Side Mitchell Mack passed away in the peace of his own home on December 4, 2017, two months after Dolores, his beloved wife of nearly 66 years. They are, no doubt, reunited in glory.
Born the son of Lebanese immigrants on January 16, 1921, he followed assiduously in the footsteps of his father and grandfather in devoting his life to family, faith and community. Mitchell and Dolores were extraordinary parents and role models to their 5 children, and loving grandparents to their 11 grandkids.
He and Dolores stressed the importance of establishing in them a solid foundation built on faith in God, love of family, personal responsibility and service to the community.
Despite his sometimes frenzied life juggling long hours in the family business and his numerous civic undertakings, family was always first. Mitchell lived a life of integrity which left an indelible print on his progeny.
He was a quiet man of action who led by example. After attending Mooresville public schools, he attended Davidson College and then went on to earn an MBA in Industrial Engineering from Harvard. During his career at Harvard, he was called to serve his country in WW II. Rather than accept a deferment, Mitchell chose to serve in the Navy, and as a Lieutenant was stationed in North and West Africa from 1943-1946. He continued to serve in the Naval Reserves until 1956.
After the war, possessing degrees from Davidson and Harvard, Mitchell could have accepted any number of positions anywhere in the country, but once again he chose to serve. This time it was the family that called. As the youngest of 4 children, Mitchell was asked by his father to return to Mooresville to help in the family department store, John Mack & Son, established by his father and grandfather in 1912.
From 1947 until 1993, Mitchell put his talent and intellect to work transforming and growing the family business.
Back in Mooresville, Mitchell lost no time becoming deeply involved in the civic, charitable and religious fabric of his hometown. He was, simply put, an outstanding citizen. He joined, and eventually led, the Rotary Club, serving in virtually every capacity on his way to perfect weekly attendance for over 65 years and becoming a Paul Harris Fellow.
He resumed his active involvement in Boy Scouts, from which he had earned his Eagle award at age 15, by becoming a Scoutmaster, District Chairman, Piedmont Council Executive Board member and Silver Beaver award recipient. He would accumulate over 70 years of continuous involvement in Scouting.
As a member of the First Presbyterian Church he faithfully served as Deacon, Sunday school teacher and Elder, as well as in the choir for more than 70 years.
His capacity for and love of service was nearly limitless. He served as President of the local Chamber of Commerce, United Fund, Merchant’s Association and Jaycees. He also served in various leadership roles with Lowrance Hospital, Piedmont Bank, YMCA, the Downtown Commission and too many other organizations to mention. Upon closing the family business in 1993 after 84 years of operation in downtown Mooresville, Mitchell served several terms on the Mooresville Town Board, including as Mayor Pro Tem.
He has been recognized widely for his contributions to the community. Among other acknowledgments, in 1986, he was presented the Outstanding Citizen Award by the Chamber of Commerce; and in 2005 he was awarded the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, the state’s highest honor for exemplary service and exceptional accomplishment.
S. Mitchell Mack truly lived a life of meaning, consequence and purpose, and unquestionably left the world a better place than he found it. God blessed him with many gifts, and Mitchell used them to the fullest to better himself, his children and his community. Perhaps his greatest accomplishment was the very way he lived his life and the standard he set for all to see.
He is survived by five children: Side Mitchell Mack, Jr. of Greensboro NC, Ronald (Kathryn) Mack of Greensboro NC, Denise (Skip) Vallee of Shelburne VT, Yvonne (Maurice Williams) of Blowing Rock NC, Jeffrey (Anya) Mack of Charlotte NC and eleven wonderful grandchildren.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Therese Catholic Church in Mooresville on Saturday December 9, 2017 at 11:00 AM. Interment will immediately follow at Willow Valley Cemetery. The family will receive friends at Cavin Cook Funeral Home on Friday December 8, from 5:00-8:00 PM.
The family wishes to extend their sincere gratitude to the caregivers of Home Instead, Bayada, numerous private caregivers and Hospice of Iredell County, and to give special thanks to Patty Martin and Ashlee Vineyard. Their wonderful care kept Mitchell comfortable in his final years at home.
Memorials may be sent to The Boy Scouts of America, Piedmont Council or The Rotary Foundation c/o The Mooresville Rotary Club or Hospice & Palliative Care of Iredell County.
Cavin-Cook Funeral Home & Crematory, Mooresville, is serving the Mack family. Condolences may be made to the family at www.cavin-cook.com.
Published in Charlotte Observer on Dec. 6, 2017