Zona Ilene Branch Markus, a homemaker, died Dec. 6, 2006. She was 99.
Mrs. Markus was born Feb. 26, 1907, in Murphys, where her father and grandmother were also born. Her father, Frank Branch, was the blacksmith and saloon keeper in Murphys at the time.
She was third generation Californian. Her ancestors came to Columbia to pan for gold in 1851. She was a resident of San Leandro since 1911, except for her two years in Tracy, 1922 -1923. She was a graduate of the Oakland Conservatory of music and taught piano for many years. She continued her musical career throughout her lifetime.
A resourceful woman, Mrs. Markus turned her home into a board house during the Depression and World War II. She worked with youth and was a Girl Scout leader and adviser for the RHO Girls Club No. 2 of Oakland. In her later years she focused on her family, her music, and her lodges.
Mrs. Markus was a member of the Rose Rebekah Lodge 224 of San Leandro for 81 years. She was a past musician for her lodge for the state of California. She was a member of the El Cerriso Native Daughter of Golden West 207, and had a lifetime membership with the USS Arizona Reunion Association. Her late husband, Steve Markus, was assigned to The USS Arizona during World War II.
She is survived by her daughter Lorena, Mimi Cano, son-in-law, Bill Cano, now deceased; three grandchildren, Mike Cano of Vallecito, Patricia Cano of Copperopolis, and Tony Cano of Arnold; two adopted grandchildren, Katy Ray Campus of Visalia and Diane Huffman of Tigard, Ore.; four great-grandchildren and four great-great-grandchildren.