Fleury Velie Mackie, 65

Fleury Velie Mackie, a generous, humorous and

caring member of the Princeton community for over

65 years, died peacefully early in the morning of

August 26.

She was a loving mother and stepmother to her four

daughters and her four stepchildren. Fleury helped

hundreds of people in the Princeton/Trenton area

with her philanthropic involvement. At various times

in her life, she com- mitted her time and resources to

the following organizations: HiTops, the New Jersey

State Museum, HomeFront, Princeton University Art

Museum, Morven, and others. Her legendary parties

were often created to benefit local causes.

Besides her monetary contributions, she was always eager to give her time and

talent to community causes, such as Family Born where she assisted births, and was

both a volunteer and fundraiser for the Princeton Hospital.

She operated with a unique combination of humor, compassion, honesty,

practicality, and discretion. She looked for and helped others to find laughter, even

at the darkest moments. Always glamorous, she was nevertheless loaded with grit

and fortitude.

Fleury was born in Moline, Illinois, in 1926, and spent most of her youth in Yellow

Springs, Ohio. She was a graduate of the Foxcroft School, and Ogontz junior college.

She was the great, great, granddaughter of John Deere, and the granddaughter

of Willard Velie, who founded the Velie Motor Company, which manufactured

automobiles lfrom 1909 to 1928, and the Velie Monocoupe from 1927 to 1929.

She met her first husband, Jack Valdes ,on a blind date at Princeton football game,

and a few years after marriage, moved to Princeton permanent- ly.

In 2011, Fleury wrote an admired memoir, Born Not Moment Too Soon.

Fleury was an accomplished horsewoman throughout much of her adult- hood.

Her equestrian skills were polished at the Foxcroft School, and, well into her 70s, she

spent time riding horses each summer while out West.

She was predeceased by her first husband Jack Valdes, her second hus- band

Donald Mackie, two of her daughters, Vicky O’Donoghue and Stacy Lorenceau, and

by her step-daughter, Diana Mackie.

Fleury is survived by her daughters Kelly Valdes and Midge Valdes, by Midge’s

husband Stanley Kaplan, by her step-children Douglas Mackie, David Mackie and

his wife Mary Rabbitt, and Cynthia Mackie and her husband Jim Tar- rant, and by

her grandchildren Margay Kaplan, Pierce and Nick McKellar, Antoine, Thomas and

Olivier Lorenceau, and her step grandchildren Kevin and Melati Tarrant, and Ariane


Fleury, with her good cheer and positive attitude, will be dearly missed by them, by

her cousins, her nieces and nephews, and her many, many friends.

Fleury Velie Mackie


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