Marcus E. Mackey

Photo of Marcus E. Mackey
MARCUS Eugene "Gene" MACKEY, aka "Pops," 90, of Little Rock, Ark., passed away on Jan. 8, 2019, after a long battle with Alzheimer's disease. He was born to Marcus C. Mackey and Cora Mackey of Campbell, Mo., on March 21, 1928. Gene/Pops was a story teller, poet, reader (particularly Zane Grey novels), gardener and fisherman. He was a quiet, honorable man possessed of a wry, gentle wit. He was devoted to his family and his country, serving in the military and mentoring youth in the Boy Scouts. He grew up farming, hunting and fishing and then entered the Air Force in 1950, achieving the rank of Staff/Sgt. as an Air Policeman for 10 years, with tours of duty in England and Korea. He received the Korean Service medal, the UN service medal, and the Bronze Star for heroic action in a combat zone. Under the GI bill, he became a barber working for shops on Battery Street and Asher Avenue. He launched "Mackey's Barber Shop" when he converted a Cities Service gas station on Kavanaugh Boulevard, specializing in the then-popular "flat top" style. After retirement, he spent time gardening and crappie fishing, particularly at his favorite "fishing hole" on Lake Nimrod. One of his greatest joys was running into his hundreds of customer-friends to say hello, swap fish stories and tell jokes. He is survived by his wife of 66 years Willadean Mackey; his children Terryl Mackey, M.D., of Johnstown, Pa., and Mark Mackey of Little Rock, Ark.; as well as his grandchildren (great-grandchildren) Lauren Licatino (Owen, Henry) of Rochester, Minn., P. Logan Weygandt of Baltimore, Md., Terryn Lawrence (Evelyn, Clara) of Minneapolis, Minn., Nicole Mackey of Biloxi, Miss., and Jared Mackey of Little Rock, Ark. In lieu of flowers, the family requests with gratitude that memorial contributions be made in his name to Alzheimer's Arkansas, 201 Markham Center Drive, Little Rock, Ark. (website:, or the Alzheimer's Association (website: The guest book may be signed, condolences or a memory of love, support or humor with the family. For the full obituary, visit A celebration of a life well lived will be held on Saturday, 1/19/2019, at 1:00. The family hopes to meet and greet his friends, former customer-friends and fishing buddies. Please bring your memories and pictures if you have them to share. Attire is casual.

Published January 13, 2019

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