Another racer gone. This time Gaines Markley from the Washington State area. Gaines came north to Mission frequently for the NHRA points meets. Rivals included Jerry Ruth and Herm Petersen.
Here's the information forwarded by Wayne "the Peregrine" King:
Ronald Gaines Markley, beloved husband, father, brother and uncle passed peacefully away in Seattle on April 24, 2008.
“Gaines,” as everyone knew him, was born August 4, 1941, in Spokane and grew up in Seattle. He graduated from Lincoln High School in 1959 and attended classes at the University of Washington. In 1971 he married Annie and they raised one daughter, Beth.
Gaines loved all creatures, large and small, but had a special rapport for his Scotties, Doc and Mac. Dogs are a good judge of character and there has never been a dog that met Gaines that didn’t love him. He set tails wagging wherever he went.
After his family (which included his dogs), Gaines’ love was auto racing. He was Top Fuel Drag Racing champion for 1979 and won numerous other awards and trophies for drag racing. With his brother Charlie and nephew John, he took up racing at the Bonneville Salt Flats in the 1990s, setting a world’s record for his class at 272 miles per hour. He also enjoyed driving his 1933 Ford and 1957 Chevy to cruise-ins and show and shines with his daughter in the Seattle area. Since 1978 he co-owned and operated Custom Machine Shop with Bob Gage, performing specialty machine work on high-performing engines.
Gaines was always a helper and a friend to all. There wasn’t a stalled car he couldn’t get started or a friend he ever turned down. He will be sorely missed by all and especially his survivors, wife Annie, daughter Beth, brother Charlie, cousin Chris Cannon, nieces Julia and Maria, nephew John, and sister in law Mary. We all pray for his peace and look forward to seeing him in Heaven.