Jana Lynne Mackey was a vibrant, intelligent young woman already making her mark on women’s issues by her mid twenties. By the age of 25, she had built up a burgeoning portfolio that was demonstrative of her inner desire to fight for equality issues: organizer of a Kansas women’s delegation to march in Washington, D.C. in 2004, a member of the Kansas Commission on the Status of Women, a lobbyist at the Kansas State capital, and the representative for the Kansas National Organization for Women.
Also talented in the arts, Jana’s initial major before transferring to women’s studies was music. She was a singer and an actress in her college’s theater group. Later, she earned several scholarships related to her law studies at Kansas University, where she served as representation for federal prisoners in the State and Federal courts.
In line with her other activities, Jana also volunteered at the GaDuGi Safe Center where she advocated for tirelessly for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. In June of 2008, Jana ended a relationship with Adolfo Garcia-Nunez when he began to act jealous and possessive.
On July 3, 2008, Jana Lynne Mackey was found dead in Garcia-Nunez’s apartment. A short time after he was arrested, Garcia-Nunez committed suicide while in police custody by hanging himself in his cell. It was revealed that Garcia-Nunez had previously served time in prison for burglary and assaulting a former girlfriend. This is an unfortunate story of a young woman driven by love to help and advocate for others. The story of a woman who, when she saw things turning badly in her own relationship, ended it. And a sad ending to a brilliantly bright future at the hands of a man who refused to let her go. Her loss is especially difficult for us to reflect on as survivors of domestic violence. She knew the signs, she spent countless hours of her life helping those like us escape abuse, and when she acted to protect her emotional health (and undoubtedly physical health taking into consideration her ex’s history), she became another life lost to violence.
Her family, friends, co-workers, professors, and fellow students all remember her with love, with pride, and respect. Please take a moment today to meditate on all Jana Mackey strove to do for women like us. Her story, her life, and her love for others will not be forgotten.
For further information on Jana Lynne Mackey and her loved ones’ efforts to educate and advocate, please visit the below websites.