John Joseph Macker

By Caitlin Macker   |   August 16, 2022

John Joseph Macker, a longtime Montecito resident, beloved father, and Emmy and Peabody award-winning executive producer, passed away on July 26, 2022, at the age of 78.

Before moving to Montecito in 1994, John lived a vibrant, Hollywood lifestyle working in television. He orchestrated television shows garnering 14 Emmys and served as the creator and executive producer on shows such as Cosmos with Carl Sagan, Wheel of Fortune, General Hospital, Let’s Make a Deal, and the Dating and Newlywed game shows. A testament to his talent, John was recruited by Berry Gordy, founder of Motown Record Label, to produce the original Motown TV Jackson 5 Special with Michael Jackson, as well as the Smokey Robinson Special, which resulted in some of the highest ratings in ABC history.

John, who also served as the Chief Financial and Business Affairs Officer for the Emmy Awards and production executive for Merv Griffin Productions, including the Merv Griffin Show, went on to produce and host a weekly television series, American Riviera, which combined his career passion with his love of all things “Santa Barbara.”

John moved to Montecito to raise his two daughters and spent his remaining years embracing the Santa Barbarian lifestyle. For two decades, John spent his mornings walking Butterfly Beach with the Macker family dog; he spent his evenings sipping red wine at Lucky’s, and he spent his weekends at the plant nursery purchasing plants and statues for his garden. Although he got older, he never aged. John was recognized by his head-to-toe linen outfits, aviator sunglasses, signature scarf, and year-round tan. 

John was a listener and is remembered for his open mind that was never judgmental. He was brilliant enough to pass as knowledgeable on any topic and could make a stranger feel familiar in one conversation. Although John guarded his privacy, he shared his heart and wisdom with a near and dear inner circle that is forever privileged.

While his passing leaves an unfillable void in this world, he gifted his daughters with his strength and time for them to express how loved he is by so many. There is no death, only a change of worlds. See you in the next one, Dad.

John is survived by his daughters, Caitlin and Aubrey, their mother, Martha, his brother and sister-in-law, Peter and Nancy, his sister, Ann, and countless friends and colleagues.

Please consider a donation to his incredible doctors and nurses at Santa Barbara Cottage Hospital in his name.  

Twenty-six Odes to the Macker!

by Bill Dalziel

You are
A good soul,
Living inside an Irish devil.

What a blow,
For you to go,
I didn’t know. 

When I knew,
I couldn’t 
Come see
What happened 
To you. 

Not fair.
I wasn’t aware 
Of your fears
And tears.

Remember what we said;
No blame!
No shame!
No regrets!

Chopped Lucky’s salad,
Side of Roquefort,
And M-5.

Optimistic to the end. 
You said: “Sooner or later.”
Then there was yesterday.

You were misused, 
Abused, and 
You are now excused!

I’ll be looking for you,
To show up soon,
Kind hearted friend.

On a stool,
Not a nudge,
Would make you budge.

Japanese G.Q. model
Of frugality.
Never 86’d
Even with a tab,

Grim at times,
You didn’t have enough time,
To learn the rhyme.

Too late;
Too early;
Too much;
Too reasonable.

A fabulist
You’re not.

Linen & scarves, 
Sage bright,
String tied 
So tight.

So sorry,
So sad,
The way 
You had 
To say 

Hoping you’re at peace.
And know you’re free
From earthly debts.
Your stamp is everywhere. 
Soft shoe prints
In the Montecito mudslide.

Great big sadness.

You could get an artichoke 
To tell its life story.
So, would you please 
interview God.
And get back to us,

Shared many a toke
Of my best smoke.
What a pest
But the best.
In the west.

Whimsically attractive,
Always in the middle.
Easily amused & mystified
By a gee-haw whammy diddle.

In need of help.
‘Til the last,
You were too proud to ask.

You will show up again 
With your crooked 
Dr. Strange smile.

Always a bright shaker.
You clever faker,
A true dream maker.

Sharing Hollywood story’s
A star in a jar
At Two Dollars Bill’s Bar.

Please forgive me
The future
I was not told.

Too late
To be saved
You broke your stem
Then locked the gate.

You are missed, 
Hoping you’re
Resting in bliss.

Announcement: Macker’s friends are invited to an Irish Wake in his honor, on Sunday, August 14. Coast & Olive Restaurant from 3 to 5 pm, Lucky’s Restaurant from 5 till…  


You might also be interested in...