John Boxley
1942 - 2018
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John Maclachlan Boxley

February 2, 1942 - October 17, 2018


John Maclachlan Boxley, 76, was ushered into the presence of his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on October 17 while surrounded by his beloved family. Mac was born on February 2, 1942 in Raleigh to the late William Clivie and Beth Miller Boxley. He attended Ravenscroft School, Daniels Junior High, and graduated from Broughton High School in 1960. Mac received his BA degree from UNC, Chapel Hill with a double major in English and Political Science in 1964. At UNC he was President of Phi Delta Theta, served on the Men's Honor Council, was Director of Freshman Camp, and was awarded the Grail Cup as the Outstanding Fraternity Intramural Athlete.

Mac received his JD from UNC Law School in 1967 and practiced law in Raleigh for 49 years. He was a former chairman of the NC Bar Assn. Young Lawyers Section, and one of four Directors of the American Bar Assn. Young Lawyers. He served as the Vice-Chairman and founding member of the NC State Bar's Disciplinary Hearing Commission. He was included in the Best Lawyers in America for 20 years until he retired. In 2009, Mac was inducted into the NC Bar Assn.'s General Practice Hall of Fame. He served under three NC Governors in different roles and was twice awarded the Order of the Long Leaf Pine. Under Governor Bob Scott he served as a member of the Penal System Study Committee, and at age 32, Governor Holshouser appointed Mac as Chairman of the NC Parole Board. Governor Jim Hunt selected Mac to serve as an original member of the three-person NC Board of Ethics. Mac was also a N&O Tarheel of the Week.

Mac enjoyed sharing the Gospel of Jesus Christ with his clients and friends and praying for them. Mac and Mary hosted Bible studies in their home and discipled college students for over 30 years. Mac was involved with Bible Study Fellowship for 32 years and loved the fellowship with the men in that program and those in Danny Lotz' Men's Bible Study. Mac taught Sunday School Bible classes for over 40 years. Philippians 4:13 was his favorite verse that he claimed as a promise when he was ten years old.

In 1988, Mac helped found the Phi Delta Theta chapter at NC State and coached their flag football teams to two campus championships that resulted in an invitation to play in the Sugar Bowl's Flag Football tournament. Mac and Mary hosted Bible studies for NC State fraternity groups for over 20 years. The NC State Phi Delts named their alumni room in his honor.

Mac enjoyed playing many sports including touch football, softball, tennis, golf, fly fishing, and sailing the family Flying Scot. He especially enjoyed coaching Little League Baseball, his girls' soccer teams, and his grandson's flag football teams. He also taught merit badge classes and served as chaplain for BSA Troop 395.

He was actively involved in various charitable organizations including 27 years on the Capital Area YMCA Board of Directors while serving as legal advisor for the Y's camps Sea Gull and Seafarer. He was a founding member of the YMCA's Christian Emphasis Committee. He also served on the boards of Raleigh Young Life, Haven House, New Bern Avenue Day Care Center, Wake County SPCA and on the Board of Visitors of Peace College, where he enjoyed teaching Business Law. He also enjoyed serving meals with Mary at the Raleigh Rescue Mission. He was an active Kiwanian for over 40 years, serving as President of the Raleigh Kiwanis Club and was a former Kiwanian of the Year. He chaired a charity golf tournament at Prestonwood for six years to raise money for ALS research.

Mac served with Mary as Presidents of PTA at Aldert Root, Washington School, and Broughton High School. Mac loved volunteer work with Broughton, including the Partners Program, the Broughton Foundation and the Alumni Association. He and Principal Richard Jewell raised funds to match a gift from Richard Jenrette to establish the Teacher Excellence Awards, and Mac helped establish the criteria for those awards. He led a six-year effort to build a stadium at Broughton and a concession facility. Mac was inducted into the Broughton Athletic Hall of Fame for these efforts.

Mac was predeceased by his parents, his brother William Clivie Boxley, III and his wife Mary Lou. He is survived by his best friend and beloved wife of 53 years, Mary Roper Boxley to whom he was devoted. Also surviving are two beloved daughters who brought him great joy: Elizabeth Boxley Feeney (Chris) and Emily Boxley Huff, and two wonderful grandchildren, John Mac and Claire Feeney who were the delight of his life. Also surviving are brother-in-law Nat Roper and wife Cathy of Haymarket, VA and their children John (Jaime), Alex (Vicki), and Katie (Devrim), and nephew Clivie Boxley (Lisa), nieces Beth Walker (Jerry) and Becky Boxley, and his constant companion, Labradoodle Bo.

Mac had a great sense of humor and enjoyed encouraging others and helping them with their problems. During his 19 year battle with cancer, he gave glory to God for His faithfulness and grace. He commented often that he had a wonderful life.

