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1943 - 2014 Obituary Condolences
MAUREEN MACKEY M.D. Maureen Elise Mackey M.D., 70, of Las Vegas, passed away in her home, Aug. 8, 2014, among family and friends who helped her through a long battle with cancer. Dr. Mackey was born Oct. 10, 1943, in Teaneck, N.J., to Thomas David Mackey Jr. and Regina Bridgid Morely Mackey. She spent her early years in California before moving to Fort Worth, Texas, where she graduated from Our Lady of Victory Academy. In 1961, she traveled to the Congo with a lay mission sponsored by the Sisters of St. Mary. At the end of her mission, she entered the novitiate to begin her first career as a nun. While a member of the Sisters of St. Mary, order she earned her bachelor's degree from the University of Dallas in Irvine, Texas, and became a high school science teacher. In 1967, she again went to the Congo, this time teaching secondary science, physics, chemistry and health. She left the convent in 1971 to attend medical school at the University of Texas Medical School in Houston. Dr. Mackey later moved to Las Vegas, where she served as a respected physiatrist, helping many people with rehabilitation of nerve, muscle and bone injuries. In 1992, Dr. Mackey and Mary Ellen Racel entered into a committed relationship. They were known as a warm-hearted couple who were compassionate toward others. While describing Dr. Mackey, a close friend said, "She saw a person limping and knew why that person limped. She restored health and hope to many... she acknowledged the almighty blessing, the beauty of the day - brand new - never lived before." Dr. Mackey returned to school once again 1999 and in three years received her Master of Divinity from the Church Divinity School of the Pacific in Berkeley, Calif. She simultaneously kept her medical practice open and also served as an ordained associate pastor of Metropolitan Community Church of Las Vegas until she retired in 2005. After her retirement, together with her partner, Mary Ellen Racel, and Rev. George Balgan, Dr. Mackey co-founded a bilingual faith community that provides much needed support, especially for LGBT immigrants. This outreach gave birth to Rainbow Praise Church, where Dr. Mackey served as pastor emeritus. She was preceded in death by her life partner, Mary Ellen Racel; twin brother, Thomas David Mackey III; Mary Ellen's son, Benton Racel; and granddaughter Katherine Racel. She is survived by her partner's six children, whom she loved dearly, Anne Racel (Erik) of Yorktown, Va., Barbara Shenberger (Stanley) of Iron Station, N.C., Peggy Harris (James) of Amherst, N.H., Frank Racel Jr. (Suzanne) of Aiken, S.C., Susan Weber (Thomas) of Las Vegas, and Joanie Bennett (Charles) of Charlotte, N.C. She is also survived by 18 grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren. Visitation will be 4-7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 14. Funeral services will be at 6 p.m. Friday, Aug. 15, both at Palm Northwest-Mortuary, 6701 N. Jones Blvd. Burial is pending at Bunkers Memory Gardens. The family asks that in lieu of flowers, all memorial contributions be made to We Care Foundation, 2216 S. 6th St., Las Vegas, NV 89104.
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