Remembering Ginny Mackle

MACKLE, VIRGINIA STEWARD, born December 1920, in Belmar, New Jersey the daughter of Harold and Marcelia Steward. She moved to Coral Gables with her family in 1923.

Virginia grew up - with her sister and two brothers - in Coral Gables and later on Miami Beach. In 1940 she married Frank E. Mackle Jr. They were inseparable until his death in 1993. She supported Frank in every way as his building and development career grew over the next fifty years. He and his brothers built much of the Key West Naval base during WWII and became successful builders of post war housing in Dade and Broward counties. They went on to develop Key Biscayne, Marco Island and over a dozen other Florida cities.

Her father, in partnership with Phineas Paist and later with John Skinner designed some of the most notable structures in South Florida including the Coral Gables City Hall, the Federal Building in downtown Miami, the Seaquarium and the first Miami International Airport.

Virginia became a Catholic around 1950 after receiving instructions from Monsignor William Barry at St. Patrick’s Church on Miami Beach. Virginia was active with several charities in the Archdiocese Of Miami including The Marian Center School for Developmentally Disabled, St. Vincent’s Home for Unwed Mothers and The Bethany Home for Dependent Girls. She was a member of the Miami Beach Heart Institute Auxiliary and the Mercy Hospital Auxiliary.

Virginia and Frank lived for many years on Sunset Island, Miami Beach as they raised their two children. They built a home on Key Biscayne in 1990.

Virginia had many interests. They included the Key Biscayne Hotel as well as the Marco Beach Hotel which was opened on her birthday in 1971 and which her husband, Frank, dedicated to her. Her life was filled with bridge playing, golf, thoroughbred horse racing, summers in New Jersey and August at the Key Biscayne Hotel. Her passions included her dogs, travel with her husband and her bridge group. She was the host of many parties and took great joy in the annual cookie party with her bridge group and in hosting the family Christmas for many years. She was a long time member of Riviera Country Club and the Key Biscayne Yacht Club.

She and Frank were friends to Senator George Smathers, President Richard Nixon, Father Theodore Hesburgh of Notre Dame, Archbishop Coleman Carroll, Ara and Katy Parseghian, Don McNeil, Gene Sarazen and Ken Venturi among others. More important were her close friends including, Ed and Peggy McHale, Ed and Dobbie Lauth, Eileen and Jim McCaughan, Bill and Suzi Vessels, Naomi McKinney, Neil and Ann Bahr, Helen Briggle, Jane Mackle and many others too numerous to mention here.

Her ability to enjoy each day, to keep her mind sharp playing bridge, to exercise lightly but regularly and to live in the precious present were secrets to her long and happy life.

She was a loving wife and devoted mother to her two children, Frank and Nancy. Virginia and Nancy were the closest of friends until Nancy’s passing in 2005. Her granddaughter, Carrie filled that role at that point. Virginia is survived by her son Frank, seven grandchildren, twenty two great grandchildren and one great great grandchild.

A Mass will be said at 10:00 AM Friday, April 9th at St. Agnes Church on Key Biscayne for family only. COVID protocols will be in place.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be sent to:

Marian Center School & Services

15701 NW 37th Ave, Opa-locka, FL 33054