orleans and coming face to face with Paul McCartney. And how he was able to help Pat Sajak get his first TV job in Nashville.
After out last trip with Bill to Alaska in 2014 - we were disappointed when there wasn't any more planned. Now we know why.
All our prayers and thoughts go out to Bill, Gail and family.
Tim and Tana Lawson
I was born and raised in Chattanooga and we are a WRCB family. I was bitten by the news bug early in life and thought Bill and Cindy were the best ever! When I was around 10 years old, my mom and I saw Bill at a Krystal restaurant in Hixson. My mom didn’t recognize him immediately but I did and refused to show my face. She explained why I was acting shy and he bent down to my level to say hi. He then retrieved one of the paper mats they put on trays and autographed it for me.
I’m 41 now and a producer at NewsChannel 5 in Nashville. I still have the paper he signed for me. He wrote, “Follow you dreams in the TV business. We would love to have you.”
I did follow my dreams and I’ll never forget he took the time to encourage a little girl!
I owe my success in this business to my friend Bill. I’ll share two stories. First, the funny one. It was my first week at WRCB and we were in the afternoon editorial meeting. I crossed my legs and my knee cap hit the table, right in that spot that hurts like heck. Without thinking, I dropped and F bomb. I immediately apologized to the group and Bill, in his typical Bill fashion, smiled. His nostrils flared (anyone who knows Bill knows this means his impish side is unleashing) and he said, “No need to apologize. I love a woman who will drop the F bomb.” We became fast friends. My second fav story shows Bill’s heart. My father had just died and I missed more than a week of work. I was still new and hadn’t built any leave. I missed a week of pay and was worried about making ends meet. Came into work one day and there was a card in my mailbox containing a 100 dollar bill and the kindest note from Bill. I will always remember Bill as being generous with everything - his time, his knowledge and his money. I love you, dear friend. Hang in there!
Working in the p.r. field locally I first got to know Bill professionally, but it took a personal turn when my oldest son latched on to the WRCB news team as his idols. As the years went by it was pretty obvious that he wasn't going to shake his passion for broadcast journalism, and Bill Markham took a genuine interest in this young person. I am so happy that not only was my son mentored well, but he gained a dear friend in the process. That friendship was sparked in 1999, and today Dan is an anchor himself. I know there will not be a day that he sits in anchor chair or does his reporting and not think of you, Bill. I will forever be grateful for your presence in our lives, and the gift you gave that little 8-year-old boy who wanted to be like you when he grew up. You have touched many lives, I was just lucky to see one of them firsthand. Love and Prayers for you and your family & WRCB family, Barbara
I would always see Bill in the drug store and he always had that beautiful smile on his face. Thank you Bill for your years as a news anchor. I loved watching you because you were easy on the eyes. Prayers for you!
I had the great pleasure of working with Bill at WRCB in the mid-80’s. I was just starting my career in television news as a kid still in college. Bill took me under his wing and gave me great advice. He also gave me clothes he no longer needed. I was the only kid at UTC that looked like a TV anchorman. I still have a pair of Tony Lama cowboy boots that he gave me. Only now with holes in the bottom since I’ve worn them so many years. Bill is the man that gave me my nickname in the 80’s, Skooter. He saw a car with Skooter written on the side and decided that Michael would now be called Skooter. I was not asked if I liked it. I was told that’s who I was. That was 1985 and I am now 54. Most people only know me as Skooter to this day. I will always be Skooter and thank Bill Markham for that. We had so many laughs working together. I could go on forever talking about what a great friend he was to me and so many others. Bill will be greatly missed by so many that knew him on television and in life. RIP Bill. Love, Skooter with a “K”.
I worked with Bill for more than 20 years, always "backstage" with my Engineering crew, aided by WRCB Production workers setting up one broadcast venue or another. We did Children's Miracle Network for several years and labored for the Muscular Dystrophy Association and Jerry's Kids. And for many years it was Riverbend and even longer, Share Your Christmas, my favorite.
Of course many others were talent on these programs, and some of them thanked us for our service, but Bill early on sought me out and thanked me and my crew for "making us look good." I laughed and told him that he and all the others were pros and always looked good.
At the end of every big remote broadcast, as we were putting all the equipment back in the trucks, Bill would come find me and say "Well, Ace, we did it again. Whats is this eighteen, nineteen? Thanks, Ace." I worked in television 46 years and I met a lot of people. Bill Markham was the Real Deal.
Grew up watching Bill Markham on the news ❤ I remember when my sister was the Junior Weather Forcaster (back in 1990ish?), we were allowed to sit in the studio and watch part of the newscast. The anchors were Bill Markham and Cindy Sexton. I remember Bill had on his button down shirt, tie and suit jacket with his Hawaiian print shorts 😂😂 I laughed about that for months! You never see the anchors from the waist down and it was the middle of summer, so why not!? Love that there are so many fond memories of this man. He was so kind to my family during our visit. Praying for you during this difficult time.
I grew up in Scottsboro, Alabama watching WRCB-TV and Bill Markham and Cindy Sexton. I later learned they anchored at another favorite station, WHNT-TV in Huntsville, Alabama.
I wanted to grow up and anchor news, but I found broadcast meteorology as my passion as well. Maybe sometime I can do both, anchor news and weather.
I loved the most his example of serving the community. How Crimestoppers and the various telethons and fundraisers would help others.
I already miss him, and he's not been gone a day yet.
