Deacon Bob Markert, who expressed his faith through art, dies at 82

Deacon Clarence Robert “Bob” Markert

Deacon Clarence Robert “Bob” Markert, an artist, died on June 25. He was 82.

Deacon Markert was a member of the first class of deacons ordained for the Archdiocese of Louisville in 1976 after Vatican II restored the permanent diaconate. 

As a deacon, he served at St. Ann, St. Thomas More and Incarnation churches. He also served as chaplain for Presentation Academy and the Holy Innocent’s Section of Calvary Cemetery.

Outside of his formal ministry, Deacon Markert worked as a stained-glass artist and sculptor. He was an elected Fellow of the Stained-Glass Association of America.

He took a position at Louisville Art Glass Inc. in 1964, and in 1969 he opened Fenestra Studios Inc., which he operated until 1986.

He told The Record in a 2017 interview that his artwork and his faith were deeply connected.

“My art is a continuation of my ministry,” he said. “It’s seamless.”

In the course of his career, Deacon Markert bore witness to his faith with the creation of stained-glass windows for some 500 churches — including St. Martha Church, which contains several of his windows. 

In the secular world, he collaborated with Louisville sculptor Ed Hamilton since the 1970s. They worked on multiple pieces, including a bronze sculpture of York — an enslaved man who was  part of the Lewis and Clark expedition in the early 1800s — that stands on the Belvedere Plaza in downtown Louisville.

He was preceded in death by his daughter Mary Ann Markert; granddaughter Nola Rubin; sister Virginia Kremer; and brothers Gary and Norman.

He is survived by his wife of 59 years, Patricia “Patsy” Ann Hofmann Markert; children Michelle Markert (Dan Rubin), David, Joseph (Erika) and James (Tracy); 12 grandchildren; and sister Marcia Vause (Charlie).

The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. June 29 at Incarnation, 2229 Lower Hunters Trace, with burial to follow in Calvary Cemetery. 

Visitation will be from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. on June 28 at Ratterman & Sons Funeral Home, 3800 Bardstown Road, and after 10 a.m. at the church June 29.

Memorial gifts may be made to Mass of the Air or Catholic Cemeteries.

The Record
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