John Boyd Mackey III

Published 8:44 am Thursday, February 13, 2020

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John Boyd Mackey III died peacefully on January 13.  He is survived by his wife, Adele Northington Mackey, brother, Bill Mackey, nephew, Mackey Rich, nieces, Katherine Heath, Sally Mackey and great nieces, Alice Rich and Katherine Heath.  He was predeceased by parents, John Boyd Mackey, Jr., Katherine DeVere Mackey and sister, Nancy Mackey Barganier.

Born in Selma on December 1, 1951, Boyd grew up in Demopolis and graduated from Demopolis High School.  He served as a sergeant in the Air Force during the Vietnam War Era, was stationed at Carswell Air Force Base, Texas and Upper Heyford, Oxfordshire, England. While in England, Boyd traveled to 8 European countries.

He earned his Bachelor of Science and Master of Education from the University of Montevallo in Guidance and Counseling. Boyd began his career in the black belt as a therapist for the West Alabama Mental Health Authority and later in Birmingham with JBS Mental Health Authority.  Always having a passion for serving, Boyd worked with the mentally ill, the impoverished, those struggling with addictions and domestic violence.  He visited the incarcerated and worked with the court referral program. Boyd had a strong sense of compassion for his clients. He felt they were teachers of humility.

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Coming from strong family ties to Holy Cross Episcopal Church in Uniontown, early on Boyd was attracted to the church. His passion for serving God and the church began at Trinity Episcopal in Demopolis as an altar server, then as an adult he became a lay reader and a lay Eucharistic minister.  Living in Demopolis behind Trinity, Boyd kept a watchful eye on the church and would be available with keys should anyone need access to the church.   His passion to learn more about God and His church prompted him to attend and return to serve at Cursillo, a lay movement to deepen one’s relationship with Christ.  Through Kairos Prison Ministry he became trained and visited the prisons.  Later, he completed requirements for Education for Ministry from The University of the South, Sewanee.

In his ongoing quest, Boyd visited holy places, such as Oberammergau, Germany, site of the Passion Play, the Holy Land, and spent time at Holy Cross Monastery, West Park, New York. With his wife, Adele he hiked, camped and traveled, visiting cathedrals in California, Washington, D.C., St. Augustine and New Orleans.

In recent years, Boyd felt moved to pursue Catholicism, converted and joined Prince of Peace in Hoover.  His thirst for theological knowledge led him to the works of G.K. Chesterton and Thomas Aquinas.  Feeling a higher call to live the Gospel, Boyd pursued a three year process to become a member of the St. Joseph Cupertino Fraternity of the Secular Franciscan Order.  A humble spirit engaged in servant leadership, Boyd spent the years of his retirement volunteering with the Knights of Columbus and assisting in the funeral ministry.  In visiting the assisted living homes and delivering communion he felt a sense of joy in being with the residents.  In his quest for God and his service to others, Boyd was a humble soul who impacted many throughout the years.

A memorial service will be held at Prince of Peace Catholic Church in Hoover, on Saturday, February 15, with visitation at 9:30 am, funeral mass at 10:30 with inurnment to follow.  A luncheon will be served.  Donations may be made to Prince of Peace Catholic Church.

— Editor’s Note: This obituary is being republished with additional information.