Peter Mackaness
  • 73 years old
  • Date of birth: Dec 3, 1941
  • Place of birth:
    New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
  • Date of passing: Dec 10, 2014
  • Place of passing:
    Albuquerque, New Mexico, United States
Peter was A Wonderful Father, Brother & Friend. He was an Amazing Conversationalist. Always Inspiring Peace and Harmony in the World. His Intelligence, Kindness and Abundance of Love will be Greatly Missed by all That Knew and Loved Him.

Peter Mackaness, 73, of Taos, NM passed away on Wednesday, December 10, 2014 due to a long battle with nephropathy. He was preceded in death by his parents, Faith and Frank Mackaness. He is survived by his sons, Ian A. Mackaness (Stefanie C. Lopez) of Albuquerque, NM, Sylvan H. Mackaness (Lisa) of St. Petersburg, FL, grandchildren: Andrew L. Lopez – Mackaness, Serena R. Lopez – Mackaness of Albuquerque, NM, Myles Mackaness, Nevyn Mackaness of St. Petersburg, FL , brothers, Tim Mackaness (Judy Nylin) of Portland, OR, Roger Mackaness (Sue) of Corbett, OR, large extended family of uncles, aunts, cousins, great nephews, and a great niece. Peter loved and cherished his extended family very much.

He was a beekeeper, woodworker, carpenter, historian, family man, father, and lover of life. A gardener and friend to all. He was a teacher, lecturer and a connector of all people. He was a longtime employee of Taos Ski Valley, a lumber grader, member of Taos Historical Society, an active member of the El Camino Real National Historical Trail. Peter was the host of a radio show sharing history with the masses and a tour guide of the City of Taos, the city he loved so much. He was a past president of the Old Spanish Trail Association (New Mexican Salid del Sol Chapter), contributing member Camino Real Trail Association, Oregon Trail, Spanish Trail, Founder Taos Historical Walking Tours, Founding/ Developing Committee member El Camino International Heritage Center.

Please take a moment to share some of your favorite stories of Peter. You can do so on this website in the "stories" tab, you can also upload Videos and Photos right onto the website. 

Memorial Tributes
This tribute was added by Julia Pyatt on 11th December 2016

"Thanks Sylvan for keeping this Memorial to our good buddy Peter Mackaness alive and in the now.  I think of Peter almost every day and miss him terribly.  I wish I could leap into Heaven and bring him back down here.  I know he is guiding us but it's not the same as having him right here.  He always said "I am a field representative for the intergalactic command"  and by God he was.  I bet he is very busy especially with the ways things are going in the US of A. I will always marvel at how Peter kept to his mission even when he was in the most desolate of nursing homes.  He would rally the gang and make it a better place for all. What a great man.  So I am wishing you a Happy Birthday Peter my old Sagittarian friend.  My advice to those on Planet Earth is to hang out with the people you love as much as humanely possible because when they are gone, they are gone.  I love you Peter and Ian and Sylvan and all the great, wonderful Mackaness Clan.  Sending lots of love to you all.  Julia"

This tribute was added by Ian Mackaness on 4th December 2016

"Peter miss those great stories you shared with everyone. One of the best story tellers of all time. Wish you were here to share one of those great stories with us."

This tribute was added by Robert Smith on 3rd December 2015

"To Peter or anyone I met through Peter, my name is Smitty.
There is not more than a few days that pass before I think of Peter and I know that as long as I have left, Peter's courageous and kind spirit that he shared so freely, even as he lived at the hospice at Albuquerque, will help me get through my own personal trail, but it is hard to witness what goes on in our country without Peter's wisdom and healthy anger at tyranny. So, I will add what I'd be saying to Peter here: Peter, What the f is going on? We are watching 50% of our country embrace the likes of Donald Trump,Carly the Planned Parenthood hater, Cruz crusin'for a brusin', and a horde of fascist leaning dumb-downed people who have been conditioned to accept that we can no longer act humanitarian? We stopped being humanitarian  to our own refugees, never mind foreign refugees. We've let money become speech and corporations people! I would love to hear Peter's voice that carried over the Sange De Cristo's! So, I do hear it! I feel it! He would not be silent, so he is not silent! We need to know that we deserve better and act like it and vote like it. Peter Lives..... in all of us who got to know him."

This tribute was added by Jim Maguire on 3rd November 2015

"I met Peter in 1997 when we both were volunteers for the Taos Talking Picture Festival. He had a huge impact on me. The two of us were film runners and would drive the large reels of film to the various movie theaters. We talked for hours and hours. He made me laugh and think. I miss Peter."

