OBITUARY

Jerry "Mac" McCoy Whitley

August 19, 1958June 7, 2019
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Jerry McCoy “Mac” Whitley Jr. of Nashville TN passed away on Friday June 7, 2019 after being involved in a tragic traffic accident. He was 60 years old. Mac was born in Washington North Carolina to Jerry McCoy Whitley Sr. and Dorothy Ray (Clark) Whitley, who both preceded him in death. He graduated from Pinckneyville High School in Illinois where he excelled at drafting but was too slow and methodical to be successful in a career according to his favorite teacher. Mac did some work at Rend Lake Community College before he was bitten by the “audio/sound bug.” He is survived by Melinda Jane Whitley, his wife of 15 years; and a son, Casey McCoy Whitley, of Chicago IL from a previous marriage. Mac is also survived by North Carolina cousins, aunts, and uncles, as well as his beloved golden retriever, Bug, who misses her “favorite person” very much. Mac was a life-long motorcycle enthusiast who began riding at the age of 14. He regularly practiced safety maneuvers and studied riding, was constantly advocating for rider education to his friends and family, and even earned a racing license in the past. Mac often dreamt of becoming a crash investigator in his retirement. Riding brought him great joy everyday as well as great peace and clarity throughout the difficult times in his life. Mac was an accomplished audio engineer who specialized in live performances for over 40 years as a house engineer, monitor engineer, and production manager. He had national and international experience with concerts of all types in all sized venues, live and taped television and radio, special events, showroom performances, festivals, fairs, conventions and industrial shows. He loved the many years he spent as a monitor engineer the most as it provided him very special working relationships with the artists he cared for so much. He had a reputation for keeping calm under pressure and was often requested by artists when they performed in his venues. He joked many times that he was there to make the artist feel comfortable more than he was there to make them sound good, but he took great pride in doing both. He had an incredible set of ears that many people could not duplicate with software and/or hardware. Like so many people who came to Nashville, Mac got his foot in the door at Opryland mixing for a group named Hot Country. He was known for having a great sounding show and few people knew that no matter how many times he got caught, he kept supplementing his gear at every opportunity to make it sound great. Mac spent six years working at TNN/CBS/Dick Clark Cable Television where he was the audio engineer on Prime Time Country, CMA Awards Shows, Fan Fairs (CMA Festivals) and the Ralph Emory Show. His boss at TNN/CBS, Conrad Jones, along with the example set by his own father, was a major influence in what Mac aspired to become in his latest position as Chief Audio Engineer at the Tennessee Performing Arts Center in Nashville where he worked for the last 20 years. Mac believed that creating a team of people who supported each other’s efforts and growth was the most important element of being a good leader and he was so proud of the team of people he worked with most closely. At TPAC he worked with all types of resident and touring productions including Broadway, the Nashville Symphony, Nashville Ballet, Nashville Opera, and the Tennessee Repertory Theater. Mac worked with so many different kinds of artists and was always eager to solve new problems with what his colleagues called his “ancient wisdom.” Mac was proud to be one of the first engineers in Nashville to put an artist in “in-ear monitors” when he was working with Kathy Mattea and was happy to share his knowledge with people from all over who came to his home to find out what he was doing. He spent his touring years with Kathy Mattea, Ricky Skaggs, Spectrum Sound, Earl Thomas Conley, The Girls Next Door, Scanners, and got his first start in the audio world with Stanco Audio. Career highlights include live Nashville Symphony Pops Series Concerts at TPAC and NSO Broadcasts on A&E and GAC, West Side Story Production with the NSO and TN Rep, CMA Awards Shows, CBS Television Live Broadcasts, Grammy Awards and ACM Awards Shows, Prime Time Country Live Remotes in Las Vegas, Orlando, & Houston, European Tours with Kathy Mattea, Alaska and Japan Tours with Ricky Skaggs, Clinton/Gore Inaugural with Kathy Mattea, CMA 40th Anniversary Show (CBS Television Broadcast), The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, CBS This Morning, Good Morning America, Private performance for President Clinton on the White House Lawn with Kathy Mattea, Earth Day Celebration on the Mall in Washington DC and a few appearances with artists at the Grand Ole Opry. He was also proud to have worked multiple times with Bill Cosby, Jerry Seinfeld, Lily Tomlin, Hal Holbrook, Maya Angelou, Gladys Knight, Minnie Pearl, and Grandpa Jones. The family suggests as an alternative to flowers, that expressions of sympathy be donated in Mac’s name to Retrieving Independence, a service dog training organization that Mac and his wife volunteered to help by having the service-dogs-in-training in their home, both for furloughs outside of the prison system where they are being trained for service, or for extended training of a particular dog who needed more help. The address for donations is: Retrieving Independence, 256 Seaboard Lane, Suite C101, Franklin TN 37076. You can check out this deserving organization on their own Facebook page.

