Daniel Barber Mackey II passed away on Sunday, January 12 at his home, surrounded by friends and family. He had a big, big heart, and it finally gave out.
The sun will still come up tomorrow morning, of course, but it won’t be nearly as bright as it once was.
Danny Mackey was a larger-than-life figure whose life was extremely well lived, and if he was your friend, you were one of the luckiest people in the world.
Danny was genuinely one of a kind. He was one of the great raconteurs of our time, and his stories – many of which were true – will be with us for generations to come. He was also an avid reader, a superb conversationalist, and an ardent Gamecock fan who could still be your good friend even if you wore different colors on game day. He loved fishing South Carolina’s coastal waters and generally did so in the company of good buddies and good Scotch.
He was born in Camden in 1939, the son of Olive Nettles and Daniel Barber Mackey. He was a 1957 graduate of Camden High School and enlisted in the United States Marine Corps upon graduation. He then enrolled at the University of South Carolina in 1959 and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the USC College of Journalism in 1963.
At USC Danny was a member of Sigma Chi fraternity, the Interfraternity Council, Sigma Delta Chi journalism honor society, the University’s Student Speakers Bureau, and the staff of The Gamecock student newspaper.
After graduating from USC, Danny began a long and distinguished career in community and economic development as Director of the Greer, SC, Chamber of Commerce. He later served as Director of the Chester County, SC, Board of Commerce and Development, and then Director of the Salisbury, NC, Economic Development Office, which encompassed 13 counties in the Piedmont region of North Carolina.
Danny was a pioneer in the regional economic development sphere, serving for 16 years as Director of the Upper Savannah Council of Governments, headquartered in Greenwood, SC. This was a high-water mark in improving South Carolina’s economy, because Danny had the ability to convince the leaders of cities and counties to join together in economic development, instead of fighting each other with hammer and tongs.
n 1984 he joined the staff of Governor Richard W. Riley as Director of the Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (ACIR).
After retirement in 1998, he served in interim leadership positions at both the Kershaw County Library and the South Carolina State Library. He also continued his longstanding role as a full-time, unpaid ambassador for Camden, Kershaw County and South Carolina. He enjoyed the fellowship and service as member of Rotary International for more than five decades.
Danny is survived by his sweetheart, wife and best friend of 56 years, Pearce (Tootie) Webb Mackey. He was beloved by his sons Benjamin Elliott Mackey and Daniel Barber Mackey III (deceased), and grandsons Walker B. Todd, B. Elliott Mackey II, Thomas M. Mackey and Coleman L. Mackey. Forever young at heart, he was his grandsons’ favorite playmate, fishing buddy and confidant. He is also survived by two sisters, Oliver M. Cantey and Virginia M. Green.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, January 16, at Grace Church Episcopal, 1315 Lyttleton Street in Camden. A reception will follow from 1-3 p.m. at Springdale Hall, 161 Knights Hill Road.
At Danny’s request, his ashes will be scattered at a future date. His place in our hearts, however, will last forever.
Memorials may be sent to: Grace Episcopal Church, 1315 Lyttleton St., Camden, SC 29020 OR Habitat for Humanity, 116 East DeKalb St., Camden, SC 29020
Kornegay Funeral Home, Camden Chapel, is in charge of arrangements.