My uncle, Mac Secrest, was more than an uncle, but a wonderful mentor and friend (who posted occasionally to this blog). I've posted links to his obituary and to the dozens of comments from friends and admirers on his own blog at http://jimbuie.blogs.com/mac. I also created this slideshow of pictures from his life to the tune of Frank Sinatra's "My Way."
He had something of a premonition that his time on this earth was coming to an end, telling me when I last saw him in September, just before I left the U.S. for Turkey, "See you in the next life." We corresponded frequently by email, and he reported on his ominous and significant weight loss (turns out he had cancer), his thoughts of visiting Dr. Kevorkian, and existential angst. I tried to reassure him that he might be surprised by Providence. He did reflect on "God and the Afterlife Upon My Approaching Demise." He had a great sense of humor until the very end. Check out his self-written obituary making fun of his worrywart nature, and how he reacted to the news that he had cancer: by going on a shopping spree for unhealthy foods.
He was a well-known newspaper editor from Cheraw, South Carolina in the 1950s and 1960s who crusaded for an end to segregation. He worked with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Selma, and told funny stories about how he provided comic relief amid the racial tension. He later became a professor of Journalism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and helped establish the Department of Communication at North Carolina Central University in Durham, NC.