Nina (Strack) Mackey of Blue Springs and Kansas City died July 13 from a rare and aggressive form of skin cancer. She was 88.
Nina was born in Marling, Mo. to Herb and Helen (Fry) Strack. She cherished growing up in Paynesville, Mo., where her father had a general store. She was graduated in 1951 from Louisiana High School before attending Christian College and then University of Missouri - Columbia.
She began her high school teaching career in 1956 in Tucson, Az., where she married Dick Mackey. They returned to his hometown of Kansas City, where Nina taught at Southeast and Paseo high schools. She later taught at and retired from Hickman Mills High School. She spent her retirement traveling, reading in elementary classrooms and volunteering at Children’s Mercy Hospital.
Nina loved her family, her friends, good books and movies. She traveled the world from Europe to Africa, Antarctica, China and Tibet, India, Iceland and the Galapagos, seeking the company of locals everywhere she went. Fiercely independent to the end, she swore by her daily walk and five o’clock beer. She became a Buddhist in her 60s and got her first tattoo at 80. She was an unconventional but devoted “Tatē” to her grandchildren Michael (Theresa), Mara (Esebei), Adam and Emma. In addition to her grandchildren she is survived by daughters Robin (Erik) and Ann (Joseph), great-grandson Joseph and the Bauer Clan, who years ago adopted her as one of their own