1965 – 2022
Shawn Lackey, age 57, transitioned into the beyond, way before his time, on the evening of August 21st, 2022, lovingly surrounded by his immediate family. Shawn was a good, and honorable man, and his loss leaves a hole in the Lackey family tree where he stood solid and strong for many years. We all knew him as a wonderful husband, committed father and Pops, and a loyal & honest brother, son, cousin, and friend to everyone that knew him. His family will be forever proud of who he had become and what he accomplished with his life on all levels.
Shawn was born in Fairfax, Virginia. He was the youngest of 5 brothers. His earliest years were spent living in Virginia and Maryland, and at age 6 his family moved to Little Rock Arkansas, which would become where he spent his formative years developing his fun-loving, playfully rebellious, adventuresome nature.
He grew up attending Catholic High School for Boys where he did quite a lot of pushing and pulling with authority throughout his years in High School, and gave the Principal, Father Tribou a run for his money.
He graduated and set off to college at the University of Central Arkansas, not far from home whereas a Freshman he made the Dean’s List. During the summer between his Freshman and Sophomore year, his life would be forever changed when his Father was killed in a Delta Airline crash in Dallas. His Fathers loss had a great impact on Shawn, and when he went back to college in the fall, after his loss, at just the age of 19, school just didn’t seem as important as it once did for him.
He decided to move home to Little Rock to heal and help his Mother with the family business which she was placed at the helm after his Father’s death. This led him to move to Oklahoma where he would soon start his eventual lifelong career in the Oil & Gas business. His time in Oklahoma allowed him to learn the industry literally from the ground up. Little did he know that it would end up being where he spent the rest of his adult life.
Shawn thrived in Oklahoma. He worked hard, paying close attention to the little details and learning the business through extensive practical experience that would serve him well throughout his career. He also worked his way up from a general gopher to a pumper’s assistant, to Supervisor, Landman, to Owner/Operator of a drilling rig, and running the family businesses – William H Lackey Oil & Gas and Saturn Land Company. Over the years, he ended up drilling too many wells to keep count. In 2000 he formed RPM Energy as his drilling consulting business, which stood for Rachel, Pam, and Megan.
He traveled all over the country for both his family businesses, independent investment groups, and consulting and he eventually became a highly sought-after onsite drilling consultant. He was good at it and was always up for the challenges that this industry threw at him every day. In the end, Shawn knew just about everything one could know about all things “oil and gas”. During his drilling consultant period, Shawn and the entire drilling team set a world record run for the fastest drilling lateral section in a 24-hour period and they also drilled the fastest Mississippi well in 6.38 days from spud to release.
Shawn grew up camping, riding motorcycles, boating, and being the family “wildman”. He was known to wreck more than a few cars during his early years of driving and regularly scared the heck out of his parents. He learned to drive around age 10 at the Thrifty Rent-A-Car agency in Little Rock which his family owned. His Father would bring Shawn to the lot and say… “If you wash and clean a car… you can drive it”. And he would. It was not unusual to see a car moving through the parking lot moving side to side with Shawn’s head barely peaking up over the steering wheel. He loved to be behind the wheel.
Through his teens, Shawn always ended up befriending older adults. He always seemed to have a “mentor” or married couple that he would befriend, which created a wonderful series of impactful friendships that went both directions even with the age difference. Once you were in his friendship circle, Shawn didn’t take that lightly. He was there for you on all levels. He was a great listener and always gave sound advice to the many different people that asked him for it.
As life would have it, he would eventually discover the love and light of his life in his wife Pam. They were perfectly matched and had a wonderfully long and prosperous marriage of 28 years. He became the man he did because of his decision to be in her life in a different way than he had been walking through life at the time. He moved on from his rebellious nature and became the amazing person that we all knew and loved.
He was a wonderful guiding light as a Dad to his two daughters, Megan and Rachel, and was always so proud of them as they both grew up. He was a regular as they played competitive softball and successfully launched off to college to get their degrees.
