Jack McKey – A Master Craftsman of Primitive Weapons and Tools
Jack McKee is an esteemed craftsman of primitive weapons and tools. His bows crafted from bighorn sheep horns are in high demand worldwide – only few people know how to create such objects!
Thomas Grant, associate professor of broadcasting at Abraham Baldwin Agricultural College in South Georgia has created a biographical film about McKey. GMA Gallery guests can watch it after its premiere as long as supplies last.
Early Life and Education
At eight years old, Jack McKey had an unforgettable encounter with a spirit guide carrying him to a mountaintop at the end of the world. This encounter drove his life toward primitivism; eventually leading him to spend years living in remote Alaskan and Pacific Northwest regions where he learned how to craft weapons using stone, bone, sinew and other raw materials he found nearby.
McKey spent much of his life teaching others the skills he had acquired through careful study and rigorous trial-and-error. A Crow Indian from Browning, Montana noted McKey’s sheep horn bows as some of the finest examples of native American tools and weapons he had seen; an American museum director from Georgia credits McKey’s development through “unfailing perseverance, trial-and-error learning processes, as well as some degree of spiritual guidance”.
Jack McKey has spent decades perfecting ancient Native American techniques when crafting weapons and tools, drawing upon their wisdom, ingenuity, and even divine help to craft one-of-a-kind pieces he calls one-offs.
Newspaper accounts during his time at Massillon often used the phrase, “earth-shaking”, to describe McKey’s unorthodox hits that sent shockwaves through opponents. Additionally, he was known for his speed and ability to track ball carriers from behind.
McKey speaks in the distinctive drawl of Georgia and occasionally rails against government bureaucracy, serving on multiple nonprofit boards while wielding an astute business acumen that led him to create Whole Foods from scratch, now boasting outlets all across America and Canada.
Achievement and Honors
Jack McKey was an esteemed husband, father and grandfather who will be greatly missed by many. His survivors include his parents Bobby E. and Sherilyn Landry McKey; brother Jeff with wife Kim; sons Mason Landry McKey and Matthew Brayden McKey; daughter Tracey McKey Hutchinson (and Chuck); Barry and Glenda Brasseaux Landry’s family; as well as Faye Temple McKey his paternal grandmother.
After attending the morning premiere of GMA’s film with McKey, guests will have an opportunity to engage in a gallery walk and discussion featuring hundreds of handcrafted artifacts displayed at GMA’s Opry Shelter and Museum Gallery. Grant and members of his film crew will hold a Q&A session before providing written pieces providing more insights into McKey’s life and work.
Jack McKey is a well-recognized artist renowned for creating intricate, handcrafted weapons and tools. His artworks have been displayed around the country. Additionally, Jack is an accomplished musician and singer-songwriter.
He is survived by his wife of 45 years, Betty Jean Rigdon McKey of Wray; daughters Katherine and Marian McKey; sons Jay and Garrett Dowdy; grandchildren Isaiah, JaMila, and Kamari; as well as brothers Winfred and Anthony Cox as well as Marsette and Inez Day Temple as in-laws as well as numerous nieces and nephews.
He was an enormously beloved figure within the community of Asheville Wesleyan Church and will be missed deeply by family, friends and fellow churchgoers alike. Groce Funeral Home provided arrangements.
As of 14 March 2012, John Mckey had an estimated net worth of $492 thousand dollars, due to his successful iBio Inc stock trades over the past 12 years.
He serves on the board of several non-profit organizations, such as Students for Liberty and Global Animal Partnership, as well as being a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
“Big Jack” McKey leaves behind his wife Faye Temple McKey, sons Jerry and Jeff McKey, daughters Tracey Hutchinson with husband Chuck Hutchinson, Lisa Barth with Andy Barth as well as Berkley Carisle McKey as well as his sister-in-law Inez Day Temple Usry. We would like to extend our sincerest appreciation and thanks for the care provided at Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center during his final hours.