Arthur Markewitz (1908-1984)

Arthur Markewitz was born in Portland June 2, 1908 to Milton and Frances Lachman Markewitz, and passed away on November 29, 1984. His father, Milton, was born in San Francisco, where his own father worked as a coppersmith in California and then came up to Portland through Jacksonville. Milton was a stock (paper) cutter for the Crocker Company and Crocker Union Lithograph, and eventually purchased the Bushong Printing Compnay, a profession that his sons Arthur and Ernest followed him into.

Arthur and his brother Ernest were raised on Portland’s west side, attending Couch Grammar School and Lincoln High School. He went on to study at the University of California at Berkeley, where he lived in the International House, and the University of Oregon. Arthur and Ernest worked together at Bushong Printing Company. Arthur was an accomplished graphic designer. He was a noted pioneer lithographer and joined Durham & Downey, Inc. in 1960.

Arthur married Sophie on August 26, 1939. The couple had four children: David, Helen, Milton, and Carol. Helen passed away when she was three. They attended Congregation Beth Israel and sent the children to Sunday School there.

Arthur was very active in the B’nai B’rith’s Anti-Defamation League. Sophie infiltrated meetings of the German Bund (Nazi) organization in Portland and brought information to the ADL. Arthur also served on the Jewish Welfare Federation board and on the board of Congregation Beth Israel where he also taught Comparative Religions to 7th graders. He was instrumental in the founding of the Boys and Girls Aid Society. He was an active member of the City Club of Portland leading and participating in studies and reports to present facts to influence the public and legislators.

Arthur was a Boy Scout and later became a Scout leader. He was Scout Master for the Chapman school troop and at one point led an all Chinese troop. Many of his scouts remained lifetime friends. His work was largely driven by his desire to help those who were less fortunate, and was also deeply connected with Nature. In the aftermath of the Vanport Flood in 1948, he would gather food, blankets and other necessities from his neighbors each evening and deliver them to the refugees.  

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