Ira Eugene “Gene” Lackey passed away peacefully Sunday, May 21, 2023. Graveside services, with military honors, will be 11:00 a.m., Friday, June 16, 2023 at Waco Memorial Cemetery with Rev. Molly Simpson officiating. Reception will follow in the Waco Memorial Reception Hall, where pictures from throughout his life will be displayed along with military medals awarded to him while serving his country with the Marines during the Viet Nam conflict, and his family and friends can gather to reminisce, laugh, and celebrate his life.
Gene was born June 8, 1943, in Cameron, Texas, to Joseph and Frankie Lackey in Cameron, Texas. Gene attended school through the 10th grade when he left Rosebud High School and joined the United States Marines. During his enlistment, he served his country with a hero’s valor. He met and married Nelda Lackey in 1965 and continued to fulfill his oath to our country by returning to Viet Nam. In 1967, serving his last tour in Loas, while radioing his coordinates for the helicopters to retrieve him and his soldiers, he inadvertently activated a land mine. The result was the loss of the lower part of both of his legs. He returned home to the United States, and received an honorable discharge from the Marines in January, 1968. He brought his family back to Texas, eventually settling down in Waco, where he attended TSTI. He was trained to work on hospital equipment, and later taught electronic classes at TSTI. Gene stayed actively involved in the lives of both of his children. As a regular at sporting or school events in which his children and grandchildren were involved, his presence was expected and appreciated by not only his children, but also their friends. He taught his son how to hunt and fish, as well as how to have high standards and values, and a strong work ethic. He taught his daughter how to do general household maintenance and repairs, as well as how to do routine tasks on automobiles, including how to change oil, change spark plugs, rotate the tires, and other maintenance. He always had sarcastic comments to greet visitors and loved to conspire ideas that he used to get a laugh. He was never boastful, and was often quiet while observing his surroundings, waiting for the perfect time to sneak in a sarcastic comment.
Gene was preceded in death by his parents, Joseph and Frankie Lackey, his sister, Jodie (Lackey) Harris, and brother Patton “Pat” Lackey. He is survived by his son, Joe Lackey and wife Dannel Webb; and daughter, Billie Farley and husband Attila “Luke” Lukacs. His grandchildren Aaron Towns and Ariel Farley whom Gene affectionately nicknamed "Hotshot" and "Monster," respectively. He has recently acquired four additional grandchildren: the son of Dannel Webb, Joseph Webb and wife Brenna; and the three children of Luke Lukacs, two of which he never had the opportunity to meet, Eva Lukacs and Hunter Lukacs. His youngest grandchild, Gunner Lukacs whom Gene nicknamed "’Lil Monster" loved to visit “Popsi” and was always asking to go play with him. Gene is also survived by one cousin, Iris Marie Fleming, as well as several nieces and nephews. Semper Fi.
Honorary pallbearers will be Joe Lackey, Aaron Towns, Luke Lukacs, Adam Lackey, Steve Youmans, Doug Hughes, Dwight Westerman, Caleb Lackey, Tommy Towns, and Joseph Webb.
The family has requested in lieu of flowers, to consider making donations to the American Cancer Society, the DAV or VFW of your choice, Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc., Baylor Scott & White Charles A. Sammons Cancer Center in Waxahachie, or Cook Children’s Hospital in Fort Worth.