John Assey
John Assey

Obituary of John Assey

John Wesley "Mac" McAssey 1915 - 2012 John Wesley "Mac" McAssey, of Boise and formerly of Tallahassee, FL and Denver, CO, died Tuesday, March 13, at home. A funeral service will be held at 2:30 pm, on Monday, March 19, at the Cathedral of the Rockies, 11th and Hays Street in Boise. John was the son of Albert and Rosa Lee McAssey, born in Memphis, TN, February 9, 1915. He attended Memphis schools, graduated from Southside High School and flight schools in Los Angeles and Tracey, CA. He was attracted at a young age to aircraft engineering and piloting. He barnstormed at age 15 and became an early employee of United Airlines. John served concurrently from their pilot ranks, as well as in the Air Transport Command throughout the Pacific theater in World War II and later again during the Korean and Vietnam Wars in airlifts of wounded troops out of the war zones. He retired from United in 1974 with a perfect safety record, a rare accomplishment. From his Memphis upbringing Mac held a lifelong enthusiasm for hunting and fishing. He was a vital member of field trial associations throughout the West, founding and furthering retriever clubs in Denver (1952) and later Cheyenne, Colorado Springs, Salt Lake City and Albuquerque. Over decades, Mac judged 150 major retriever stakes, including both the National Open and Amateur Stakes, and was a past president of the National Retriever Club, National Amateur Retriever Club, and the Labrador Club. He served for eight years on the AKC Retriever Advisory Committee and for many years served on the board of the Retriever Field Trial News. John fielded, as well, three champion Labrador retrievers. He was a founding member of the Bird Dog Foundation of Grand Junction, TN, and for his unflagging contributions to the sport, was elected to the Retriever Field Trial Hall of Fame in 1995. John was a long-time member of Park Hill Masonic Lodge of Denver, the Retired United Pilots Association, Ducks Unlimited and a former member of the Arid Club of Boise. He is survived by his wife Sarah Anne "Pidge" McAssey; son John and Ann Bloomquist of Chicago, IL; son Sheldon McAssey of Jacksonville, FL; daughter Mary Tracy MacKay of Canada, and her children Lake and Rosewind; daughter Katie and Roger Grose of Biddeford, ME; daughter Sally Scudder and daughter Lorea Balzategui of Boise, ID; son Bradford and Bonnie Scudder of Boise, ID and son Andrew; and daughter Susie Brooke and Rob Andrews of San Jose, CA; and cousins Wilma May and Dr. R. Wilson, former pastor of the First Methodist Church, Memphis, TN, and Nancy Sasser of Montgomery, AL. Contributions may be made in his memory to the Retriever Endowment Fund of the Bird Dog Foundation, the Idaho Commission for the Blind & Visually Impaired, or to a charity of your choice.
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