You would be hard pressed to find a bigger Eagles fan than McArthur Mackey. Although he spent just three years living in Philadelphia, the South Carolina native rooted for the Birds throughout his life with the passion of a fan born in the shadow of the sports complex.

At his funeral in May, the team’s logo was printed on the back of the program, and his children adorned the cover of his casket with his favorite Eagles paraphernalia.

“He had a personality that definitely commanded a room,” said daughter Perri Duncan, a quality assurance manager at The Inquirer. “He was an excellent mediator who could bring people together by breaking the tension.”

Mr. Mackey, 76, died Monday, April 27, of COVID-19 in Charlotte, N.C.

Born and raised in Lancaster, S.C., Mr. Mackey was a truck driver who was celebrated for driving more than 10 million miles without an accident. He liked to fish and was a member of several bowling leagues. One of 10 children, he hosted many of the family’s reunions, where he often was the center of attention for his dancing and cooking.

“He was always giving and not wanting to receive anything,” Duncan said. “We thought of him as a celebrity because of that.”

Mr. Mackey (second from right) with daughters Jorrah Mackey (left) and Perri Duncan, and son Jonathan Wayne Winfield.
Courtesy of the family
Mr. Mackey (second from right) with daughters Jorrah Mackey (left) and Perri Duncan, and son Jonathan Wayne Winfield.

Following a relative to Philadelphia in the early 1970s, Mr. Mackey and his family lived for three years in North Philadelphia. But, yearning for the slower pace and open spaces back home, he and the family moved back to South Carolina and his roots.

Active throughout his life, Mr. Mackey often walked three or four miles a day. He was sought after as a disc jockey and played many gigs at nursing homes and children’s events. His collection of vinyl records was the envy of neighborhood musicians, and he taught his children to value honesty, integrity, and compassion.

Mr. Mackey loved to cook at family reunions.
Courtesy of the family
Mr. Mackey loved to cook at family reunions.

“He was God-fearing and loved serving others,” Duncan said. “He was healthy and full of life, so family-oriented and very loving.”

In addition to his daughter, Mr. Mackey is survived by daughter Jorrah, son Jonathan Wayne Winfield, and partner Ann Williams. He was predeceased by son Theodore.

Gary Miles, gmiles@phillynews.com