Markiewitz couple.jpg

Cheryl and David Markiewitz loved their Kelso Valley cabin, where this photo was taken on June 29, 2014.

As the family of Dr. David Markiewitz remembers its beloved husband, father and grandfather, it’s also gathering recollections of the dentist from the community in anticipation of his memorial service.

“Anything that anyone would like to share, every mode of contribution will be gratefully accepted for the memory book,” David’s wife, Cheryl Markiewitz, told the Tehachapi News last week.

The Markiewitz family is requesting from the public contributions of letters, photos, anecdotes or other momentos to include in a book of memories to be presented at the celebration of life service, to be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 23 at Tehachapi Christian Life Assembly, 920 W. Valley Blvd. Submissions to the memory book should be emailed to davidmarkiewitzmemories@gmail.com by midnight Tuesday, Aug. 18 to be included in the book.

Mrs. Markiewitz and her son-in-law, Ryan Kerr, found Dr. Markiewitz shot to death at the couple’s cabin in Weldon shortly before midnight July 30. A massive manhunt continues for 34-year-old Benjamin Peter Ashley, who is wanted in connection with the death.

While the search continues, Cheryl Markiewitz said she is getting through the most difficult time of her life by staying busy, and taking things day by day.

“This community has been our home for 40 years,” she said. “I am grateful for the outpouring of love from the community. People have been bringing by food and calling with expressions of love and care. Everywhere I go, I am hugged. Our hearts are so warm, and we are so thankful.”

Still visibly shaken, Mrs. Markiewitz expressed her deep affection for her husband of 43 years.

“He was the kindest, most wonderful person I have ever known,” she said. “His blue eyes, his smile, his freckles… it was love at first sight. From the time we met, he wanted a family and babies, and it was his focus since day one. He loved his children and grandchildren so much.”

In lieu of flowers, the family has set up a scholarship fund from which $500 will be awarded each year to a graduating senior from Tehachapi High School beginning with the class of 2016. Donations to the fund may be sent to Cheryl Markiewitz, P.O. Box 697, Tehachapi, Calif., 93581, or taken to Bank of the West in Tehachapi and deposited in the scholarship account.

The community continues to support the Markiewitz family in a number of ways.

For out-of-town travelers, the Holiday Inn Express, at 901 Capitol Hills Parkway, is offering rooms for $94 per night to guests who mention they are attending the service, and quote the reduced rate.

A GoFundMe scholarship fund has been started in honor of Dr. Markiewitz by personnel of the United States Air Force.

And the Pulford Appletree Orchard is lending its help.

“I learned ... that John and Becky Pulford from the Pulford Appletree Orchard are delivering boxes of their fresh apples to the command center at Weldon to the over 150 officers hunting Dave’s killer in Jawbone Canyon,” Cheryl Markiewitz said last week. “We are so grateful to our community for their love and support, and we thank John and Becky for their generosity and thoughtfulness.”

A catered reception will follow the Aug. 23 service, and the family requests that an RSVP be sent to markiewitzrsvp@gmail.com to help them prepare for the number of attendees. The service and reception are open to the public.