Fabian S. Mack, 81, of Ontario died Feb. 25, 2004, at his home after an extended illness.
There will be a vigil service and the rosary will be said at 7 p.m. MST Sunday at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Ontario. Liturgy of Christian Burial will be at 10 a.m. MST Monday at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Ontario. The Rev. W. Raymond Jarboe will preside. Burial will be at Hillcrest East Cemetery in La Grande at 2 p.m. PST. Lienkaemper Chapel of Ontario is in charge of arrangements.
Fabian S. Mack was born on March 6, 1922, to Anton and Katherine Black Mack near Minot, N.D. He grew up on a wheat and cattle ranch. Mack served in the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in 1938 and graduated from high school in 1941.
He enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Force as an aviation cadet in May of 1942 and served as a B-24 bomber crew member in the 8th Air Force stationed in England. He flew 30 combat missions over Europe during World War II in 1944 and was awarded six air medals and the Distinguished Flying Cross for his service. He was honorably discharged in September 1945 as a tech sergeant.
Mack went on to study watchmaking and graduated from the American Academy of Horology (watchmaking) at Denver in 1947. He was employed for a time in Minot, N.D., as a watchmaker and watch inspector for the Great Northern Railroad.
He married Irene Klein in November 1947. In 1949 they opened “Mack’s Jewelers” in Baker City. Mack opened a second store in Pendleton in 1957, a third store (Davis Jewelers) in Ontario, in 1977, and a fourth in Weiser, Idaho, in 1982. Mack was one of the earliest graduate gemologists of the Gemological Institute of America (1956), sharing the title with only six others in Oregon.
In addition to the jewelry business, the Macks maintained a working ranch on which family members spent half their time. Fabian enjoyed hunting with his sons. He traveled extensively, often with his daughters, visiting wartime landmarks in Europe and leisure spots in the United States, Caribbean and Hawaii.
In 1987, he sold his interests in the jewelry stores to two of his sons and retired. The stores changed their name to “Mack & Sons.” Of his 13 children, seven are actively involved in the jewelry industry.
In 2003, Mack completed a lifetime dream of writing and publishing his memoirs. Titled “Fabian’s Story,” the book chronicles Fabian’s life starting with the immigration of his ancestors, through his life on the farm, in the CCC, in the military, and then through the development of his businesses and his family. The book will be available during the services.
Fabian was a life member of the Elks Lodge, a life member of the Knights of Columbus, 4th Degree, and a longtime member of the American Legion.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Irene, in 1984.
Survivors include his seven sons and six daughters, James A. Mack of Middleton, Idaho, Jerrold F. Mack of St. George, Utah, John P. Mack of Montrose, Colo., Jeffrey S. Mack of Oak Harbor, Wash., Joseph D. Mack of St. George, Utah, Jason R. Mack, of Montrose, Colo., Jordan T. Mack of Littleton, Colo., Joyce I. Mahlum of Longview, Wash., Janice Mack Talcott of Olympia, Wash., Julia K. Crippin of Montrose, Colo., Jacqueline Mack Hill of Hermiston, Judith Mack Cameron of Lake Oswego, and Jillona M. Moretti of San Antonio, Texas; 22 grandchildren and one great-grandchild; four brothers and two sisters, Wendelin, Mack of Hermiston, Larry Mack of Minot, N.D., Tony Mack of Karlsruhe, N.D., Dan Mack of Baker City, Peggy Keller of Minot, N.D., and Barbara Goin of Albany; and his former wife, Beatha, of Ontario.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions to Pathway Hospice, 323 W. Idaho Ave., Ontario, OR 97914; The Knights of Columbus, Council 1656, Ontario; or The Elks Education Scholarship, Ontario.
Used with permission from: Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, February 27, 2004
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor