Robert J. MackFebruary 16, 1930 ~ October 24, 2017 (age 87)
The family of Robert (Bob) J. Mack sadly said their final good-byes to Robert on Tuesday, October 24, 2017. Born in 1930 to Harry and Helen Kubinski in Hamtramck, Michigan, Bob faced hardship early, having lost his father before the age of five. His mother remarried and Robert was adopted by Francis Mack, and soon welcomed a younger brother, Frank.
As the eldest son, Robert gained a strong sense of responsibility and obligation to others. He was a graduate of Cass Technical High School in Detroit, Michigan and attended the General Motors Institute of Technology (now the Kettering University) in Flint, Michigan where he earned a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering. Bob was the first in his family to receive a college education.
Robert enlisted in the US Navy in April 1954. He was admitted to Officer's Candidate School and as an Ensign was assigned to serve aboard the USS Wiltsie, a Gearing-Class Destroyer. Bob served for three years in the Korean War earning rank as a Lieutenant Junior Grade.
While stationed in San Diego, California, Robert became reacquainted with Dorothy (Dottie) Urban whom he had met in Michigan on a blind date. Robert and Dottie were married in The First Presbyterian Church in San Diego on February 4, 1956.
After his naval service ended, Robert taught at San Diego State University in the Engineering department. He applied for and received a fellowship which enabled him to attend the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He graduated with a Masters degree in Nuclear Engineering.
Subsequently, he accepted employment with Atomics International and eventually ended up in Idaho at the National Reactor Testing Site. Several years later, Bob and his family moved to Nevada taking on an assignment involved with experimental research on the Jupiter Rocket.
Robert then changed careers, becoming an entrepreneur. He and a close friend, Norm Grant, opened up a Datsun (Nissan) Dealership in Traverse City, Michigan. Their timing was poor for selling foreign cars. The venture lasted a little over two years. Robert then applied for a position with Mare Island Naval Shipyard, Vallejo, California. He and his family moved to Napa.
In 1990, after 25 years, Robert retired from Mare Island. During and after those years, he and Dottie shared many adventures; riding elephants in Thailand, cycling in China in 1982 and then in Thailand, England, Ireland, France, Germany, Poland, and Creté as well as the U.S. and Canada.
Robert approached life with a passion for learning and adventure. He was an avid reader, and adventurous bicyclist, world traveler, keen wine taster, determined snow skier, opera enthusiast, bold entrepreneur, and loving father, grandfather, mentor, teacher, philosopher and philanthropist. He will be greatly missed.
Robert was preceded in death by his mother Helen, brother Frank, and nephew Eric Mack. He is survived by his wife and life-partner of 61 years, Dottie Mack, daughter Karin Mack (Larry Hicks), son David Mack (Cheryl), and three grandchildren, Racheal Mack, Chase Mack (Jamie), and Daniel Mack.
At Robert's request, there will be a private ash scattering memorial. Words of sympathy may be sent to the family online at www.tulocaycemetery.org. Donations in Robert's memory can be made to the VFW, Salvation Army or any organization you wish.