Billy Joe Mackey, 69
A graveside service with full military honors for Billy Joe Mackey, 69, of San Antonio, Texas, will be held Oct. 1, 2018, at Fort Sam Houston, Texas. Mr. Mackey died Sept. 5 at The Methodist Hospital in San Antonio.
He was born Feb. 6, 1949, in Gainesville, the son of Ralph and Geneva Edwards Mackey. He grew up on the family dairy farm at Rockbridge and attended Lower Brixey School for his first schoolyears. His dad was killed in a timber accident in 1960. After that, he moved with his mother and sister, Mary, to Mountain Grove, where he graduated from high school in 1966. He went on to attend what is now Missouri State University in Springfield but, lacking funds, he dropped out to work and save money.
Soon after, he joined the Air Force. He was very successful in the Air Force and worked in intelligence. During the Vietnam War, he was sent to Thailand, where he met and married his wife, Tugta. Their first daughter, Melody, was born there in 1971. They came back to the States, and their second daughter, Stephany, was born in 1972.
After he retired from the Air Force, he finished his college degree at Southwest Texas State in 1989 and went to work as a consultant and contractor for companies supporting the Air Force and other government agencies. After 25 years, he retired to enjoy gardening and yardwork at their home in San Antonio, where they had lived since 1984. He also enjoyed keeping up with his two granddaughters’ accomplishments.
Mr. Mackey was a very intelligent and talented person. He could carry on an educated conversation with anyone about any subject. He also had a good sense of humor. He was a fixer; if something broke, he could fix it. Gardening and reading were his spare-time relaxers. He was a good adviser to his family and truly loved them. He gave many years of his life to the service of our country and was a great citizen. He will be greatly missed as he was loved by many.
He is survived by his loving wife, Chaturaporn “Tugta” Mackey; two daughters, Melody Abrahamian and husband Greg of Boerne, Texas, and Stephany Mackey of Raleigh, North Carolina; two granddaughters, Natalya and Vienne Abrahamian; three sisters, Judy Williams and husband Harold of Virginia Beach, Virginia, Nancy Turner and husband Charley and Mary Knox, all of Mountain Grove; sister-in-law Tinzie Mackey of Mountain Grove and many nieces, nephews and cousins.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his grandparents, Arch and Minnie Mackey, and Hugh and Linna Edwards; his brother, Eldon Mackey; his sister, Linda McGowan and her husband Pat; his nephew Bradley McGowan; nieces Anna Mackey Schilling, Amanda Lea Edwards and Micki Johnson Kline; and many uncles, aunts and cousins.