Faith Mackay, our dear Mom, went to Heaven on Saturday, March 27th. She was truly the image of a "Lady" always prim and proper from head to toe. We did have warning signs and we were all able to spend more time with her over the last 5 weeks. I had to take my time in posting, due to I wanted to try to give her the recognition that she more than deserved. She lived her life serving her large family and friends and others. We will be posting a video later.
Thank you to those that loved and visited with her over the years. We all were her passion for life. Mom, we will miss you so much. You were amazing! I know it is long, but if you have time to read maybe at some point later, she would love to share her life with you!
Faith Beltz Mackay – “MOM”
Mom was such an amazing lady. She was born in Brooklyn, NY on Jan. 31, 1935. Her Dad, Alfred Beltz, who was “Pennsylvania Dutch”, was very serious and business minded. He taught her how to take care of the books and the family which came in handy when she had her own family of 6. Mom always referred to herself as, “Just a housewife,” but by no means was she only a housewife!
Her Mom, Lillian MacKenzie Beltz, who was full of life and fun and raised 3 children – Faith, Donald and Constance. Mom was the oldest sibling and yet the last to pass. (coincidentally the youngest was the first to go, that worries me). Lillian gave Mom the love and the importance of laughter in her life. At a young age, Mom made herself a promise that she would always keep her 100 lb. slim figure and her nails polished. She did! Right up to the last Moment, she was worried about her weight and always looking beautiful!
We loved that her family played a lot of board games and spent summers at the lake. This started the love of vacations at the lake or the beach for our family. Mom and Dad, you always wanted to be sure our family had a wonderful summer vacation. One of Mom’s favorite things to do at the lake was to play water sports.
Mom sang in the choir at church and learned to play the piano. She would later use her skill at the piano to master playing the organ. In high school she played field hockey and softball. She was always encouraging us to play sports and provided us transportation for whatever interests we pursued. Mom attended a Lutheran college, where she took all science and bookkeeping related classes. Mom earned her 2- year degree and went off to work for a doctor and learned a lot which paid off raising a family. After that she went to work for Merrill Lynch as an administrative assistant. Therein she learned about investments which came in handy one day. It was here that she met Dad who was working at Rutgers University. She dated him for 4 months and got married on a leap of faith. Immediately they moved to Adelphi when Dad got a job a US Dept. of Agriculture.
2 years later she got pregnant with Kenny. Thanks for having Kenny as your oldest child. Kenny paved the way to showing us that we could do anything and we would still have the love of our parents behind us. (hehe) How proud they always were of Kenny and whatever new adventure he always seemed to find. Kenny is always continuing his education as did Dad. Mom and Dad loved his big heart and always being able to welcome new people into his life.
Then Bruce was born, who sadly at 3 days old, went to Heaven due to a medical error. This left a huge hole in the family at such a crucial time. But this didn’t stop Mom and Dad from having a large family.
Next came HOPE – hope for the future of more kids in the Mackay family! Hope brought a pink light of happiness and new beginning to our family. Hope carries the kind, sweet and creative soul that Mom brought to this world. Hope didn’t care about having a career or money, she wanted love and a family of her own to love. Hope was a stay at home Mom for many years, just like Mom. Mom and Dad loved and supported her decisions.
Then came Jeff. Jeff was his own loving outdoor and adventurous person. Jeff found the love for animals, farmers and farming. Mom and Dad admired and respected this, as Dad had a Master’s degree in Agricultural Engineering. Jeff also got involved with shop and diesel mechanics in high school and found a passion that took him to Oklahoma and a Bachelor’s Degree in Diesel Mechanics from Oklahoma State. Mom and Dad were very proud of him for finding and going after his passion. This led to yearly Thanksgivings for Mom and Dad with Jeff and his beautiful family in Oklahoma.
