Frederick Earl Lackey, 84, went to be with his heavenly father on Thursday, June 29, 2023, at his home in Alexander County.
He was born on January 22, 1939, to the late Robert and Emma Lee Kerley Lackey in their home in Hiddenite.
Fred graduated from Hiddenite High School in 1957. He then attended Wake Forest University for one year before enlisting in the United States Air Force. Soon after enlisting, he was stationed in South Korea for a year during the end of the Korean War. Upon his return to the United States, he was stationed at Moody Air Force Base in Valdosta, Georgia.
While on leave, he came back to Alexander County to marry Linda Gail Hendren on June 2, 1962. After a year, they were assigned to Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. While in Oxford, their lives changed forever. They were blessed with their first daughter, Melissa (Missy). During this time, Fred became a commissioned officer in the United States Air Force.
In the spring of 1967, the three moved to San Antonio, Texas, where Fred was stationed at Lackland Air Force Base. It was there that their second daughter, Amanda (Mandy), was born. Shortly after, they moved to Norman Oklahoma where Fred entered graduate school at the University of Oklahoma.
Two years later, they were assigned to Intelligence School in Aurora, Colorado. Then Linda and the girls returned to North Carolina while Fred spent a year in Vietnam. Upon his return, they moved to Hampton, Virginia where they spent the next five years (with one six-month tour at Maxwell AFB in Montgomery, Alabama).
They returned to Maxwell for one year and then moved to Fairfax, Virginia where Fred was stationed at the Pentagon for five years. At the end of this five-year tour, Fred decided to retire from the Air Force as a Lieutenant Colonel after 24 years of service. The family of four returned home to Alexander County to settle down.
Fred then began his career in banking. He worked as a corporate finance loan officer for First Union Bank for 10 years before his official retirement.
Because Fred believed it was important to help his community, he joined the Bethlehem Ruritans, in 1986, and served as their Secretary for 30 years. During this time, he was Ruritan National Treasurer, National Director and District Governor. His dedication to the Ruritans was immeasurable. He enjoyed chicken BBQ benefits, selling Christmas trees, and fellowshipping with his fellow Ruritan members.
Fred also served as an Alexander County Commissioner from 1992-1996. He was a dedicated member of Hiddenite Baptist Church where he served as chairman of the finance committee and church treasurer from 2007-2022. He also taught a men’s Sunday School class during that time.
He loved reading, watching the Atlanta Braves play baseball, and spending time with his daughters, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. He was known to them as “Popeye.”
He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife of 39 years, Linda; brother, Steve Lackey; and sons-in-law, Wesley Deal and Rodney Simpson.
Those left to treasure his memory include his daughters, Melissa Deal and Amanda Simpson; his special friend, Lucille Hefner; brother, Bill Lackey (Yvonne); brother, Bob Lackey; seven grandchildren, Alex Deal (Greg), Aaron Deal, Emily Simpson (Will), Hillary Montieth (Josh), Rebekah Peterson (Sawyer), Ethan Deal, and Jeremy Simpson (Peyton); and six great-grandchildren, Lawson and Maddox Montieth, and Aubrey, Adley, Lainey and Meritt Peterson.
The family would like to say a special thank you to caregivers: Sandy Austin, Sarah Embler, Laurie Whitworth, McKenna Hundley, Gracie Cordell, and Baylie Beal. The love and kindness you all showed our father over the past year has been such a blessing. Thank you for loving him as much as we loved him.
The family will receive friends from 1:00-2:45 p.m. on Monday, July 3, 2023, at Hiddenite Baptist Church with the funeral following at 3:00 p.m. Pastor Zach Deal will officiate. Burial will follow at Hiddente Cemetery. Full military rites will be provided by the Air Force.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to Hiddenite Baptist Church at 250 Hiddenite Church Rd, Hiddenite, NC 28636.
Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Alexander Funeral and Cremation Service.
Condolences may be sent to www.alexfuneralservice.com.