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David Mackie, Wake County, N.C.


On Sunday May 8, 2011, David Mackie sailed past the horizon beyond where we can see. Born in Verdun, Montreal, Canada in 1934 to the late Isabelle "Belle" Bryson Mackie, originally of Glascow, Scotland, and Henry Mackie, Sr, originally of Stonehaven, Scotland, Mackie grew up in Montreal, Quebec, Canada and Windsor, Ontario, Canada and High Bridge, New Jersey. Dave joins his four beloved siblings, John, Jean, Isabelle and Harry who passed over before him. He leaves his close friend and former wife, Margaret "Anne" Mackie, son Robert "Rob" Andrew Mackie of Cary, NC, son Kenneth "Ken" Edward Mackie of Honolulu, Hawaii, his beloved daughter-in-laws, Sally MacDonald Mackie and Cori Ireijo Mackie, and five grandchildren, Maria Hunter Mackie, David "Bryson" Mackie, and Alexander "Gray" Mackie of Cary, NC and "Ava" Margaret Mackie and "Max" Kahala Mackie of Honolulu, and one remaining sister, Lena Mackie Kufta of Verdun, Montreal, Canada and beloved nieces and nephews in Vermont, Maine and Canada.

Dave graduated from Highbridge High School in Highbridge, NJ. He served in the US Army during the Korean War, after which he became a United States citizen. Mackie attended Rutgers University, graduating in 1960 with a degree in Electrical Engineering. He was employed by IBM from 1960 to 1993. His initial work in Poughkeepsie, NY involved developing new products including the first large scale scientific computer system and the first American Airlines Reservation System. In 1962 Mackie was transferred into manufacturing of this new product line. In 1965 he was transferred to Research Triangle Park and became manager responsible for development of major portions of the hardware for the IBM supermarket scanning system -- the bar code reader. He served many years as Director of Quality Assurance for the IBM installation at Research Triangle Park until his retirement in 1993.

A fine woodwork craftsman, Mackie shared his woodworking skills with many people in the Triangle area and produced several works of remarkable beauty. Many Wake County children enjoyed toys produced by "Toys for Tots" for which Mackie provided equipment, working space and leadership for a number of years.

During 1998 and 1999 Mackie and his colleague Jim "Jock" Gault were hired by the NC Museum of Natural Sciences to sculpt missing bones for the right and sperm whales that were to be displayed from the ceiling in the new museum. The largest challenge was to sculpt the entire Volkswagen-sized skull of the sperm whale. A little known fact about the project is that buried deep within this skull is a tribute to their grand children alive at that time. The whale skeletons, as well as the tribute, presently are hanging from the ceiling as a part of the museum's permanent display.

Many friends and family remember the joy of sailing with Dave in his "Flying Scot" on the Pamlico River near Oriental, NC or at Lake Jordan, Falls Lake or at Presbyterian Point on Kerr Lake. Always drawn to the sea in fiction, film, poetry and boat, Dave learned to sail with his father in the Detroit River in Windsor, Ontario as a boy.

Dave Mackie will be remembered for his generosity, gentle kindness, eagerness to help others, and for his playful and active mind from youth to his last days.

A memorial service of worship will be held at 4:30 PM on Saturday, June 4, 2011 at Good Shepherd United Church of Christ, 1050 SW Maynard in Cary, NC. Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of Wake County, 250 Hospice Circle, Raleigh, NC 27607.

Those remaining on this shore wish Dave a chance to rest up awhile after his recent marathon to stay with us, and from then on we wish him clear skies, brisk winds, and ever challenging high adventures beyond our horizon.