Maxine  Wilson


September 15, 1947 - April 29, 2019
Mackie, as she was known to all, passed away at the age of 71 in Athens, Texas, while under hospice care at UT Health Athens hospital. She was preceded in death by her beloved Momma Gene and Daddy Jack (Swaim) and birth father WH Wilson. She is survived by brother, Danny, whom she relished humbling in public but loved in private, sister-in-law Janet, nieces Jennifer and Kristin whom she regaled with embarrassing stories of their dad"s mis-spent youth and four grand nieces and nephews; Case, Elise, Karsen and Henry. Their photos were always close at hand or posted on the refrigerator door. Also surviving are Uncle Sam and Aunt Kitty and a dozen or so cousins and second-cousins, especially Jean and Sarah who were her go-to best buddies.
Imagine for a moment, a woman kicks open the Pearly Gates as if the were saloon swinging-doors, tells the angels in salty language their halos look silly and refuses to answer questions about any supposed past misdeeds. Most readers will say "That's the Mackie I know" at this point, but she would insist that there's more to the story and you're just going to have to sit down and hear it out.
Born in Dallas to a recently divorced mother, she met her life's hero and only real Dad when she was just under two years old as Jack and Gene got married. The early years were more than just a bit tough, with numerous moves between East Texas and the California Bay Area. By age nine she could name all the towns on Route 66, in order, from Amarillo to Kingman and speak fluent "truck driver," if you know what that means. If not, there's a truck stop in Clines Corner, NM, you might want to visit. Mackie and her younger brother Danny frequently roamed alone on the streets of San Rafael, CA, and Fort Worth, TX, as what would be charitably called "free-range children." Their troubles were never felonious, but The Little Rascals would have been proud of many escapades. Watching over her brother when she was as young as age seven, she was terrifically proud of her roles as little brother's keeper and protector and never failed to remind him he owed her big time. Her happiest moments were going to White Lake Dairy in Fort Worth with Grandad Swaim. She would load the hay bales to feed the cows and was proud to out lift all the boys.
In the early sixties the family made what was to be the last move to the Bay Area where Mackie attended Richmond High School. After high school, Mackie waitressed a bit during the day but found time to enjoy the San Francisco "Summer of Love" culture as a somewhat contradictory "red-neck hippie." Somewhat incompatible with most folk's thinking, but she pulled it off.
In 1972 Mackie enlisted in the US Army and served in Germany and Washington State as an SPC4 in the supply corps. Receiving an Honorable Discharge in 1974, she was proud to be a Viet Nam-Era Veteran. Being that children may read this, no WAC stories will be repeated here. She followed her Army stint by working for the Department of Army at Fort McCelland, AL, until 1992. Working in transportation, she shuttled troops to training exercises and it is rumored that one less drill sergeant was needed on base after she offered "instruction" to a few soldiers that seem to need a bit of "help". Suffice it to say, the cussin' she learned from Momma Gene served her well. Some readers may have shared the same experience her Army charges endured.
Mackie left Alabama for Tioga, TX in the early '90's to help look after her mom's health was declining. Here she met her very best friend, and cousin-in-law, Jean and when the Wilson family later moved to the Mabank-Athens area she followed them.
Mackie kept pretty busy after moving to the Athens area. Seems there are plenty of folks around that Mackie could sense were just awaiting someone like her to set them straight. If you were in line with Mackie at Braum's, or even behind the register, you were quite likely to either get a new friend or, maybe, receive some life-altering advice. All at no charge, and worth every penny. She also singlehandedly kept Facebook afloat by liking and re-posting everything she found funny or interesting while staying in touch with relatives and her many Facebook friends. She also did her best to stay in touch with her favorite Aunt Kitty. Near the end Mackie was on hospice care, but mostly able to live on her own with some (read Lots) of help from Jean and Sarah. She was in hospice a bit longer than most patients. She probably hung on a bit just to needle her hospice nurse Russell as long as she could and to snuggle with Taryn's dog "Snoopy."
Much of Mackie's life was pretty tough and many friends and family will know that she often spoke bluntly and presented a hard shell to the outside world. She did this to protect herself from hurt. But crack that tough shell and inside she was tender and vulnerable. Though she didn't always say it aloud, her heart was full of love for family and friends. More than cards, flowers, you can best honor Mackie by just telling a good Mackie story, even to a stranger standing in-line next to you. If you have the desire to donate, support The Soul Kitchen of Athens which helps hungry kids. Kim Hodges at First State Bank (903 6761900) can provide information.
Mackie asked only two things in her passing; that her obituary be one hundred percent true and that folks would laugh through their tears while reading. Hopefully, those marks have been hit.
Mackie had connected with Native American Spiritualism throughout her life. In her final hours, as family stood by her side, two red tail hawks flew in and out of a tree near her windows. Though she couldn't see them, the symbolism would have thrilled her. If you need a memorial for Mackie, look to the Texas sky and feel her spirit soaring with the red tail hawks.
Mackie touched many lives and will be remembered by all. A private family service will inter her ashes in the historic cemetery at Tioga, TX.
Published on May 3, 2019
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6 posts

Gloria McDonald
May 11, 2019
Soar high Mackie. It was an honor to know you. Always had a great comment or piece of wisdom to pass along. You will be missed but never forgotten.
Kelly whatley
May 05, 2019
A very special person... She will be missed dearly...
Victoria Alexander
May 04, 2019
I met Mackie over twenty years ago in an AOL chat room and in person several years later. In all the years we shared, I don't think there was anything we didn't talk about but the one recurring subject was family. I will miss hearing about you all almost as much as I already miss her. I hope she takes it easy on the angels so she doesn't get kicked out.
Tracy Paramore
May 04, 2019
What a wonderful person... big heart and always was straight forward with ya. Don’t ask for her opinion unless you knew you could handle it. She was one of my best friends and I knew I could talk to her about EVERYTHING .. I miss you like crazy... rest easy my mackie-poo
Jon Ketcham
May 03, 2019
I only knew her from the Dallas Digest where we hung out online and expressed our opinions. She will be missed.
May 03, 2019
So glad I got to spend time with Mackie. Special person for sure. She loved Snoopy!!