Day is done, gone the sun, from the lake, from the hill, from the sky.
All is well. Safely rest. God is nigh. — “Taps”
On Tuesday morning, October 23, 2018, Bro. Donald Ray Mackey celebrated as God gave him his final marching orders of Forward, March. Donald Ray marched to the finish line and gave his final salute for he had finished his race and won his incorruptible crown.
As the world commemorated the birth of Jesus Christ on December 25, there was excitement in the Mackey and Phillips households as Donald Ray Mackey entered the world on December 25, 1944 in San Antonio, Texas. He was the second child and the second son born to the parentage of Leroy Mackey, Sr and Naomi Bernice Phillips Mackey. Donald Ray completed his education in the San Antonio Independent School District graduating from George W. Brackenridge High School.
Donald Ray accepted Jesus Christ at an early age and was baptized at the New Light Baptist Church under the leadership of Dr. Paschal Sampson Wilkinson, Sr. He served in the Youth Choir, the Sunday School, and the Baptist Training Union.
Though Donald Ray played football in high school, his focus was on music. He learned to play the clarinet at Dunbar Junior High School. Later, his efforts were successful as he taught himself to play the keyboard, bass guitar, drums, and saxophone. His loved of singing and playing the various musical instruments helped him to grow into a talented singer and musician.
Donald Ray joined the United States Air Force as active duty in September 1967 and served with distinction until he retired as a Technical Sergeant with an honorable discharge in January 1993. While in the Air Force, he was a member of the Tops in Blue, a performing ensemble made up of active duty members of the United States Air Force. To be a member of the Tops in Blue, candidates had to submit a video performance to Headquarters Air Force Services Agency. If selected for audition, they were flown to Lackland AFB for a ten-day talent show and multilevel competition judged by former Tops in Blue members. Those selected attended a 45-day training period at Lackland AFB. Top Blue members performed in front of more than 250,000 military personnel and their families, presenting an average of 120 performances at 100 locations worldwide throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Central America, and the Pacific. While in the military, Donald Ray held other jobs which were Medical Administrative Supervisor, Jet Engine Mechanic, Air Force Security Specialist and Food Service Specialist. Among the many medals and citations, he received during his military career were: Air Force Commendation Medal, Air Force Longevity Service Award Ribbon with 4 Oak Leaf Clusters, National Defense Service Medal, Air Force Overseas Short Tour Service Ribbon, and Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with 3 Oak Leaf Clusters.
While stationed at Mather Air Force Base, Sacramento, California, Donald Ray organized two bands. One of his bands, Black Gold was voted as the best band in that region for four years in a row. Donald Ray never forgot his upbringing in the Lord by his parents, and he never hesitated to use his musical talents to play for various churches including Mount Calvary Baptist Church in Baytown, Texas where he served as the Bass Guitarist for a period of time.
Donald Ray loved people and will always be remembered among family and friends for his outgoing, fun-loving personality and being a jokester.
He is preceded in death by his loving parents, Leroy Mackey, Sr. and Naomi Bernice Phillips Mackey; and his big brother, Leroy, Jr.
May God comfort his son, Jeffrey Scott Mackey, San Francisco, California; his loving siblings: Frankie Delores Mackey Sanders and husband, Robert of Baytown, Texas; Gregory Wayne Mackey, Sr. and Marsha Lynn Mackey Holland of Baytown, Texas. He leaves a host of admiring nieces and nephews who will miss their “Uncle”. Also, cherishing his memories are Aunts, cousins, and a host of other relatives and friends.
Donald Ray’s trials and sorrows are over, and he has reported for Eternal duty.
His MISSION is completed.