Next came Donnie who is such a kind and sweet soul and would give you the shirt off his back. Donnie went after his dream of being in the world of aviation and went to Florida for a degree at Florida Institute of Technology. Mom and Dad were very happy and proud of this endeavor. 20 years later he found the wind beneath his wings and he is following his dreams in the field of aviation. The day that Donnie started his new career at AOPA at Frederick Airport he called Mom and Dad at lunch to share a story of how Donnie met someone at work and together they discovered that this ladies husband in Seattle worked for the same organization as Clint (their grandson) and when they called the husband to see if he knew him, not only did he know him but they were in the car together traveling. They were both thrilled that Donnie had found a great new job in the career path he had long awaited for. Dad went to heaven peacefully that day with a very happy and proud moment in life for his son. Mom was elated.
Then there was Joy – Mom always said she came out smiling. The passion for horses was exhausting and NEVER ending. Joy saddled up anything she could to pretend to be riding off into the sunset. To this day – she cannot get enough riding or horses. Mom and Dad always supported this love to the best of their abilities. Joy had many endeavors over the years but first ended up into management had her child and a small bout with Cancer and then went into teaching. Now she combines teaching and horses and is following her dreams, which couldn’t make Mom happier. Joy was playing with Annabelle in her arena when Mom made her journey to Heaven; I am sure this made her smile when rising above.
Each of Mom and Dad’s children have amazing and wonderful families. Mom and Dad always welcomed everyone with open arms. They loved all of their son-in-law’s and daughter-in-law’s. They loved all of their 9 grandchildren and 11 great grandchildren. All of us have special memories of time with them. They were all about family always! They were amazing role models to all of us. Mom was always there to listen and help give advice when she could. Dad lived and loved Mom and supported whatever she did. It was very rare that Dad voiced his opinion separately. Mom kept a lovely home for us to live in. She had found small trinkets or treasures from around the world that were priceless to her. Every room of her house is well decorated and color coordinated. Very well thought out. Regardless, Mom and Dad is what makes it a home.
What did Mom do in life? Mom was amazing! Whatever she did, she did with love! She not only raised a LARGE family, but she helped to raise many of the grandkids as well. When she watched Danielle from 5:30 am-4:00 pm every day, for 3 years. She taught her so much. She even typed me letters each week of all the amazing things that happened. She also helped to babysit and feed many of the neighbor’s children over the years. She was known as the “Kool Aid” Mom. We had a pool and she was always willing to have the extra kids over to swim, eat and stay the night. Mom always helped out at school as much as she could, which was probably hard, having 5 kids in school.
Mom’s meals were fantastic. I grew up eating so many delicious foods that I never saw anywhere else. We had lots of fancy sauces and gravies and jellies. We had crepes, Yorkshire pudding and quiche; we had fancy Jell-O and so many creative meals. She never had me help fix dinner and I wished that I would have pursued that more, so I had more of her skills. Mom also had a bright green thumb. She would grow plants from seeds and leaves. She still had living plants from her Mom.
Mom loved to write! She wrote stories about her adventures in travel and in life. She wrote cheerful letters to her many friends. She had a wonderful way with words. She had an insatiable curiosity about everything and she had a zest for life. She loved to make people laugh and hear people laugh. She and Dad loved to meet people from all over the world and then find someone they knew in common. Mom kept in constant communication with many friends and always family. Mom sent lots of cards and emails for all sorts of occasions. She always went out of her way to complement various businesses and schools for events they put on. She also had amazing penmanship. Mom had many great friendships with so many and from many different parts of the world. She loved having friends and her friends loved having her too.
Mom had a strong sense of intuition. She knew when things happened before it was known. She also had a keen sense of what to do and not to do when you had an ailment. Mom had no known health issues at 86 or right up until the end, other than her body was wearing out. She was not on any medicine, nor did she believe it was good for her body. Mom had such a strong belief, and mostly in her children. She would stand behind us, yet not lead us. She wanted us to make our decisions in life and she was there to support us. She listened without judgement. She never told us “no”, but helped to support us with our decision.