I had the privilege of working with Bill on two of the annual convention and visitors bureau satire videos. One required Bill and Cindy Sexton to don futuristic costumes to depict news anchors from the 22nd century. The shiny silver, one-piece, step-in outfits had a high neckline, but were cut to the waist in back to make them easier to pull on. Bill came out of the dressing room with the costume on backwards, so the front was now cut to his navel. There was considerable hilarity, and Bill sheepishly asked if he should go change. We all agreed that it would be a great character touch to have him wear it as it was. So the video went from PG to PG-13. Bill was such a unique combination of elfish good humor and anchor-worthy gravitas. It's probably why he was such a trusted newsman and such an accessible friend. Barbara has already weighed in what he meant to our family with his support of our son Dan's early obsession to grow up as a news anchor. For that we will always be personally grateful, but to be sure, he was a community treasure.
My thoughts and prayers are with the Markham family and friends. I had the pleasure working with Bill Markham in 2001-2002 when I was a Production Assistant Studio Camera Operator at WRCB-3. He was a great anchor and person and I have several great memories of things that Bill did when getting ready for a newscast. Bill will be missed by many as he made an impact on many peoples lives in the Tennessee Valley.
Bill was the nicest and most genuine news person that I ever spoke to, and I have spoke to many. Bill Markham and Cindy Sexton were, without question, the best news anchor team in Chattanooga's history.
Many good/fond memories, but one I still remember well is when Bill once said that when growing up in Alabama, he had Spam (meat) for dinner so often that he vowed, once grown, to NEVER eat that stuff again as long as he lived. I too grew up eating Spam as the meat in many dinners, however I , unlike Bill, still enjoy it occasionally.
Thank you Bill for being the Southern gentleman that you were, and for providing the best delivery of the news in Chattanooga for more than 30 years. You were the best!
Steve and Debbie Atcheson
I posted this on Facebook, but thought it appropriate to share it here as well.
Bill Markham is a legendary Chattanooga TV news anchor with whom I had the pleasure to work for almost four years at WRCB Channel 3 Eyewitness News. He gifted my newlywed wife and me with his timeshare condo in Gatlinburg for a week for our honeymoon and charged me for less than one night there. It was magnificent. He took me under his wing when I first moved to Chattanooga, showed me where to get clothes, a good haircut. We went fishing. He loved Nascar, Alabama football and Baltimore, especially the Colts. I'll never forget him introducing me to Alex Hawkins, one of his friends from the Johnny Unitas' era teams. One of the ironic things about this situation is that Bill worked for years as an emcee for the Jerry Lewis MDA Telethon, and now he's battling ALS. I loved going to Vegas with him for those meetings and watching him in action. He loved life, was always full of fun and mischief. He had the greatest laugh. I love Bill Markham and am praying for his family and friends, and hope you will too. I know this. He never took life for granted, has lived it to the fullest, and faced this challenge with an attitude that would inspire anyone of us.
We knew this was coming, and it's heartbreaking. But at the same time, it's cause for joy! What in the world is Jesus going to do with Bill Markham? LOL. I know one thing. It's going to be funny! RIP, Bill. And God bless all his friends and family
From 1974 to 1981 Bill Markham was News Director at WPEC-TV12 in West Palm Beach. He was my boss, my teacher, my mentor, my inspiration, and my friend. I cannot begin to tell you how much he taught me and helped my career. We had many adventures together covering baseball spring training, fishing tournaments, great music events, including Elvis, and a thousand other news stories in our community. One time he arranged for me to interview Waylon Jennings when he arrived at the airport for a concert. He laughingly told me, "Don't mess this up, or you're fired." When I got to the private airport, and Waylon arrived he was not able to do the interview and I was heartbroken. Some other passenger from Waylon's group could see it on my face. He asked, "What's wrong?" I told him that Bill Markham had sent me out and told me if I didn't come back with the interview I would be fired. The man said, "Well, you can interview me." I said, "Who are you?" He said, "Hank Williams Jr." So Markham always used to kid me that "Hank Williams Jr. saved your television career." Bill was a great friend, and went he went on to Baltimore, he got me a job there as well. I am so glad I got to meet with him and our old friend, Don Haynes, several weeks back. We had a lot of laughs about the golden years in West Palm Beach, and how he inspired me to write a comic novel about a C&W disc jockey, a job he once had that he told me all about. I will miss his friendship, his laughter, and his positive spirit. He was one in a million.
My wife and I have always been a fan of Bill and Cindy and their work at Channel 3. We were both born and raised in Chattanooga and he embraced our city from the first day he arrived. I have a story about Bill and a vehicle I bought from him. In 1999 as I hit the big “50”, my wife told me to go find me a little convertible since our kids were grow and she knew I missed my convertibles. I immediately started searching and found a 1989 BMW convertible. I called and the owner told me he had it at the shop to fix a few things but he would call me when he got it back. A few days later he called to say he had the vehicle back if I wanted to come take a look at it. I jumped in my car at the office and drove down to his condo on Ashland Terrace and low and behold, it was Bill Markham that walked out the door. I was shocked that I had been talking to the main celebrity at WRCB. What a gentleman he was. He told me he had been playing with cars his whole life and he had to many in the driveway and garage and was told he better get rid of a few. When he pulled this cute little navy blue convertible out, I feel in love with the car. We worked out a price and I bought the car. There is more to the story but it would take too long to tell an already long story but he was the most honest person I have ever encountered. 19 years later, I still have the vehicle and drive it occasionally. Several things are wrong with it now, top is manual and hard to get up and down and electric windows work when they want to. The car is cute as a bug and people ask me all the time if I would sell it. I have no interest in selling, however, I would donate it to your family if you had an interest in taking it and whatever you received from the sell, could donate to the ALS foundation. I am so sorry for your loss. It has been a major impact on the Chattanooga area because of his dedication to our city. God bless your family and prayers during your time of loss
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