Obituary: William Bill Mackin
September 23, 1939 – November 26, 2020
“My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys”
Never one to mince words, Bill would want you to know that he died on November 26, 2020. While already suffering the indignity of dementia and COPD, Bill was recently infected with COVID 19 which spelled the end of his tenure on earth. He has rejoined his parents, Al and Maxine Mackin, Jiro and Keiko Mori, infant sister, brother Tom Mori, and his daughter Kit, in what can only be imagined as a joyous reunion at the pearly gates. We are assuming he made right with his Lord and was welcomed back.
Bill was not a quiet, meek, or even-tempered man. He lived a passionate life with equal amounts of rocky times as joyful times. With a loud bellowing laugh, giant cowboy hat, signature mustache, and a “cut the bullsh*t, what’s the discount” sheriff’s badge, Bill was an impressive figure at AA meetings, gun shows, and Cowboy Church. Always willing to take on any challenge, he overcame alcoholism, the tragic deaths of loved ones, almost being paralyzed in a car accident, and the frequent consequences of his quick wit and wicked tongue.
After working on his own sobriety and gaining degrees from the University of Utah, Bill went on to have a multi-decade career in mental health services- counseling others, running addiction recovery centers in several states, and creating programs to enable sustained recovery. Bill worked across several western states including Utah, Wyoming, and ultimately ending up in Colorado, where he recently celebrated his 50th AA birthday with a chip ceremony.
If you knew anything about Bill Mackin, you knew his greatest passion in life was Cowboys. Raised on horseback in Granger, Utah, he sought from a young age to know everything about the cowboy culture. As an adult, he traveled the country collecting western folklore artifacts and guns, learned extensive regional history and detailed family stories of the western settlers, and created a world-renowned reputation for being an expert on all things cowboy and gunfighter related. He published his own books, was featured in numerous articles on the topic, and later in life, Bill took the greatest joy in retelling these stories while giving tours of his collection as a docent in the Museum of Northwest Colorado in Craig, CO.
Bill is survived by his loving wife Mickee, his sons Mark and Mathew, his grandchildren Ashley, Samantha, Zachary, his sister Eleanore (Ron) Jorgensen, his nieces; Janet Jorgensen, Julie Jorgensen, and JoAnn (Matt) Arabasz, his beloved Japanese family; Stephanie (Gary) Nakao, Jerry (Julee) Mori, Theresa (Greg) Sueoka and their families, numerous dear friends and if he were honest, probably a couple of enemies.
No memorial service is planned at this time due to the risks of COVID, but we hope you’ll take a few minutes to listen to your family’s history and pass those stories along to the next generation. Instead of flowers, please consider a donation to The Museum of Northwest Colorado which houses Bill’s collection and where he spent many an hour bending the ear of unsuspecting tourists.
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