‘Rick’ Mack, of Harrison, longtime park ranger remembered for his humor, easy demeanor
Richard A. “Rick” Mack, 61, of Harrison, a longtime ranger at Crooked Creek Lake died Tuesday.
Family and friends remember him for his humor and laid-back demeanor.
“He loved his job, and he loved the outdoors,” said Erica L. Collins, 35, of Harrison, one of Mack’s daughters.
She remembers growing up always being outdoors, canoeing and fishing with her father.
An avid fisherman, Mack loved going to camp in West Hickory.
“What I will miss most about him is his smile,” Collins said.
Mack worked as a park ranger for the Army Corps of Engineers for 33 years with 23 of those years served at Crooked Creek Lake in Bethel Township. At the time of his death, Mack was on medical leave, according to Collins.
He graduated from Slippery Rock University in 1980 with a degree in parks and recreation.
Co-worker Emily Potter, 32, of Washington Township said Mack not only loved his job as a ranger, but he made it fun.
“He never got worked up about anything,” she said.
Mack presented nature and water safety to untold numbers of the people over the years as park ranger.
It’s through those educational programs that he acquired a nickname. During the three-day “Camp Sunshine,” an event for special needs children and adults, one of the campers asked Potter, “Where’s the ‘Mack Attack?’ ”
Potter loved the name, although Mack demurred, saying, “I’m too old for nicknames.”
Potter said, “I don’t know where this kid came up with that name; I called him that for the next 10 years.”
But that was Mack’s personality. Said Potter: “He made so many things enjoyable and he calmed me down and made me laugh.”
Mack was a member of Trinity United Methodist Church, the Oregon Hunting and Fishing Club, American Legion, all of Brackenridge; and the VFW Post 894, Natrona Heights.
He was a member of the Birdville Troop 186 Boy Scouts of America, Harrison, where he earned the rank of Eagle Scout.
He is survived by daughters Erica L. Collins and Kylee L. Mack, both of Harrison; stepdaughter, Jennifer Gula, of Upper Burrell; brother, George Jr. Mack, of Harrison; grandchildren, Douglas Corbett, Zoey Collins and Kendall Gamble; and two nephews, Justin and Joshua Mack. He was preceded in death by his father, George E. “Pinky” Mack Sr. and his wife, Mary Ellen Mack.
Mack’s funeral service is scheduled for 11 a.m. Friday at the Robert Peters Funeral Home in Harrison, followed by burial service at Mt. Airy Cemetery in Harrison.
Mary Ann Thomas is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Mary at 724-226-4691, [email protected] or via Twitter .