Will Lackey was born in Cedarvale, New Mexico on July 5, 1941 to Fred and Elizabeth Lackey. He died on September 12, 2023 at the age of 82 from respiratory and cardiac failure - his huge heart for humanity just wore out.
Visitation will be Saturday morning, September 16, 2023 from 9 to 10 at the First Baptist Church where a celebration of his life will begin at 10 o’clock. Officiating will be Pastor Michael Cannon, Pastor LeRoy Lacy, and Reverend Ron Cross. Concluding services and interment will follow at Mt. View Cemetery.
Will had two younger siblings, Wilburn and Louella. They also grew up near his Uncle Paul and Aunt Grace with cousins, Wesley, Archie, Daniel, Norman, Roland, and James. All those boys and Louella attended (and caused mayhem, bless those teachers…) small schools in Cedarvale and Corona NM where Will convinced the powers that be that he should be allowed to graduate in 1960.
After failed auditions at several colleges he settled in at Western New Mexico University where he mercifully received his Bachelor's Degree in Business Education (1967) and Masters Degree in Secondary School Administration (1972).
During his last semester at WNMU a freshman named Susan Young sat down at his table. Because he was a very smart man, and because she recognized kindness and a great sense of humor, they were soon dating and were married on June 8, 1968. They spent the next 55 years in a wonderful and successful lifetime adventure of raising a family of four boys and love for one another.
Upon graduation from college Will began the long penance for his own school years by starting to teach at Clifton, AZ (1 year) and Lordsburg, NM (4 years). He became Principal at Encino, NM in 1972 (2 years) and remained in school administration as either Principal or Superintendent in Logan NM (12 years), Maxwell, NM (3 years) and Quemado NM (5 years). He moved to Lordsburg in 1997 after 27 years in education - along the way being a tremendous blessing and a wonderful example for countless students, teachers, parents, board members, and community members all around the state of New Mexico.
As Will neared retirement, he began a second career of full time ministry by serving as Pastor at First Baptist Church Datil. Upon retirement and after moving to Lordsburg, he accepted the call to serve as Pastor for First Baptist Church Lordsburg where he served for seven and a half years. His ministry, just like his life, was marked by compassion, generosity, and a calling to help in any way that he could to meet the spiritual, physical, and emotional needs of those with whom he came into contact.
Together with his wife, Will embarked on yet another retirement career (until recently, retirement was more of a concept than a reality) as they opened up Lackey’s Fashion Cleaners and Lackey Rentals in Lordsburg. These businesses met the laundry, cleaning, alteration, and tuxedo rental needs of Lordsburg and the surrounding area for over 20 years - and it kept Will present and engaged in the community he loved.
Will Lackey is best remembered for always having a twinkle in his eye, and that laugh (many of you can see and hear it even now) that came easy and often. He was fully committed to being the best husband and father that he possibly could. His entire life was spent in service to those around him and to the communities where he lived and worked. He was incredibly proud of his boys and all of his many grandchildren and great grandchildren. Many of you can also attest that convincing Will to allow you to pay for the meal was consistently a losing battle, but one he always relished having if you were up for it.
Surviving him from the Corona Crew are his brother Wilburn (Polly), and cousins Wesley (Jan), Norman (Rita), Roland (Bobby), and James (Bonnie). Wanda Mae Wood is another cousin who survives him. Left to sort through the “treasures” in the shop are his wife, Susan Lackey - his four sons Mark (Rhonda DeVinney), David, Randall (Brittany Jensen), and Kevin (Nichole Ruegsegger). He has 15 grandchildren, 4 great grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.
Wilfred Lackey has now actually retired into an eternal role of service and praise to his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The choir of joy and laughter in Heaven has a new voice in the back row and one who will insist that after practice the check be delivered to him. Good luck with that Mr. Lackey, someone else already picked up the tab.
Pallbearers will be Mark Lackey, David Lackey, Randall Lackey, Kevin Lackey, A.J. Lackey, Brennan Lackey and Luke Lackey. Honorary bearers are Darryn Lackey, Jimmy Lackey, Dason Lackey, Jace Lackey and Braxton Lackey.