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Life Story / Obituary
The world needs more people like Al Mack. He found happiness spending time with his beloved wife, cherished every moment with the children in his life, and always put in a hard day of honest work. Now, Al is enjoying all the goodness of Heaven above, strolling through its newness and beauty. We will miss him dearly.
Al began his life during the exciting decade of the 1930's. In 1937 specifically, Americans marveled at the abilities of airplane pilots; Howard Hughes broke the transcontinental flight speed when he traveled from Los Angeles to Newark in under seven and a half hours! Though he was breaking records, another respectable pilot by the name of Amelia Earhart completely disappeared while in flight - a trace never to be discovered of her or her plane. San Francisco celebrated the completion of the Golden Gate suspension bridge, and in Chicago, the very first blood bank opened - revolutionizing medicine. As if all of this was not exciting enough, Lloyd and Minnie Chamberlin were announcing the news of their sweet baby boy's birth. Al was born on March 7, 1937, in Burlington Township in Calhoun County.
He spent many years of his childhood growing up in Union City. At the age of seven, he was forced to grapple with the sadness of his father's death. With the support of his loved ones, he was able to find peace in his heart, where the memories of his father rested. In time, his mother found love again. Their union brought along the bonus of 6 total siblings in the family. Under the roof of a big house, Al could never claim to be bored. They shared many moments of adventure and tribulation, which included family square dancing in the barn and taking care of the chickens.
Al traveled the non-traditional path leaving high school in the 10th grade. His aim in life no less noble, however, for he proudly served in the United States Air Force. Looking dapper in his uniform on one particular occasion helped direct his future. Carolyn Pontius recognized a handsome man when she saw him. The couple met through Al's niece, and their first date occurred at the local drive-in movie theater.
The movie was good, but their connection was greater. The couple's story was just beginning. In time, they began planning what turned out to be one of Al's happiest days in life. On September 1, 1956, they exchanged nuptials at the Justice of the Peace. It was a memorable day, for Al and Carolyn became Mr. and Mrs. Mack, but also because Carolyn's brother almost derailed the entire celebration. He landed in the hospital after falling out of a tree, breaking his collarbone. Nevertheless, they were determined to become husband and wife, and that is just what they did!
Al supported the newlyweds' life working for the Meade Stationary Company. He was known as "Mack The Knife," because he skillfully sliced the paper with an impressive blade. His coworkers enjoyed his company thoroughly and counted on his daily weather report, as he always knew the forecast. He dedicated 42 years of his life to this occupation.
Al and Carolyn celebrated the birth of four children; Randy, Cindy, Shari, and Danny kept their parents busy. Al adored fatherhood and cherished the moments they shared. He was a sentimental soul - especially when it came to his family; therefore, when he was blessed with grandchildren, he was even more delighted. He was happiest when his grandchildren and great-grandchildren were around.
To help reminisce about Al's life, here are a few of his favorite things: He recognized the flavors of good food. He loved goulash, scalloped potatoes, meatloaf, and the special treat of homemade Appian Way Pizza with extra cheese. Al liked to turn up the country and gospel music and savored any moment he could tend to his beautiful wife's needs - always ready to wait on her. He also kept an impressive collection of M&M candy figurines. When relaxing at home, he liked to watch "American Pickers," as it fondly reminded him when he and Carolyn would drive around picking and finding treasures from other people's discarded items. Some things they kept and others they would sell. Once, they found a canoe, which netted them over $300!
Al practiced his faith as a long-time member of Victory Baptist in Portage. He and his son, Danny, had the honor of becoming the first father and son usher team. This memory became a sentiment Al held dear to his heart. Al and his family grieved the loss of Danny's life in 2018. With his faith and the love of his family, Al was able to find the goodness in life again.
In times when Al searched for something to help his hurt, he would play Alan Jackson's song titled, "I Want to Stroll in Heaven With You." Sadly, Al was called to Heaven on Thursday, November 7, 2019. Knowing that he has reunited with his son, and they are reminiscing as they stroll together in paradise brings comfort. We will miss Al's genuine kindness in this world, but we will never forget him.
Members of his family include Wife Carolyn, 3 children: Randy (Sherry) Mack, Cindy Eaton and Shari (Charles) Futrell; 11 grandchildren, several great grand, and a great great-grandchild. He was preceded in death by his son Danny. Funeral Services will be held at 1PM on Tuesday, November 12 at the Betzler Life Story Funeral Home, 6080 Stadium Drive; Kalamazoo (269) 375-2900. The family will receive friends one hour prior to the service. Burial will follow at the Sherwood Cemetery. Please visit Al's personal web page at www.BetzlerLifeStory.com , where you can archive a favorite memory or photo and sign his online guestbook before coming to the funeral home. Memorial donations may be made to a charity of your choice.