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Shirley P. MacKay, 90, sportswoman, adventurer and philanthropist

Shirley Plymette MacKay
Shirley Plymette MacKay

Shirley P. MacKay, 90, died peacefully Sunday, Jan. 21, 2018. She lived a beautiful life, filled with love, laughter and friends.

Shirley was born March 10, 1927, in Montoursville, Pa., the daughter of the late Ellery B. Plymette Sr. and Esther D. Plymette.

Shirley graduated from Williamsport High School with honors and earned a Registered Nurse’s Degree at Garfield Memorial Hospital in Washington, D.C. There, she met the love of her life, Dr. James Calvin MacKay. After marriage, Dr. and Mrs. MacKay chose to settle in Wilmington, N.C., where they raised three children and enjoyed 46 years together. During that time, Shirley graduated with honors from UNCW with a degree in French.

Shirley was an avid sportswoman, adventurer and philanthropist with a special interest in supporting the American Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders, the UNCW Nursing Program, UNC TV, Cape Fear Community College, World Wildlife Fund and the Metropolitan Opera, to name a few.

Shirley was preceded in death by her husband, Calvin; and son, Duncan.

She is survived by son, William H. MacKay, and his wife, Jenny; daughter, Kathryn M. Britt, and her husband, Robert; granddaughters, Bonnie M. Gentry, Miriam E. Stanfield and Emily K. Stanfield; great-grandchildren, Janice Mendez, Elias and Jordan Gentry, Kalib, Jeremy, and Braylon Neely and Marly Brooks.

A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m., Friday, April 20, at Andrews Mortuary Market Chapel, Wilmington. The family will receive friends from 9 to 10 a.m. prior to services.

In lieu of flowers donations may be made at

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