Johnnie Neil Mackey, of Mexia, passed away Tuesday, January 22, 2013 at the Veterans Hospital in Temple, surrounded by his loving family. He was 71. Visitation will be Thursday, January 24, 2013, from 6:00 to 8:00 P.M., at the Groesbeck Funeral Home. Funeral services will be held at 10:00 A.M. on Friday, January 25, 2013, at the First Baptist Church in Groesbeck, with Reverend Tod Tanner officiating. Burial will follow in the Wortham Cemetery, with military honors by the United States Air Force Honor Guard. Pallbearers will be William Mackey, Dennis Mackey, Johnnie Niel Mackey III, Richard Mazac, Jacob Busby and Andrew Busby. Johnnie was born June 16, 1941 in Dickinson to John W. and Bessie (Mathison) Mackey, who have preceded him in death. He graduated from high school in Dickinson, Class of 1959. He attended Alvin Jr. College, and worked until 1961. On July 4, 1961, Johnnie was united in marriage with Nelda Mae Hutchison in League City. He entered the U. S. Air Force a few weeks later, beginning his twenty-year career. He served stateside during the Vietnam Era, working on guidance systems for the “Hound Dog” and “SRAM” missiles. During his career, he and Nelda moved all over the country, from Texas to Illinois, Washington State, where their two children were born, Puerto Rico, North Dakota, Louisiana, and Maine, before he retired in 1981. They then moved to Mexia where his parents lived. Johnnie continued working after the military at various businesses, because he liked to keep busy and loved to be around people. He retired from Walmart in 2000 after health problems. But for the rest of his life, he loved to go to Walmart to socialize with the employees and friends. He loved attending family reunions and his high school reunions, and enjoyed renewing connections with people. Johnnie was a wonderful brother to his sister, always faithfully calling her especially on her birthday, and he was a great husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather. Johnnie’s church was his life. He was a member of the First Baptist Church of Groesbeck, and wanted to be in attendance, whether he could walk in, or with a cane or walker, or in a wheelchair. He hoped his example would encourage others to be faithful in church attendance. He is survived by his wife, Nelda; his son and daughter-in-law, Johnnie Niel and Connie Mackey, Jr. of Houston; his daughter and son-in-law, Suzanne and J. Michael Wilson of Waco; nine grandchildren: Leeanna DeGraff of Waco, Britnee Henson and husband James of Jasper, Richard Mazac of Houston, Johnnie Niel Mackey III of Great Lakes, IL, Krystle Wilson of Waco, Sarah Wilson of Waco, Rebecca Wilson of Waco, William Mackey and wife Tiffany of Mexia, and Dennis Mackey of Mexia; eleven great grandchildren: Kaden Wilson, Cayle Schuetz, Bob Henson, Abigal Henson, David Henson, Alex Wilson, Jaden Wilson, Anna Wilson, Chloe Wilson, Sapphire DeGraff, and Wyatt Mackey; his sister and brother-in-law, Ruby Jean (Mackey) and Tommie Wayne Shelby of Baytown; and numerous nieces and nephews who loved and respected their “Uncle Johnnie,” and loving cousins.