She instilled amazing values within each of us. Everyday Mom made sure the kids were taken care of, laundry, food, dishes, the house was clean, she kept the books, (which wasn’t easy on one income with 5 children), she made time for elderly neighbors and helped take care of several elderly family members, she kept a garden, and a BEAUTIFUL yard. Mom loved plants and flowers. Her yard was always immaculate. Her yard is always in bloom! She always decorated the house inside and out. She made sure her house was very festive each month of the year. Mom and Dad dressed up for every Halloween and Christmas accordingly. Together they had an amazing spirit for life.
Mom loved animals. She provided doggy daycare for Derek and I for several years while our first canine child was a puppy. She loved feeding neighborhood cats and always feeding the birds and squirrels. One night when we went to see her, a racoon came racing out of the “cat door” while we were pulling up. She would help take care of anything that needed help. Mom and Dad anonymously helped someone every year at Christmas. Even though their budget was tight, there was always a way they could help and they loved doing so. They also helped many others in times of need with money for college, food and childcare. They were always giving even as they lived very frugally and saved everything.
She helped do all kinds of things with Eastern Star. From playing the organ (she was the Maryland State Organist one year and traveled a lot that year playing the organ) to organizing LARGE dinners to making centerpieces and supporting all she crossed paths with. Everyday Mom would take care of her work and just before fixing dinner, Mom would go upstairs and get cleaned up and dressed up for the arrival of her loving husband. Her hair, nails and outfits were always amazing.
Mom loved her life and wouldn’t have traded it for anything. She was Dad’s number one fan. She supported him with the Lion’s Club and his 2 careers. She even helped him find his second career which was becoming the President of the IFAN (International Federation of Standards Users) and working for ARI (American Refrigeration Institute) in Arlington. Dad worked and commuted and it made for very long days. Mom would light up when she talked about her family and her travels. You see along with Dad becoming the President of an international organization, he was able to travel a lot. Being that the family had flown the coop, Mom was able to travel with Dad. She went to 72 different countries. They were all spectacular trips and she has fond memories of all of them. She said that Italy with the Alps, was the most beautiful. Mom has notebooks of stories about her life and her trips. I look forward to sitting down one day and reading them all, cover to cover.
Mom’s ambition was and is all around us. She made sweaters, hats, gloves, afghans, potholders, flower arrangements, wreaths, candle sconces, pedestals, lace doilies, pillowcases, clothing, Christmas decorations, Storks for the yard to proudly display the love for a newborn in our family tree as well as for many friends and neighbors. But most of all she made us happy. We had a happy childhood. We have a happy adulthood. She was thrilled to always help make our dreams come true. She gave more happiness away, but while giving it away, she was taking it in. It truly was better to give, then to receive.
Mom was an amazing organist. We all loved to sit and listen to her play. She would play every day at noon. She had quite the knack for it. She also by the way could type as fast as our typewriter would go, 135 wpm. She once got a job as a typist, but all that Dad could say was, “No how is that going to look?!” Dad was very old schooled and thought that he should be the provider. But believe me – where Dad provided the funds, Mom provided in so many other loving and caring ways.
Mom was a talker and Dad was the quiet one. You could always count on Mom to carry on a conversation. Quite often Mom would tell you four or five stories while telling one. I have fond memories of the dinner parties they would put on, especially at Christmas. I could always pick out Mom’s voice and laughter. It just made you laugh! We all have so much to be thankful for. Mom and Dad gave each of us an amazing life. They have always been very generous with their love, kindness and the little “extra” or not always extra money they had. They received much happiness into making our lives happier. Mom was the most selfless person I know. She would never put herself first. Even towards the end, she was constantly saying, “I wish I could do something for you.” I always loved it when you would ask her if you could bring her anything and she would say, “A Million Dollars!” and I would reply – “You would just give it away!” Mom’s whole life was about giving. We are so darn lucky to be part of their “Fandamntastic” family! (As Dad would always say).
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