Services

17 June

Funeral Service

7:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Eastwood Christian Church

1601 Eastland Avenue
Nashville, TN 37206

PREVIOUS SERVICES:

  • Visitation Sunday, June 16, 2019

Memories

Jerry "Mac" McCoy Whitley

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Brenda Dew

June 17, 2019

Mindy, I am saddened at the loss of your Mac. I know how much the two of you loved each other. And on behalf of Retrieving Independence, I want you to know that we are honored that you have chosen us to be the recipient of giving in honor of your Husband. I know what dog lovers the two of you are. Your gift will change someone's life with a Service Dog and Mac and your generosity will enable someone to Retrieve their Independence.
Much love, My Friend! Brenda Dew

Kathy Osborne

June 17, 2019

My ex Gerry and I had many great hangs with Mac on the road. What a great guy. Always so fastidious about sound as well as motorcycles, just like Gerry was. So sorry he's gone. Photo from London, around 1990.

Grace Anzelmo

June 16, 2019

Mac was one of the first people I met at TPAC when I started working for the ballet. He had a quick wit, a sharp tongue, and a great sense of humor. I learned a lot from working with him and more from just spending time in his company. He was proud of his work, and strove for perfection in every show but His love for Mindy and Casey shone above everything else. I loved catching up on family stories whenever our paths crossed. I miss your smile and your hugs my friend.

Bill Rios

June 15, 2019

It was my absolute honor to work with such a master of sound. I always knew it would be a good gig if I was on a show with Mac. Not only was Mac gifted in his craft and a good leader, he had a kind and giving soul.
I am sad my friend is gone, and like so many others, I will miss him immensely.

Nelda "Faye" Winstead Murphy

June 15, 2019

Mac was much loved and my favorite little boy in the world til my own son was born. I stayed with Aunt Lula Mae (his Nannie) to play girls basketball at Washington High School and could hardly wait
to walk home and play with him. He was often waiting at the door for me! When his Mom and Dad moved to Ga . I went with Uncle Coy and Aunt Lula to see him. Saw him at one of his gigs when he was touring and kept up with him thru Jerry and Dot. Loved him with all my heart! My heart hurts! Love and Peace to you, Mindy and Casey. from "Macs" "Fay"

Peggy Owen

June 14, 2019

Mindy, I am so thankful I got to spend time with the two of you in March. I feel like I got to know you a bit better. Little did we know what was coming. Oh my goodness, Mac is one who DEFINITELY had a full life. I thought of the saying "join the Navy - see the world". Looks like Mac saw quite a bit of the world and even the White House. Just know you are loved and Mike, Lisa and I wish we could be there. The two of you found something rare - love - lived out and shared. Love you, Peggy Ruth & family

Lynne Briggs

June 14, 2019

Thinking of you Mindy and Mac's family. Such a great loss of a special man. My thoughts are with you.
heartfelt sympathy.
Lynne and Martin.

Billy Slade

June 13, 2019

Melinda, I was shocked to read about Mac. I truly enjoyed getting to know the two of you when I worked with Mac and yourself at Paul Funeral Home in Washington, NC a few months ago when Mac's dad died.

Andy Beacham

June 13, 2019

My heart aches cuzz. Just 3 short months ago we were laughing and shared tears as we laid your dad to rest and cleared his apartment. I am still sitting here stunned at the news of your passing. I am truly at a loss for words other than to say I will miss you and your witty ways. I am so thankful that we had the time we spent together with Nell and Mindy and Bug. It was quiet wonderful seeing your and Mindy's love for each other shine. Love to Mindy and I hope you know she will always remain a part of our family. Goodbye for now buddy.

Robbie Pickle

June 13, 2019

I worked with Mac the past 10 years at TPAC, although I was an electrician he taught me about the audio world. He told me many stories about his past gigs working at TNN and Opryland. He made us laugh and I will miss his wisdom and smile. RIP Mac💜

FROM THE FAMILY