McKinley James Waites, a pharmacy technician, dies at 59

McKinley James Waites, 59, of Westville, a hospital pharmacy technician, died Monday, March 27, at his home from complications of early Alzheimer’s disease. 

Mr. Waites, who grew up in West Philadelphia, was known as “Mickey” in childhood and “Mac” as an adult. He was born April 23, 1957 as the youngest child of James and Bessie Hill Waites.

As a youngster,  Mr. Waites attended Sunday school at Resurrection Baptist Church in Overbrook, where his mother taught classes. After graduating from Overbrook High School, he attended North Carolina A&T University in Raleigh.  He also served briefly in the Army.  

Later, Mr. Waites  trained as a pharmaceutical technician through the National Union of Hospital and Health Care Employees Local 1199C.  He worked as a pharmacy technician at Lourdes Medical Center of Burlington County for 25 years until he became ill about  eight years ago.

More than 25 years ago, friends introduced Mr. Waites to his wife, Patricia.  They married in 1992 and had two children.

“He was a caring person,” his wife said.  “He was  quiet."

She  said her husband traveled once or twice to favorite vacation destinations such as Orlando and the Poconos. But he didn’t go often.

“He would go once to see what it was like, then he wouldn’t go again,”  Patricia Waites said. “He was a provider. He would stay home and work while we traveled.” 

“He was my absolute joy,"  said a sister,  Jean Waites-Howard.  "He was my baby brother and I doted on him. We had a close relationship.”

Mr. Waites was known as a gifted musician who had taught himself to play the synthesizer. He often played for his church, his sister said. He also loved popular music and dancing. Michael Jackson was his favorite recording artist.  

In addition to his wife and sister,  Mr. Waites is survived by a son, James; a daughter, Ellissa; another sister; two brothers; and  other relatives and friends.  

Funeral services are set for 11 a.m. Thursday, April 6, at Victory in Christ Christian Center, 1055 Delsea Dr., Westville.  A viewing, starting at 9 a.m., will precede the service. Interment will be  announced later.