BILL MACKEY. After a valiant battle with Alzheimer's Disease and laryngeal cancer, Bill Mackey died at home, surrounded by family and dear friends, including his devoted dog Judy and cat Porky. William Sturges Mackey, Jr. was born on May 27, 1921 in St. Louis, MO and became a Houston native five years later. He was married to Margaret Powell Mackey for almost forty years, and after her death married Barbara Drozdowski in 1988. Bill had a distinguished business career, but considered himself, first and foremost a teacher. After graduating from the Rice Institute in 1943, he entered the U.S. Army Air Corp, and upon returning from his service duty he returned to the Rice University as an Accounting Professor, where he remained for 16 years. In 1998 he was awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award in recognition of his teaching excellence and business acumen. He ended his business career in 1984, as Chairman and CEO of the Lifemark Corporation. Bill played as hard as he worked and traveled throughout the world with his wife Barbara, and across the United States, primarily to race tracks where he watched, for many years, his own horses compete, as well as for his love of handicapping, which he learned from his father. He was a man of tremendous personal courage, integrity and strength, yet, also a gentle man with a love and respect for all life. He and Barbara founded the Bill and Barbara Mackey Foundation for Animal Welfare, which provides funds for domestic animals, and retired thoroughbred horses. Bill is preceded in death by his parents, Bill, Sr. and, Dorothy Allison Mackey, and his first wife Margaret Powell Mackey. In addition to his wife Barbara, he is survived by his daughter, Dorothy Mackey Lurie, of Houston and her sons, Andrew Powell and William; sons, John Powell Mackey and wife Deborah Morin and James Wescott Mackey, of Austin. He also leaves a brother George and wife Alice, of Cambridge, MA and sister Madge of Bellaire, TX. The family wishes to express their deepest gratitude to the Hospice of Houston for their superb loving care during Bill's last days. A special thank you also goes to Drs. Clifford Dacso and Eugene Lai, of Baylor College of Medicine for their never ending care and support. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, November 16, 2004 at the First Unitarian Church, 5200 Fannin Street, with Rev. Gail Lindsey Marriner officiating. A reception will immediately follow at the Jones School of Business on the Rice University Campus. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Barbara and Bill Mackey Foundation managed by the Greater Houston Community Foundation, 4550 Post Oak Place, Houston, TX 77027 or the charity of your choice.
Published in Houston Chronicle from Nov. 14 to Nov. 15, 2004.