When it came to Shawn being a Husband and Dad, he pulled out all the stops for “his girls”. At a young age, he was trying to teach his girls “good” music and could find them all singing David Allen Coe’s “You Never Called Me By My Name” in the bathtub when he was in charge of bath time. You could also always count on Shawn to break into song any time it came on at the lake too. Even though he couldn’t carry a tune, he didn’t care.
He also couldn’t dance to the beat of the music either, but that didn’t stop him from teaching both his girls. Before each of their middle school dances, he would pull them into the living room and teach them how to two-step. About the only thing the girls learned was how to lead because he was always offbeat. Even as the girls got older, you would see him pull Rachel out of the chair and dance on the lake house porch.
You could always find Shawn sitting on a bucket in the backyard catching Rachel as she was learning how to pitch. But when she threw a wild pitch and it landed square on Shawn’s shin, he’d start cursing like a sailor and proclaim, “I’m done!” and walk to the house while Rachel would call him a wimp, in true Lackey style.
When it came time for both girls to start driving, he was quick to jump to the task as a teacher. He taught Megan how to drive in town, but with Rachel, he quickly realized after several lawn mower wrecks, that maybe learning out on the rig was a safer bet for her.
Shawn also loved Christmas and always wanted it to be special for his girls. After Pam would finish shopping, he’d ask “That’s it?!” and send Pam back to get more. He always had a hand in the scavenger hunts the girls had to find their “big” present. It started when Megan was about 8yo and received a go-cart, and that isn’t something that just easily fits under the Christmas Tree so he got creative. It started out as simple nursery rhymes such as “Hickory Dickory dock, the mouse ran up the ____?” to be more complicated with word and letter scrambles as the girls got older. This is something that became a tradition at Christmas, even as his girls became adults.
Shawn also loved being “Pops” to Megan’s daughter Maddi. Anyone that knew Shawn, can imagine his ornery character and that didn’t stop with being a Pops. Maddi ended up being another one of “his girls”. The two had their own special unspoken bond and a lot of it came in the form of food. You could always find the two of them sharing Chex Mix together and fighting over the pretzels. Despite being ornery to Maddi, he always ended up getting the first and last hugs when it came to say “see ya later alligator”. To this day, we still are not sure what he enjoyed more, being a Pops or watching Pam be a Lolli. And yes, Shawn came up with Lolli & Pops….Lollipops.
Those that were close to Shawn knew that he was a LAKE person. The lake was always his “happy place”. As a teen, he grew up spending most of his summers boating, water skiing, and scuba diving on beautiful Lake Ouachita in Arkansas. He loved to just be on the boat, relaxing on the lake watching his family have a good time. He and Pam recreated his lake experience in Oklahoma for his own family too. He was often found pulling his loved ones as they water skied. And on occasion he would pull them on the tube — swinging them in circles, to create a series of monster wakes, and then pulling them right through the middle of it until they launched high into the air.
One of Shawn’s defining personal traits was that when he was concentrating on doing anything, his tongue would be outside his mouth moving a mile a minute. And he was never aware of it. His granddaughter Maddi picked up this trait from him too.
Shawn had a pretty easygoing nature. He would just say… “It is what it is”. Actually, he would say that about a lot of situations when whatever happened would happen. Anyone that was with Shawn and his brother Scott out on the town, we’re guaranteed to have been treated to them singing a memorable rendition (after a couple of beers of course) of Hank Williams Jr’s “Family Tradition” – always a highlight to the evening.
In recent years Shawn was dealing with early onset COPD. He never complained about it. It did slow him down a bit but he never tried to let that stop him from doing things if possible. During the Covid-19 pandemic, he stayed very close to home to protect his health. He did have the opportunity to go to NC this spring for a Family Reunion where he was able to see his family and have some adventures with his brothers and cousins before his health failed. Everyone was grateful for the time with him.
Shawn, you were loved more than you know and will be forever missed. Godspeed.
He is survived by his wife Pam Lackey of Shawnee, OK. Daughters Megan Butler and Rachel Lackey of Edmond, OK. Granddaughter Maddi Butler. Brothers – Larry Lackey of Charleston, WV, Skip Lackey of Boulder, CO, and Scott Lackey of Shawnee, OK, and several nephews and nieces.