Franklin Joseph Mackey, Sr. passed away on Palm Sunday, March 25, 2018 at the age of 84. Frank was born March 3, 1934 at home in Barberton, OH during the Great Depression. He was the youngest of four children and a first generation American on his mother’s side.
“Frankie”, as he was affectionately called by family members, graduated from Sts. Cyril & Methodius School in 1948 and Barberton High School in 1952.
During WWII, he assisted his older sister Eva with selling War Bonds and taking servicemen’s letters from the train station to the post office. He idolized his brother Bob and brother-in-law Johnny’s service in the USN during the war. His first job, like many others at this time, was a paper route. In high school, his love of cars led him to work as an attendant at Mr. Stu Moss’s gas station washing cars, filling with gas and any other work he could get into.
In 1954, Frank realized his dream to join the Navy and see the world. He completed boot camp at NTC Bainbridge, MD, followed by technical training at Norman, OK. Afterwards he was off to NAS Whiting Field as an Aviation Machinist Mate (ADR) working the flight line as a plane captain and engine mechanic. His subsequent assignments were to NAS Agana, Guam, NAS Pensacola, NS Argentia, Newfoundland, NAS Pensacola Transports Division and the Blue Angels as plane captain and flight mech/engineer on NAVY 8 for both the R5D (C-54) and R7V (C-121J) aircraft. Back to NAS Agana, Guam, and returning yet again to NAS Pensacola as Career Counselor and Instructor duty at the Career Counselor School. His last assignment was to NAS Saufley Field AIMD in the Engine Shop. He retired July 1, 1976 as an ADR-1 with credit for 24 years of service. He amassed over 6,000 hours flying as Aircrew on the R7V and WV2 Lockheed Super Constellation, “Connie” and received the Air Medal for service in Viet Nam.
After retiring, Frank started his next adventure as an outside salesman for Mattix Auto Service, traveling from Slidell, LA to Tallahassee, FL selling supplies to automotive radiator shops. This was a natural fit for Frank’s gift of gab. After 25 years he retired again. His hobbies included Civil War Reenacting. Frank owned his own cannon and was known to travel throughout the southern part of the US to participate. He and his cannon started many of McGuire’s early 5K races. He and his wife Charlotte moved to North Carolina where again Frank was able to find a job utilizing his gift of gab. He drove the Historic Trolley in New Bern spinning tales of days gone by. They returned to the Pensacola area in 1997.
Frank was preceded in death by his parents, Martin and Mary Mihalek Mackey; sister, Eva Izolt and her husband, John; brother, Bob and his wife, Loretta and his sister, Margaret Carpenter and her husband, Don.
He is survived by his loving wife, Charlotte; sons, Franklin Jr. (Andrea) of Pensacola, Martin (Melinda) of Loxley, AL, Michael (Monica) of Pensacola, John (Gia) of Rosemount, MN; stepsons, David Bennett of Little Rock, AR, and Anthony (Tami) Bennett of Elberta, AL; 15 grandchildren and 5 great grandchildren.
The Family would like to express gratitude to the staffs of West Florida Hospital ICU and Select Specialty Hospital for their care and compassion.
Funeral Mass will be held at Nativity of Our Lord Catholic Church, Tuesday, April 3, 2018 at 10 a.m. Burial with full military honors will follow at Barrancas National Cemetery at 11:30. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Disabled Veterans Organization, St Vincent de Paul Nativity Chapter or a Charity of your choice.