Obituary: James David Mackey, 66
Dec 31, 2014 07:00AM
By Kieran Gilman
METHUEN - James David Mackey, age 66, a decorated Vietnam War veteran, died early Sunday morning, December 28, at the Holy Family Hospital in Methuen, after a courageous six month battle with cancer. He was the beloved husband of Gung Mackey, who died in Thailand last August.
Jimmy was born in Lowell, a son of the late Charles and Eileen (Devine) Mackey, and was raised in Tewksbury. He graduated Tewksbury Memorial High School, and enlisted into the Navy. He was assigned to river boat patrols in Vietnam, where he received a Purple Heart Medal for wounds received in a firefight. Upon his honorable discharge, he became a civilian employee of the U.S. Air Force in Alaska. He worked in Anchorage and Air Force Bases in the Aleutian Islands as a generator mechanic for over thirty-five years. He returned to Methuen in retirement two years ago.
Jimmy was fondly described as a true Alaskan man, able to thrive in the extreme weather, a rugged out-doors man who enjoyed the unspoiled beauty and natural surroundings of his adopted homeland in Alaska.
Jim restored a 1959 Nash Metropolitan automobile and became a member of the Metro Auto Club. He enjoyed antique auto shows and meets throughout New England.
He leaves a sister and brother-in-law, Linda and Joseph Francis of Salem, NH, formerly of Wilmington; and several nieces and nephews.
He was predeceased by his sister Joan Norton and brother William “Billy” Mackey.
A Graveside Memorial Service with Navy Honors will be held Friday, January 2, at 2:00 p.m. in Tewksbury Cemetery. At his request, visiting hours are omitted. Memorials to the Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, Kansas 66675, or visit woundedwarriorproject.org Arrangements are through the Tewksbury Funeral Home visit tewksburyfuneralhome.com