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
    Harlon & Carolyn Hensley says:
    Dale, We were so sorry to hear of John's death. We didn't know he was having health issues other than when you said in your Christmas card that you were't driving that far anymore. You both have meant so much to us over the many years that we have been aquainted. John was truely loved by everyone he came in contact with and we know he will be truly missed by everyone. We love you and when you are back in this area please give us a call. Love and prayers, Harlon & Carolyn

  • January 26, 2010
    John Corbett says:
    I have very fond memories of John as director of the Marshall High School band. I was President of the band and reported to John during my high school years through 1958. We sat next to each other and played trumpet in the Marshall High orchestra. My very best wishes to John's family. Sincerely, John Corbett

  • January 26, 2010
    roger dickinson says:
    John, although I didn't have many opportunities to be with him was always so kind and passionate about his family, friends and Country. He was a "Special Man!"

  • January 26, 2010
    Terri Sale Fisher says:
    My thoughts and prayers are with your family. I graduated from Enka High in 1976. I was never in the band, but knew John. What a great personality! He actually went to school with my parents, Graham (Chic) Sale and JoAnn Hipps Sale. They talked of him fondly.

  • January 26, 2010
    Betty (Miller) Prater says:
    My deepest sympathies to the Lackey family and to all who knew and loved him. God bless you. Mr.Lackey was my band director at Sand Hill Grammar School (1976-1978) and Enka High School (1978-1982). I am honored to have been one of his students.