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Dr. William F. Mackey Sr.


1917 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Dr.  William F. Mackey Sr. Obituary
Dr. William F. Mackey Sr.

Greenville, NC

Dr. William F. Mackey, Sr., 99, of Greenville, NC, passed away on June 21, 2017 at his residence at Brookdale at Dickinson.

Dr. Mackey was born in Calhoun, TN, on August 24, 1917, son of Dugan and Lillie Mackey. He is survived by his son, William F. Mackey, Jr. He is also survived by his three granddaughters, Melinda Lowe, Kathleen Greenberg, Amy Burger, their spouses and ten great-grandchildren.

Dr. Mackey completed his pre-medical training at Tennessee Wesleyan College in Athens, TN before graduating from the University of Tennessee Medical School at Memphis in 1940. He interned at John Gaston Hospital and was the first OB/GYN resident at St. Joseph's Hospital in Memphis. Dr. Mackey then served in World War II after receiving his commission in the Medical Corp in the U.S. Army. Before leaving for the Army Dr. Mackey married the love of his life, the late Ruth Carolyn Humphreys of Memphis, on April 29, 1942.

Dr. Mackey led a remarkable life full of adventure and accomplishment that began on the banks of the Hiwassee River in Calhoun. As one of the preeminent OB/GYN physicians in Memphis, he delivered thousands of babies and saved the lives of countless mothers. On the night of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Dr. Mackey delivered thirty-two babies before learning what had happened. When he went to join the Army they told him he was too small to fight in the war. He dismissed that and joined the Medical Corp and went on to save many soldiers' lives, as well as the lives of survivors found at the concentration camp he helped liberate.

Upon his return from the war, Dr. Mackey was the first OB/GYN to introduce pap smears and mammograms to the Memphis medical community, which helped saved the lives of many patients. Saving lives was his life's mission and it continued when he served on the founding board of doctors that Founder Danny Thomas assembled to create St. Judes Childrens' Hospital in Memphis. Dr. Mackey was the last surviving member of that board and he always considered St. Jude one of the most sacred and proud accomplishments of his life.

Dr. Mackey's life was one of service to countless others, one of love for his wife Ruth and his family, and a life that we all should hope to strive for in our own lives.

A memorial service will be held at 11:30am on Friday, June 30th, at Memorial Park Funeral Home and Cemetery, 5668 Poplar Avenue, Memphis, TN. Visitation will be before the memorial service at 10:30am. Family, friends and former patients are welcome to attend this celebration of the life of a true American hero.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in memory of Dr. William F. Mackey, Sr., to St. Judes Childrens' Hospital in Memphis at https://www.stjude.org, or by mail to St. Jude Childrens' Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN, 38105.
Published in The Commercial Appeal on June 25, 2017
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