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
    Christi Ingle says:
    My deepest sympathies and condolences are extended from my family. I will never ever forget, and often still talk about, Mr. Lackey calling me 'Cindy' even long after high school when our paths would cross. Occasionally, someone that I have just met will ask, "Did you say your name was Cindy?" and I just chuckle and tell that story.

  • January 27, 2010
    Patty Kennedy Johnson says:
    I will be forever grateful for Mr. Lackey's guidance at Enka High. He was a wonderful band teacher, one I have not nor will ever forget. God bless, Patty

  • January 26, 2010
    Karen Mashburn says:
    Dear Lackey Family, I cannot find the words to express my sympathy, my respect and my appreciation for you. There is not a day that goes by that I don't think about some way my years under Mr. Lackey's teaching have not influenced my life. The appreciation and love for music and family. He was our second father and I don't think there was any of us that didn't know he would be there for us at any time. There are so many memories flooding back, the laughter, the hugs, the smiles, the jokes, the practices after the game on a darkened field because he knew we could do better. He knew how to bring out the best in us even when we didn't.But most of all, I am thankful to have known him and you Dale, Julie, Jenny...my buddy Amy and Laura. What a family! And what a priviledge and honor to know you. How many thousands of lives have been touched by this man. I know that when it is my time..I'll see that smile and hear him say..."That's one of mine". You are in my thoughts and prayers. I love you Lackey family!

  • January 26, 2010
    Rae Payne Parker says:
    Mrs. Lackey and family I am so sorry for your loss! I was in the Enka band 1980-1984. I can't begin to tell you how much Mr. Lackey has inspired me. I did not go into music but I did become a teacher. I often think back on my high school years and all my fond memories were things we did in band- Daytona beach, band camps, majorette tryouts, concert band, competing for 1st chair, endless practices, winning competitions and losing competitions with grace. He made a difference in my life and I feel honored to have known him.

  • January 26, 2010
    Jane Luther says:
    Dale and Family, It saddened me to see this morning that John has passed. I not only worked with him as Asst.Principal on the Enka High Staff, but was in school with him at Lee Edwards, Class '49. Everyone loved John and his music, and his wonderful sense of humor. I fondly remember one day after school when someone ran into our office to say that the football team and the band were fighting! Seems the team felt the field was theirs, and John had always done his band practice there, so he ordered them to "march into the team, at practice!" Other than a few banged up instruments and a few temporary hot tempers, we got it all settled in time. God love John and all the joy that he gave his students and our faculty! Jane Anne Luther