WINDHAM — Gilbert Marks, who served in the Army Air Corps, which later became the U.S. Air Force, was a colonel in the service and in his lifestyle.

“Because of his military training, he was always on time,” said his daughter Barbara Chandler.

“His character was a colonel,” said his son-in-law Woody Groover. “He was a nice guy, but very commanding. That was his nature.” Mr. Marks died on May 19. He was 92.

Two years ago, he was among a handful of Deering High School graduates who attended their 72nd class reunion. When he graduated in 1936, Mr. Marks went on to the Wentworth Institute in Boston.

As the country entered World War II, he answered his call of duty by joining the Army Air Corps. After attending officer candidate school and flight school, he served as an instructor pilot teaching West Point cadets to fly.

Mr. Marks was very proud of serving his country, and his involvement in the Air Force continued through 1965. His service included two years in a communications unit in Tripoli during the Korean War. He also established a Maine Army National Guard Unit in South Portland.

While serving during the Korean War, Mr. Marks dreamed up plans for a family cottage on Sebago Lake. He had bought the land before he left, his daughter said.

“He paid $1,000 for a lot, a little camp lot … way back. What a treasure that has been to all of us. The foresight he had to invest in something was a big thing,” said his daughter Suzanne Groover.

When he returned to Maine, he built what he had envisioned. Groover said it was the “most treasured home” for her father and mother.

The family, which now consists of five grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren, still enjoys it today.

When his grandson Eric Groover expressed interested in entering the Air Force Academy in Colorado, Mr. Marks went with him to an open house. “That was a big trip for dad,” Suzanne Groover said. “He had never seen the campus … to see it and tour it was very exciting.”

Four years later, in 1998, Mr. Marks went to Colorado again, this time for Eric Groover’s graduation ceremony.

“Dad went out and actually commissioned him. That was a big deal for him,” Suzanne Groover said.

When he was in his 80s, Mr. Marks decided to buy a computer. He learned how to use it and was very computer-literate, his daughter said.

He also persisted in taking care of his own affairs, despite living the past few years with his daughter Suzanne and her husband.

“Up until about a few weeks ago, he was paying his own bills, preparing his taxes and stuff like that,” Chandler said. “He was really with it.”

Staff Writer Emma Bouthillette can be contacted at 791-6325 or at: [email protected]

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