Obituary of Robert W. Mackreth
Robert W. Mackreth, aged 100, passed away quietly on October 17, 2023, at his home in Massapequa. A child of the Great Depression and a veteran of the Second World War, he still lived on his own in the house he and his late wife Helen purchased in 1953.
Born in Malverne one year after the village was organized, Bob was the son of Arthur R.W. Mackreth, a professional editor, and Sally Lambert Mackreth, long-time publisher of the weekly Malverne Herald. Bob briefly followed in his mother’s footsteps by starting a newspaper of his own at age nine. His “Weekly Cargo” was supported by ads from local businesses and ran for three years, achieving a circulation over one hundred.
After graduating from Malverne High School, Bob enrolled at what was then Hofstra College, interrupting his education to enlist in the U.S. Army in 1942. He served overseas in Europe in the Army Intelligence Corps. After returning from war, he earned his Bachelor’s degree at Hofstra and Master’s in Social Work at Adelphi University.
Bob’s career in social work spanned more than sixty-five years, with positions in several organizations, including a term as Director of the N.Y. City Commission For Foster Care of Children. He eventually established a consulting practice that focused on services for the elderly, and maintained this practice well into his nineties. In 2008, he was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the New York State chapter of the National Association of Social Workers, citing his long career and his achievements as an author, educator, and mentor.
In addition to his professional work, Bob was active in his community. He served three terms as a member of the Plainedge School District Board of Education, including six years as president. He was an active member of the Hofstra University Alumni Association and of the National Association of Social Workers. He was Senior Warden of Saint Michael and All Angels Episcopal Church in Seaford.
Exposed to the realities of segregation during childhood summers at his grandfather’s farm in Virginia, he maintained a lifelong commitment to racial equality and took part in a number of community initiatives aimed at fostering racial unity.
Bob was predeceased by his wife, the former Helen Geraldine Rogan, and his sister Patricia Andolf. He is survived by his sons, Robert Jr. (Susan), of Washburn, WI, and William (Alison), of Palmer, AK; his daughter Patricia D’Amico of Smithtown; and grandchildren Christopher, Stephen, Christine, and Rosemary. Funeral arrangements will be handled by the William E. Law Funeral Home in Massapequa.