Remembrances from industry friends


•Thanks Blaine.

He was a thoroughly decent man and was always very kind to me with his time and insights.

Joel. (Altus – Foss Maritime)

•My condolences to his family and those who knew Mike well. I have fond memories of him and his willingness to pass along his knowledge.

Scott Kreis

•My thoughts and prayers to the family and friends of an influential and visionary man.

John Davis
Winch Sales

•Thanks for the notice regarding Mike’s passing. A very unfortunate loss of kind and gentle man who developed a great company around honest and fair dealing.


Steve T. Scalzo
Chief Operating Officer
Foss Marine Holdings, Inc.

• I would suggest anything that combined Star trek and Jaguars.- Mike would be the only person who could eloquently summarize or write a 5 page theory on either winches or which year-model Jag Spock would have driven..God would I love to hear that. Also, nearly every winch’s writing sounded like a car review from road and track. I remember the liberal use of this that or, the other, thing mounted on the "stalk".

No one could match Mike's technical sales writing on winches, and never will. He loved machines and could make a winch – quite a mundane simple device- come alive like a painting or work of art so that you could see it and imagine yourself using it. He was revered by anyone who knew anything about deck machinery- and the "faithful" including anybody who was anybody – from boats being built " on a pile of oyster shells " in the Gulf or being specified in Washington DC would visit him with honest respect. And he gave the same to them. Before during and after the "discussion" on the RIGHT way, the Markey way, to do it..

A remarkable man- he gave me the engineering tools to succeed and the support to try, explore and find new things. He was critical sometimes in adhering to and preaching the " Markey Stone Tablets" – in fact I used to joke that the more Mike poo-pooed an idea the more we were probably on to something. I recall once bringing in a proximity sensor – to which he said in a somewhat mocking tone "what in the world would we ever use that thing for?" But he let us go with it. Or, having Ron spend maybe 2 months proving we could use overhung pinions.

Those were the days my friends!!!!


BA Griffin Associates,Inc

•Let’s not forget when we built that 4-axis joystick for a Candies project and we asked Mike down to the shop floor to “test it”….. only to have it literally fall apart. From then on we’d always call on Mike to test anything we thought might not be deck-hand-proof.

Or the time when Barry and I labored over the COM-winch article for Sea Technology (ok… we were in Hawaii at a trade-show, so labored might be too strong a term…) only to have Mike read it and say “well guys, it certainly is mediocre”… which devastated us at the time, but which lead to a re-write and a better article. And a higher standard for all similar efforts.

As a young 19-year old entry-level drafter I can only give full-credit to Mike for years and years of on- the-job training and the education that allowed me to move up the ranks. Whenever I was tasked with a set of engineering calculations that had to be reviewed I’d walk up to his desk and he would always set aside whatever he was working on, and spend the next hour (or oftentimes more) going over my work step by step, chiding me for silly mistakes, complimenting me for good work, and generally making the learning process enjoyable.

Of course Mike had his moments too…. I recall once, shortly after being made President, still working in the Horton Street building, and making the extreme executive decision to upgrade the lighting in his poorly-lit office on the first floor while he was gone on vacation. Only to have him return and turn on the lights in his office, then get called downstairs to face his displeasure. Of course he was gentleman enough to later tell me that he thought the improved lighting was really needed.

Or the time when the “consultants” came in and analyzed the business, which ultimately lead to Bob and I being put in charge. I don’t recall the details very well, but one of the things they must have pointed out was that Mike spent some of his working hours doing personal stuff (how they figured that out I do not know), Mike’s reaction rather than flying off the handle (he was the owner after all and ought to be able to do whatever the hell he wanted to with his time), he painstakingly tallied his work time vs. personal time over the next two weeks and concluded that he spent 18% of his time per week doing personal work. He promptly reduced his salary by 18%. Mike was open-minded, and realistic, enough to recognize his own shortcomings…. the report by the consultants resulted in a hit-list of 16 items that we instituted one by one over the next year or so. Not many people know that the bank account at this time was down to double-digits and he was under tremendous pressure to “fix things”.

Mike was a generous man, mostly with his time. There is no doubt in my mind that we wouldn’t be where we are today without his willingness to take all the time it needed to teach anybody anything he know. We often thought he should have been a Professor, not that he wasn’t a damn fine Engineer.

Blaine Dempke, President


I’m sure sorry to hear this sad news. On behalf of all the Associates here at Glosten, I send our condolences out to his family and to all of you at Markey Machinery. On a personal note, I sure have fond memories of walking the factory floor with Mike as he beamed proudly over the equipment that went out under the Markey name. He was quite a person!

I’ll pass the news along to Associates who knew Mike.

Very best regards,


• Blaine,
The Cheramie Family offers sincere condolences to you, your group at Markey Machinery and to Mike’s family. I am glad I had a chance to speak with him on the telephone when I was in Seattle last year. He had called me on my Cell Phone shortly after he heard from you that I was in town. We certainly had a good talk and reminisced about things of now so long ago. God Bless,
Tony Cheramie

•Thanks, Blaine, for keeping me informed. I keep saying I'm going to take a week and go to Seattle to see many of my old Marine friends. I think I should do it sooner rather than continue to procrastinate. I still miss Duane Laible of Glosten. He and Mike had a lot to do with my Marine

Dolly (Dieter – National Science Foundation)

•Thank you for this Blaine. Mike was well thought of and respected. I will pass this on to all who knew him at Crowley.

Sam (Simone – Port Eng. Crowley)

•Thank you John. Our deepest condolences. He will be deeply missed.

Regards Al

Albert F. Suchy
Director of Ship Operations
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

•I'm very sorry to learn of Mike's passing, John. I will try to make it to the memorial service. Kathy and I send our condolences to the family.


Capt. Daniel S. Schwartz (Ret. UW Oceanography)

By Professional Mariner Staff