Former Vancouver resident Joseph James Mackey, 82, of Aberdeen, passed away Wednesday, May 28, 2014, at Grays Harbor Community Hospital in Aberdeen, Wash. Joe was born Dec. 23, 1931, in Philadelphia, Pa., to Joseph and Martha Mackey. He was raised in Philly by his mother Martha and step-father Walter Travis. Joe attended John Bartram High School and during the summer months he would go with his mother to work at the famous Busch’s Restaurant in Sea Isle City, N.J. He played semi-pro football in Cape May, N.J.
Joe joined the U.S. Coast Guard in 1948 and requested to be sent to Korea and instead was stationed in Ketchikan, Alaska. That is where he met and married his wife of 56 years Margaret “Peggy” Hendricks. Peggy passed away in 2008.
While in the Coast Guard, Joe was also stationed in Juneau, Alaska, Hoquiam and Seattle before his final duty station in Vancouver, Wash., aboard the buoy tender the USCG Bluebell. Joe had played semi-pro basketball and was a gold medal champion several times and was also on the all-star Coast Guard Pistol and Rifle team which went to the nationals in Cape May, N.J.
Following his retirement from the Coast Guard in 1969, Joe went to work for Loomis Armored Car Co. in Portland, Ore., where he worked as a driver/guard before retiring to Mesa, Ariz., in 1990. Joe and Peggy enjoyed retired life in Arizona, especially when their family and friends came to visit. Following Peggy’s death Joe went to live with his devoted daughter Colleen and her family in Aberdeen, Wash.
Joe was a life member of the Mt. Hood Masonic Lodge, the Vancouver Elks, American Legion and 40 et 8.
He enjoyed golfing with his buddies in both Vancouver and Mesa. He loved watching game shows and sports on TV.
Joe is survived by his two sons, Joe (Roxy) and Mike Mackey, daughter Colleen (Nathan) Grant-Harrison, daughter-in-law Lynn Mackey; five grandchildren Tammy (Michael) Eakin-Mackey, Navy Master Chief Joe (Crystal) Mackey, Lacey and Jesse Mackey, Army LT Bill Grant and four great-grandchildren, Keta, Aliyah, Charlie and Joey and several step-grandchildren.
In addition to his wife Peggy, Joe was also preceded in death by his son Bill and beloved dog Louie.
A graveside service will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 2, 2014, at Wynooche Cemetery in Montesano, Wash., where he will be laid to rest next to his wife, Peggy.
Special thanks to “his girls” Elisha Bailey, Karen Kelly and Alice Davis and also the excellent team of nurses in CCU for the wonderful care you gave him.
To sign the online book of memories or to light a memorial candle please visit www.harrisonfamilymortuary.com. Arrangements are by Harrison Family Mortuary of Aberdeen.