The family will receive friends on Friday, October 19 from 5:00 to 7:00 PM at Holy Trinity Anglican Church on Peace Street. A service of worship will be held at the church on Saturday, October 20 at 1:00 PM. Visitation will follow. A private burial will be held at Oakwood Cemetery preceding the service. Condolences may be shared at

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in The News and Observer on Oct. 19, 2018.
05:00 - 07:00 PM
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22 entries
December 26, 2018
We are so sorry to hear of Mac's passing, sad for the family and friends he left behind until we are reunited again, but happy for him. He is well! We wish we had known, just finding out about this today. What a great guy - and what a great family!
Don and Elaine Buckey
October 24, 2018
I was privileged to know Mac through church, law practice and tennis. Mac was an excellent lawyer who treated everyone involved in a case with respect. He contributed greatly to his church, community and all organizations with which he was involved. Mac was a great sportsman. He was a competitor on the tennis court but always a gentleman who enjoyed the company as well as the sport. Mac was always positive, energetic and youthful, and it is sad to lose him as a leader in the community.
October 23, 2018
Mac was an exceptional man in every respect.I am saddened to hear of his passing. I met Mac and Mary at White Menorial Presbyterian Church when I was a new attender during the mid 1980's. They were my congregational guides. They recognized the additional needs I carried as a single parent, and were there for us in so many ways. Once when Christmas came, Mac arranged for a Christmas Eve delivery of a bike and presents for my son from Santa Claus. When I had to travel for work, Mary babysat. He came to know Elizabeth, and Emily. This enabled him to feel a part of a larger family. Mac often took time from his busy schedule to attend and cheer on my son at his soccer games. When I was worried and upset by the stress of young motherhood, Mac and Mary calmed me with reassurances of the Lord's love for us. We had discussions of the Christian faith, and how to know Jesus better through bible study and quiet times. Mac pointed us to a personal Savior who knew us by name. Although I represent only one family, it's not hard for me to imagine a thousand others just like me whose lives are better off now, and in the world to come because of Mac Boxley.
Jody Carlton
October 23, 2018
Dearest Mary, We were just at the State Fair remembering running into Mac and you 2 years ago. Talking to Mac was like knowing all the surrounding noises stopped, even at the fair, and his focus was on you. He loved his Jesus and his life radiated his faith. He made all people feel so special, and now his Lord is saying, "Well Done" to him.
Our love and prayers remain constant for you and your family. Love you, Mary
Mark 12:30,31
Susan and David
October 21, 2018
JoAnn King Whitley
October 21, 2018
Mac Boxley was a true Southern Gentleman who touched many lives in a positive and caring way! He will be greatly missed by all those who knew him!

Dean Hardy, Greensboro
October 21, 2018
Condolences for the loss of your loved one, John. May God who heals the downhearted, comfort you all in this time of need (Isaiah 61:1,2).
October 20, 2018
Mr. Boxley was one of the nicest and caring people I ever knew. This world truly lost an outstanding human with his passing. I have nothing but fond memories of Mr. Boxley, just a great, great man!!
Marshall Happer IV
October 19, 2018
Dear Mary and family,
Mac had a life well lived and to the glory of God. His love for Jesus was lavished upon those around him. He finished his "race" well as his love and devotion to family, generous servant's heart, and active faith testify. I am blessed by knowing.
Eileen Allen
October 19, 2018
Great BSF leader. Real soldier of the Cross. This man would pray with you and for you on the spot no matter where it was at the moment. Real love in person.
Lee Barham
October 19, 2018
Mr. Boxley was great baseball coach to us
who played for him for Raleigh Savings. He was young in his law career ,however, still made the time and effort for us. I always knew that the blue Malibu would be pulling up, and we would run to help him with the bats and balls.
Doug Wilkes
October 19, 2018
Max and I have known Mac since our high school days at Broughton. He was one of the kindest, nicest man you would ever meet. Max saw him a lot at the Y on Hillsborough Street. Our hearts and prayers go out to his family and all his friends. We never heard anyone say an unkind word about Mac. He was very special with a big heart. With deepest sympathy to his family and friends during this very difficult time. Sincerely, Cheryl Barbour
CHERYL and Max Barbour
October 19, 2018
One of the kindest, true "gentle" men we've ever known. He will be missed. Our prayers for Mary and the family for God's peace, comfort of the Holy Spirit and to be surrounded by love. Rest in peace Mac Boxley. Carol and Lee Fowler
lee fowler
October 19, 2018
Dear Mary, Elizabeth and Emily, So many happy, funny memories since 1969. My first, meeting you all on the playground at White Memorial. Thankful and praising the Lord for all the lives touched by Jesus through Mac's life. Betty and Jimmy
Betty Edwards
October 19, 2018
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October 19, 2018
I was 2 years behind Mac at Ravenscroft, Daniels and Broughton. Did not know him after Broughton but always admired him at the distance as a fine person.
Bob Ballance
October 19, 2018
Sweet Mary,
I will never forget wiping out on a moped in Bermuda with you and Mac right behind me. So I am smilingbut through tears. I love you dear friend. Anne Lotz
October 19, 2018
Well done, good and faithful servant!
Bill Lestini
October 19, 2018
What a Wonderful Wonderful Loving Man to all people!!
Tot Williams
October 19, 2018
What a remarkable man. I know you will miss him greatly. I am so sorry for your loss. Will be praying for all of you as you grieve.
In Christ,
Sarah and Bruce Jewett
Sarah Jewett
October 19, 2018
Mary, Elizabeth, and Emily, I am so sad to learn of Mac's death. He will be sorely missed by all, but especially by you. I have so many fond memories of Mac but mostly I cherish and appreciate the interest that he took in Marshall, Kirby, and Murray and me. He was indeed a true friend to our family!
I wish that I were in Raleigh, so that I could embrace you. Please know that I am stretching my arms as far as possible from Canada to hug you. Much love, Carolyn
Carolyn Happer
October 19, 2018
Carolyn happer
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