Photography

Merle "Marc" Allton

September 10, 1931 ~ November 21, 2022 (age 91)

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Merle Marcus “Marc” Allton, Jr. was born in Hollywood, California, September 10, 1931, to Merle Marcus Allton, Sr. and Julia Leila Tibbetts. Marc was the first-born child to the family, which eventually included his younger brother John and younger sister Julia.

At the time of his birth Marc’s family was living in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and Marc’s mother had come to California to stay with her mother until Marc was born. Marc’s family relocated to California when he was a young child, during the Dust Bowl period. His family moved frequently during his younger years, taking advantage of work opportunities during the Great Depression, then later during World War II, living in various locations of Los Angeles County California, Henderson, Nevada, Hanford, Washington, and Columbia Falls, Montana, where he spent most of his high school years. Marc taught himself to play the piano in high school and formed a small orchestra with a group of friends performing for local dances and weddings.

Marc married Bonnie Jean Yeager on August 15, 1950. The couple met while Marc was completing a post-graduate studies program at Basic High School in Henderson, Nevada, where Bonnie was a Senior. They had two sons, Larry and John, and were later divorced. When Bonnie remarried her husband adopted the sons as his own.

Marc enlisted in the US Navy during the Korean War. He served on the submarine USS Ronquil, and on the submarine tender USS Sperry, roaming throughout the Pacific for most of his nearly 4-year enlistment. After serving in the Navy, Marc attended San Diego State College, graduating with a degree in physics and an emphasis in electronics. His love of electronics led him to start his professional career with EG&G in Las Vegas, Nevada, where the company had contracts with the Atomic Energy Commission. Marc participated in all of the atomic tests conducted by EG&G between 1957 and 1964 to some extent. Marc’s work crew developed digital readout technology and a timing method for synchronizing an atomic detonation with seismograph instruments so the blast impacts could be measured worldwide. This method became the timekeeping standard for WWV radio in Colorado, the official timekeeper for the US Department of Standards.

Marc met his wife of 61 years, Margie Louise Farrow, while both were working at EG&G. The couple was married in Summit, Utah on April 1, 1961, and spent their early married years living in California and Nevada before settling down back in Summit to raise their three children: Eva Marie Allton, Raymond Marc Allton, and Lee Gary Allton.

After moving to Southern Utah, Marc used his electronics training working for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) at the Blowhard Mountain radar site, east of Cedar City. Marc had fond memories of living in Summit near Margie’s family. Marc loved cars and most things with a motor. It was not uncommon for him to purchase a new car every few years. His family had motorcycles, 3-wheel ATVs, and dune buggies. Marc’s family spent many Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends at the Coral Pink Sand Dunes camping and riding.

In 1991 Marc suffered a heart attack and was forced to retire from his work on the mountain. The next year Margie retired, and the couple moved to Meridian, Idaho where they spent the next 30 years. Marc and Margie enjoyed their retirement years traveling together and spending time with their grandchildren.

Marc endured the tragic loss of his daughter Eva in January 2014, and always felt the pain of her loss whenever she was brought up in conversation. In June 2022, Marc lost his sweetheart Margie. His grief was severe, and he would frequently say after her passing that he missed her terribly and just wanted to be with her. His desire was realized on November 21, 2022, when he passed away at home in Meridian, Idaho. Marc is survived by his children Raymond (Cynthia) Allton, and Lee Allton; grandchildren Madeline (Mark) Hulet, Allison (Ryan) Pehrson, Camille Allton, Marcus (Lauren) Allton, James Allton, Emily Allton, Gabriel Bridges, Sophia Allton, and Stella Allton; and eight great-grandchildren. Marc is preceded in death by his wife Margie, daughter Eva, brother John, and sister Julia.

A gathering to remember Marc will be held in the Spring 2023 in Southern Utah, time and place to be determined. Interment will be at the Summit, Utah cemetery.


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