Robert James MacKay

Bob MacKay was 81 when he passed away peacefully on May 8, 2024 in Valencia, California.  He was born on July 2, 1942 to Hugh and Mary MacKay in Glendale, California.  He grew up in Glendale with his brothers Rick and Bill and his sister Maureen.  He attended Holy Family School, Loyola High School, Glendale College and Cal State Los Angeles, earning a bachelor’s degree in recreational education and obtained his California Community College credentials in the field of public service and administration with a minor in physical education.  Growing up Bob excelled at baseball, playing at the high school and college levels.  But it was at Glendale College that he learned and fell in love with the game of tennis.  He worked for Glendale Parks & Recreation for over 40 years.

Upon his retirement from Parks & Recreation the Glendale News Press reported, “Just the mention of his name gives sports and recreation in Glendale a name and a face that has been recognizable for the past 40 years.  Since the early 1960s … MacKay has been synonymous with the growth of youth and adult sporting activities in Glendale, as well as teaching thousands of people how to play tennis.”

Bob is best known for coaching tennis, which he did privately for over 50 years.  He also coached the men’s tennis team at Glendale College for 15 years.  As a tennis coach, he won numerous “Coach of the Year” awards, state championships, and coached All-Americans.  Many of his students went on to play college and professional tennis.  Those coached by him frequently commented that he was much more than a coach.  Bob cared for and loved his students.  He didn’t measure their success by wins and losses.  He coached the whole person.  No one walked away from Bob without better self-esteem and some important tools for happiness.  

Underpinning everything in his life was Bob’s love for his family.  He beamed when he spoke of  his children Rob (Aida), Lehren (Kennan), Rhiannon (Charlie) and Alexie (Stephen), his grandchildren Robert (Courtney), Christopher, Aslin and Eneko and great grandson Luka.   

Bob is survived by his brother Rick (Noreen), sister Maureen (Reggie), four children, four grandchildren, one great grandson and nephews and nieces Melanie (Steve), Allison (Chris), Reggie and Rachel (Tim).