Hundreds offer a final goodbye to Jim Mackey |

Hundreds offer a final goodbye to Jim Mackey

Jim Mackey was remembered as a man of integrity and a dear friend at a memorial service Friday evening attended by more than 300 people.

“If he told you it was going to get done, it was going to get done. Whatever he was asked to do, he did,” said George Harper, who worked with Mackey on Nevada City’s Independence Day parade for many years.

“Jim had more than one family. Everyone around him was considered family,” said Tom Coleman, who did the eulogy at the celebration of life that was held at the Elks Lodge in Nevada City.

Mackey, 82, was found dead the night of July 6 in his Nevada City home. He owned Mackey Real Estate for 30 years and was an active member of the Nevada City Chamber of Commerce up until his death, having served the previous Friday as the supervisor of the Independence Day parade judges.

“I always thought of him as the Maytag washer of Nevada City.” Cathy Wilcox-Barnes said in a tribute to his legendary reliability. “Jim is irreplaceable.”

Nearly 20 friends and those who considered themselves part of Mackey’s extended family took a few moments to share their memories of him before a large crowd. Many of those who spoke fought back tears.

After telling a funny story about a poker game, Bob Wilder finished by saying: “Jim was just Jim. What you saw was what you got. He had a great respect for women, and his word was his bond.”

Coleman, who owns the National Hotel, said Mackey would dance there as many as three nights a week in recent years. He asked how many women in the crowd had danced with Mackey. Nearly 30 proudly stood up.

Robert Stuckey, a bartender at the National, said he came to look up to Mackey in the two years since they first met. “What I saw in that man is what I want to be,” he said.

One man said he met Jim just a couple of years ago while playing for a band at the National, and they became friends.

“Mr. Mackey, and he is Mr. Mackey to me, had this spirit. There was a truth that he had when he looked at you,” he said.

One woman said Mackey changed her life when he hired her, a single mother with five children.

“He was such a great person, and I’m going to miss him,” she said.

To contact Staff Writer Pat Butler, e-mail or call 477-4239.

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