John R. Lackey, Jr.

July 4, 1933 - January 24, 2010
John R. Lackey, Jr.

John Roy Lackey, Jr.  July 4, 1933 – January 24, 2010 Resident of Oak Island, North Carolina.

After 76 wonderful years loving his family, serving his country, and inspiring a multitude of students whom he taught and loved, John passed away peacefully on Sunday at the Lower Cape Fear Hospice & LifeCareCenter in Wilmington, North Carolina. John was born in Statesville, North Carolina. He graduated from Lee Edwards High School in 1951 and immediately entered the United States Marine Corps serving as a Staff Sergeant in Korea and also in the Reserves. John entered Mars Hill College receiving degrees in Business and Music. He taught band at Mars Hill High School and Marshall High School before moving to Morehead High School. Later he spent a year teaching music at Lee Edwards High School before moving to his home at Enka High School and Middle School where he was a beloved band director from 1967 until 1995. He also taught at South Brunswick Middle School and Myrtle Grove Middle School in Wilmington.

John was preceded in death by his parents John Roy Lackey, Sr. and Mildred Sherrill Lackey of Asheville, North Carolina and his brother Frank Lackey of Louden, Tennessee. He is survived by Dale Johnson Lackey his beloved wife for over 53 years. John is also survived by brothers EA Lackey and Tom Lackey of Weaverville, North Carolina, and sister Barbara Lackey Russell of Rancho Santa Margarita, California. He will forever be remembered by his daughters Julie Lynn Lackey Ledford of Etowah, North Carolina, Jennifer Lee Lackey of Oak Island, North Carolina, Amy Beth Lackey of Seattle, Washington, Lara Ann Lackey Mashburn of Melbourne, Florida, honorary daughters Susie Wilburn and Natasha Gardner; treasured grandchildren James Scott Ledford, John Wesley Ledford, Megan Elizabeth Ledford, Lucy Jane Dickinson, Cole Alexander Mashburn, and Sean Grayson Mashburn; caring sons-in-law, Gerald Ledford and Travis Mashburn; sisters-in-law, Judy Williams, Daryl Barneycastle, Vickie Burke, and brother-in-law, Van Johnson; and numerous other relatives, including , Lisa Williams, Paul Hobbes, Elke Williams-Hobbes, Wendy Justice, Scott Lackey, Courtney Lackey-Bingham, Patricia Gage, Shelley Emery and Kip Lackey, along with countless family, friends and students who were blessed to know him.

While at Enka High School, John led a multitude of award winning bands, and created the Land of the Sky Marching Band Festival. Later, he founded the Land of the Sky Symphonic Band in Asheville, North Carolina. John was the first recipient of the Western North Carolina Bandmasters Award of Excellence and also received the Outstanding Alumni Award from Mars Hill College. He taught Sunday School at Weaverville United Methodist Church in Weaverville, North Carolina and later at Ocean View United Methodist Churchon Oak Island, North Carolina. Over the years he faithfully performed Taps for numerous military services in Western North Carolina and throughout Brunswick County. John loved listening to music, playing his trumpet, gardening, and being with his family. He was blessed to have over 44 years to share his unending passion for music with his dedicated students. He was an amazing son, husband, father, brother and friend who touched the lives of everyone with his pure heart, beautiful blue eyes, generosity and genuine kindness for all.

Friends and family are invited to attend an Open House at John and Dale’s home located at 168 NW 9th Street, Oak Island, North Carolina on Friday, January 29th between 4:00 and 8:00pm. A Memorial Service will be held at Ocean View United Methodist Church located at 8400 East Oak Island Drive, Oak Island, North Carolina on Saturday, January 30th at 2:00 in the afternoon.

In lieu of flowers, the family request donations be sent to the wonderful people who gave such loving care for John in his time of need to the Safe Passages Tributes at The Lower Cape Fear Hospice Foundation, 1414 Physicians Drive, Wilmington, North Carolina 28401 or Ocean View United Methodist Church Building Fund, 8400 East Oak Island Drive, Oak Island, North Carolina 28465.

Please share memories and condolences by clicking on the “Sign Guest Book” tab above.

Wilmington Burial and Cremation Service, 1535 S 41st Street, Wilmington, NC 28403 910.791.9099


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  • January 26, 2010
    Kaye Arwood Roberts says:
    To the Lackey family: Our thoughts and prayers are with you at this time. We are so sorry for your loss. Our families were neighbors and friends for many years. May God Bless you! Frances Arwood and Family

  • January 28, 2010
    Jeff Gosnell says:
    Missed but still loved, sorry to hear the news. May we all be free in Heaven someday.

  • January 28, 2010
    Katie Dickinson says:
    I feel very lucky to have met John and his wonderful family. "Life is eternal, and love is immortal, and death is only a horizon; and a horizon is nothing save the limit of our sight" - Rossiter Worthington Raymond.

  • January 27, 2010
    Jeannie Shelton Mundy says:
    Dale and girls, John was almost like a second dad to me when Lara and I were growing up.It seems just like yesterday that I would make that long walk up your driveway in Weaverville to hang out with Lara. I miss you all and you are in my thoughts and prayers.

  • January 26, 2010
    Jim Freeman says:
    Dear Julie, I was saddend to hear of your Dad's passing. As you know, he was a huge influence in my life as well as many of my friends and classmates. My thoughts are with your Mom, Jenny, Amy, Lara, and all those who loved Mr. Lackey. I was honored to have been a student of his at Sand Hill Elementary, Enka High School,and to have played under his direction with the Land of the Sky Symphonic Band. He left a big imprint on Western North Carolina as well and the Eastern portion of the state in his later years. I am proud to have known him as a musician, teacher, and friend. Mr. Lackey is responsible for some of the fondest memories I have in my life. What a gift he was to all of us.