In Memoriam

Jack MacKay

John Arthur MacKay

John Arthur MacKay (Jack) passed away from kidney and heart failure on March 29, 2004 at Fort Walton Beach Medical Center in fort Walton Beach, Fla. he was born on Jan. 8, 1945 in Coral Gables, Fla. to the late Edward and Cornelia MacKay. He was the second of three children, between Edward Donald and Katherine Ann. Jack and his family were deeply involved in the Catholic Church and Jack often served as an altar boy and one year served as Florida State President of Colombia Squires, a south organization of the Knights of Columbus. He was an Eagle Scout and earned the Order of the Arrow. Jack was curious about things and his love of science and aeronautics began earls, resulting in numerous adventures as a child such as crossing Biscayne Bay in an inner tube, blowing holes through the garage door and investigating the creation of hydrogen with predictable, fiery results, as well as being found, more than once, at Miami International Airport chatting with the aircrews and mechanics. At age 13 he told his brother that be was going to attend the USAF Academy He did attend the USAFA prep school and graduated from the USF Academy in 1968 with a degree in physics. Poor eyesight dictated he attend Nav School and he became a Weapon Systems Operator (WSO) in the F-4 Phantom. I met lack when he was assigned to the 4th tactical Fighter Wing at Seymour Johnson AFB in North Carolina. We married at the base chapel in January 1971 during an ice storm. He later transferred to Ubon, Thailand and served from June 1972 to June 1973 as a member of the 25th TFS "Assam Dragons". Following this tour he was assigned to the 59th TFS of the 33rd Tactical lighter fling at Eglin AFB, Fla. This is my "home base" and Jack always enjoyed sailing and talking "air force" with my father, a retired AF officer. While at the 33rd, during the summer of 1974, Jack was selected to attend fighter Weapons School at Nellis AFB and was awarded the trophy as top WSO of that class. In April 1977 we were assigned to Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, becoming part of the 18th Tactical Fighter Group. In 1980 we returned to Nellis AFB where Jack was a member of the 422 Test and Evaluation Squadron and also a project manager. In 1985 we requested an assignment back at Eglin AIR to raise our two children, retire, and finally find time to sail, read, travel, and share family life. Jack was also a skilled chef and created fine furniture with his own hands. He was always a man of good moral character, intensely honest, and I became a better person because of him. His joy in learning and discovery inspired many to reach a bit further and demand a bit more of themselves. One cannot live with a physicist without absorbing some of his wonder of the universe. Jack is survived by me, Susan, his wife of 33 years; a son, Edward, who is pursuing his doctorate at the University of Florida; a daughter, Jacqueline (master's in social work) and her husband, Russell, who are expecting their first child this October; brother Edward Donald; sister Kay and husband, Skip; father -in-law Owen P. Framer and wife, Janet; and sister-in-law Judyth, and husband, William O. Treacy. Jack was well loved and we miss him. A prayer service was held April 2, 2004 in Fort Walton Beach with interment following at Barrancas National Cemetery in Pensacola, Fla.     (Susan G. MacKay)

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