William Junior Mackley, age 82 of Stapleton, NE, a former long resident of North Platte, NE passed away Wednesday May 16, 2018 at Cozad Care and Rehabilitation Center.
Bill was born January 24, 1936 in Arnold, NE to James Christopher and Emma Margaret (Smith) Mackley. He attended grade school in Arnold and when he was 14 his parents retired from the farm and the family moved to Gothenburg. He graduated from Gothenburg High School in 1953. He served in the US Navy from May 1954 thru March 1958, being discharged in 1962. He received the National Defense Service Medal, and his last duty assignment was Atsugi, Japan. After his honorable discharge, he returned to Gothenburg and married Janet Arlene Gruber, and 4 children were born to this union, William Jr., Dawn, James and Patrick. The couple moved to Ogallala, NE where he did redi-mix and sheet metal work. They moved to North Platte where he worked for South Jeffers Plumbing and Heating. He went to work for the Union Pacific Railroad as a pipefitter and worked there until his retirement in December 2000. After he retired from the railroad, he and Janet moved to Stapleton. He took a job at Kildare Lumber and would drive in to North Platte every day; he continued until he was no longer able to stay awake on the drive home! He planted a large vegetable garden each summer and they ate and canned what they could and gave the rest away to friends and neighbors. He continued to grow tomatoes at their home in Stapleton until just a couple of years ago. Bill kept a neat yard, liked to fish (he always had a stock of Vienna sausages to eat while fishing); he liked watching All In The Family and The Carol Burnett Show. He occasionally took the family camping and there is one particular memory of a canvas tent! It was a 12 person tent, and extraordinarily heavy! After they struggled to get it pitched securely in the sand, they emerged the next morning to find the tents of their fellow campers flattened by a strong wind in the night … but not theirs! He liked going to the pork breakfast during NebraskaLand Days; on holidays he carved the meat with his electric knife; after nightly dinners he would pack the leftovers in his black metal lunch box for work the next day. He took his children to mass on Sundays and did not tolerate any messing around during service! Pasta was his favorite food; he hated toast crumbs in the butter; he liked to play quarter slots and scratch tickets; and he loved Coors beer! He had a few special phrases he would use when playing a game of pitch, “spado-o’s”, “the big zera” and “stinkaroo”! He and Janet were the loving owners of 3 fur-girls, Corgi dogs named Missy, Molly and Minnie. Bill will be greatly missed by his family and friends.
Bill is survived by his wife Janet of Stapleton, NE; children William (Julie) Mackley, Jr., of North Platte, NE, Dawn Horn of Sedona, AZ, Jim (Christine) Mackley of Boulder City, NV, Pat (Terri) Mackley of Rock Springs, WY; grandchildren CJ (Koah) Mackley, Samantha (William) Hessell, Levi, Lexi, Jayna, Jared, Natalie, Alex, Adam, Sean and Seth; 7 great grandchildren; brother Leonard (Wanda) Mackley of Arnold, NE; sister Arline Buchholtz of Thornton, CO; as well as many nieces, nephews and other extended family members.
He was preceded in death by his parents Chris and Emma Mackley; in-laws Roland and Leila Gruber; brothers Joseph and Francis “Fat” Mackley; infant sister Dorothy; sisters-in-law Audrey Mackley, Wilma Mackley and Virginia Mackley; and brother-in-law Stan Buchholtz.
Memorials are suggested to Pawsitive Partners or Fur The Love of Paws and online condolences may be shared at www.adamsswanson.com. Graveside services will be held 1:00 p.m. Tuesday May 22, 2018 at Ft. McPherson National Cemetery with military honors and Pastor Eric Mockaitis officiating. The family requests casual attire. Visitation will be held from noon until 7:00 p.m. Monday May 21, 2018 with Family Receiving Friends from 5:00 until 7:00 at Adams and Swanson Funeral Home which is in charge of arrangements.