Macauley G. "Mackie" Nicholes, age 70 of Harrisburg, passed away at 3 p.m. Monday, July 22, 2013, at Memorial Hospital of Carbondale.
"Mackie" was born on Wednesday, March 31, 1943, in Lowell, Mass., to Robert Gilliland Nicholes and Clair Macauley Nicholes.
Though many years were spent in the northeast, he considered Easley, South Carolina his home. He graduated from Easley High School and went on to Chowan College in Murfreesboro, N.C., where he played football and graduated with an associates of arts degree. From there he went to Bethel College in McKenzie, Tenn., and graduated with a bachelor's of science degree.
Throughout his life, Mackie loved sports - playing basketball, football, baseball and golf. And he always loved announcing games on the radio. After college, he began his teaching career - first in Atlanta, Ga., then Chicago and Lake Ridge, Ind. In 1968, he married Roxanna Buse in Mason City. They both taught in northern Indiana for three and a half years before moving to Harrisburg in 1972 to open a Monical's Pizza. Later it became "Mackie's Pizza."
Life was good in Harrisburg even through Chicago sports were not on the local channels. Mackie quickly found the local radio station and offered to broadcast the high school games. It wasn't long before his good friend and mentor, Bill Franks, made it possible for him to purchase WEBQ (Rock 100). And oh how he loved that - broadcasting as many games as possible including SIU Basketball and later Illinois Football with Dick Butkus. During his time he served as a director of the Illinois Broadcasting Association. In the early 80's he traded WEBQ for WSIL-TV which he owned with three partners. After his TV business was sold he decided to go for a new business and opened Thunderbird Travel, later to become "Saluki Travel." And travel he did, going to over 100 countries all over the world, making friends wherever he went.
Mackie was a member of the Harrisburg Masonic Lodge and the Harrisburg Rotary Club for over 40 years. In 2012 he received the Paul Harris Fellow Award. He was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Harrisburg. He had also served as a director on the SIC Foundation Board for several years.
Mackie is survived by his wife, Roxanna; son, Robbie Nicholes of Harrisburg; daughter, Nancy (Rick) Owen of Beech Mountain, N. C.; son, Martin (Whitney) Nicholes of Harrisburg; three beloved grandchildren, Hampton Macauley Owen, Frankie Leigh Nicholes and Quincy Roxanna Nicholes; and his loyal dogs Biscuit and Muffin. His caregivers, Ninette Jones and Elma Reynolds were also very important to him in the latter years of his life. He was preceded in death by a twin brother, Gilliland Macauley Nicholes and his parents Robert and Claire.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, July 28, 2013, at the First Presbyterian Church of Harrisburg. The Rev. Sam Foskey will officiate. Visitation will be held from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday, July 25, 2013, at Reed Funeral Chapel in Harrisburg. Masonic rites will be conducted by the Harrisburg Masonic Lodge No. 325 at 7 p.m. In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to the Harrisburg High School Athletics Fund or the First Presbyterian Church.
Page 2 of 2 - Condolences may be sent to the family through the obituary page at www.reedfuneralchapel.com.