Richard Allen Mackie, 81, passed away peacefully on Sept. 27, 2014, at Syringa Hospital. He was born in the city of San Diego to Stanley Warren and Marjorie Mackie on July 8, 1933. He grew up exploring the deserts of Southern California, developing an insatiable curiosity about the diverse flora and fauna of that region. Eventually, the curiosity evolved into a full-fledged interest in the field of entomology. He earned a bachelor’s degree in science at San Diego State and graduated with a master in science with an emphasis in entomology from the University of Idaho in Moscow. While at University of Idaho, he met and eventually married Patricia Ann Bentz of White Bird, Idaho, and together they had three children: Wendy, Jerry and Kenneth.
Richard and his family lived in San Diego where he worked as a public health entomologist for the county. Eventually, Richard moved his family to the island of Guam where during the fall of Saigon and the subsequent mass evacuation of 120,000 South Vietnamese refugees, he served as the governor’s principle liaison to the military and to the “Operation New Life” program.
Because of his success in averting a potential public health crisis for both the refugees and the people of Guam, a new position was created for Richard as Chief Public Health Officer for the Territory of Guam. He was also appointed as a country representative to the World Health Organization. Richard retired from his position as Chief Public Health Officer and moved back to the states where he founded his own business recruiting programmers for a specific mainframe platform. He also authored several books on topics ranging from government regulations to his personal experiences of “Operation New Life.” He will be greatly missed by all who knew him.
Richard is survived by his two sons, Jerry and Kenneth (his daughter, Wendy, passed in 2012), and their mother, Patricia.
A memorial service will be held in June of 2015. Announcements will be made as that date approaches.