This tribute was added by Michael Schwab on 28th August 2015

"Today I drove to Taos determined to find a man I hadn't seen since the winter of '69. I'd been dismal after Judy left, and Peter scooped me off the plaza and took me home. I, the lost young English puppy, and he the old psychedelic dog. At least, that's how it felt. I stayed two months with him, in that little shack by the highway. He opened up so many doors to me. And then he left, quite suddenly one day. "Where are you going?" I asked. "San Francisco," he laughed. "So long, baby!" I never saw him again. Today I went looking for my friend, and in the plaza, someone told me: "Peter died." Oh shit, I was too late, I thought, and cried, but then ...  I heard his voice inside my heart! "Hey, man, good to see you." So I got to meet my friend again, and say what I came to say, which was: thank you, brother, for your many gifts to me ...."

This tribute was added by don robertson on 27th May 2015

"haight ashbury friend and hip job  co-op partner on cole street and sharer of so much adventure in those days i do not know where to start with the stories. chinese food on acid with that crazy waiter? romps down haight or in the park where our feet never touched the ground? fellow bodhisattva bringing kids down from bad acid?
     fun with me and bonnie?  fun with liz and dancing in the waves?
long walks chanting? big sur?  good god peter i think of you-us every day and the fog and the eucalyptus smell and the rooftop of the straight theatre watching the dead?  i wish i had found you before you went on to the next "trip".......but words do not work for what we shared in those days old soul. see you soon.......don
p.s.  anybody from those days e-mail me at"

This tribute was added by cheryl d on 24th December 2014

"So sorry to hear about your loss. Its never easy but we can cope and the bible helps us to do that in a comforting way. It mentions in ( psalms 37:9-11) those who have died can live again in peace forever on the earth.My condolences to the family and friends of Mr. Mackaness"

This tribute was added by lydia cooper on 22nd December 2014

"peter had called into my salon for a haircut and ended up with Suzanne. I first met him as he appeared at the front door and ducked his way in. my cutting chair was at the front door. after he was directed to miss wearSuzanne; she ,shortly thereafter came to me in a tizzy. she was "scared", he was so big.  poor thing. I quickly accommodated him and proceeded to cut his very very long locks OFF. ...of course ,at his request. what a charming pussy cat he was. after finishing he asked to "purchase" the cutting cape I had draped over him. when I inquired as to why, he told me"it's the color,(a brilliant purple). I need this thing to wear when I marry people."  we made a modest deal, as he just had to have that thing! I felt bad charging him,but he insisted. I asked"peter, how is it you are gonna"that thing?" he tossed it over his head, wrapped it around his neck(with the long side on his back);  and "flew" out the door!  what a man!"

This tribute was added by Roger Mackaness on 16th December 2014

"Peter, my big brother was always bigger than life in my world.  We shared many choice experiences.  I never ceased to be amazed at his ability to captivate, inspire and promote self-reflection in people from all walks of life.  He could make me grin, he could make laugh and he could make me say 'ouch'.  While he walked this earth, he tried everything that it had to offer.  I'm tickled that the spirit world can now enjoy the taste of vintage Peter."

This tribute was added by Barbara Scott on 16th December 2014

"Peter, Ray Kallman, Su Small and I started Wheeler Peak Group, a sort of Taos Lyceum in which we invited lecturers and discussed ideas, events, politics and culture. Having been educated by Jesuits, Peter was intelligent, erudite, and had more Latin than the rest of us. I especially liked the talks he gave on Thomas Paine and the Founding Documents. He was a good friend, and I hope he had a good death."

This tribute was added by Amy Quintana on 15th December 2014

"I first met Peter & Ann in the spring of 1978 - we became good friends and spent most Friday nights playing scrabble while Ian & Sylvan watched tv and played video games.  Peter married Steve & I on February 14, 1981.  We took turns pet sitting for each other and spent many a great meal together.  Steve and Peter loved to take long drives exploring wherever there was a "No Trespassing" sign, talking about any and all subjects.  Peter was part of our family and will be remembered fondly, always..."

This tribute was added by Robert Smith on 15th December 2014

"I was hitchhiking to Taos and a rugged white pick up stopped and a big jolly but straight forward guy greeted me and offered a ride. We spoke of history and politics and when I was getting out I handed him a copy of an old map of his state, New Mexico, which I was lugging around trying to sell. We became fast friends. I guess that was 1980 or so. He invited me to visit his woodworking shop which was across the street and back off the main drag near "Michale's". It became a habit to visit and drink strong coffee and meet other people who enjoyed Peter's strong rooted views of this life that we share;how to improve the lot of humanity was not lost on Peter. To me he was the older brother I never had, the friend I'd call when John Lennon died, or a black man became president, or some poor individual got screwed again by this system we endure as it chips away at our rights and freedoms. Peter loved the whistle blowers, the agitators, the trouble makers, the sacred clowns of all nations, of which he was a very colorful one himself. I have no doubt that he is an ally still to all of us who knew and loved him. With love and kindness, Smitty"

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This memorial is administered by:

Sylvan Mackaness


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