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National Fallen Firefighters Foundation

Roll of Honor

Age: 68
Year of Death: 2003

Carl J. Mack

Submitted by his family

Carl Mack was born in 1934 in Milwaukee‚ Wisconsin. He was raised most of his life by a single mother after losing his father at a young age to a blood disease. Carl went to Milwaukee Boy’s Tech in search of an apprenticeship as a plumber. Shortly thereafter Carl became employed with the Grunau Company Inc.‚ and worked for them for 43 years. