Basketball Hall of Famer, former sportscaster and pro-life advocate Deacon Ed Macauley, known as “Easy Ed,” died Nov. 8 at age 83.
Deacon Macauley was best known as an All-American with St. Louis University and a pro player with the St. Louis Bombers, Boston Celtics and St. Louis Hawks. The St. Louis University High School grad also coached the Hawks for two seasons. He was ordained a permanent deacon of the archdiocese in 1989. He told the St. Louis Review in 1996 that he was grateful for the blessings he enjoyed and wanted to do something for others. He wanted especially to let people know how it makes sense and “how much fun it is” to follow the Christian life. An important element in the diaconate was the support of this wife, Jackie, he said.
The deacon kept a full schedule of ministry and speaking engagements until his retirement from the diaconate in 2002, after having served at Ste. Genevieve du Bois in Warson Woods and Christ Prince of Peace in Manchester. He helped start the St. Nicholas Food Pantry in north St. Louis and gave homilies. He also gave homily workshops around the country and co-authored “Homilies Alive.”
Deacon Macauley and his family became active in pro-life programs at Ste. Genevieve in the early 1980s. Soon he was giving talks for what was then known as the Archdiocesan Pro-Life Committee speakers’ bureau and conducting seminars for the other speakers in the program. He was a past-co-chair and board member of the Archdiocesan Pro-Life Committee (now part of what is known as the Respect Life Apostolate).Deacon Macauley told the Review that abortion is a moral issue which, like other moral issues, affects society as a whole.
Through the years he helped a number of agencies and programs, including Dismas House, a halfway stop for ex-offenders. When Deacon Macauley learned that all NBA fines go to charitable causes, he contacted sports announcer Bob Costas and together they did a videotape showing the need for Dismas House residents to have some activity, such as basketball. The NBA contributed $10,000 for a basketball court there.
In 2008 Deacon Macauley was honored as Irishperson of the Year at the Ancient Order of Hiberians’ Irish Emerald Ball. Ball chairman Pat Maloney noted that “he’s a deacon of the Church, does a radio show on a Christian station, has written a book on homilies, and oh, also played a little bit of basketball.”
He co-hosted “Beat the Press,” a media analysis radio program for a decade or so with Martin Duggan.
In his later years he was open about the onset of Alzheimer’s. The 6-foot-8 deacon pointed out that among his many accomplishments he “married a girl 5 foot 4.” However, he said, “things didn’t work out. We only had seven kids.” He and his wife, Jackie, who died earlier this year, had been married nearly 60 years and had seven children and 17 grandchildren.
Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon him…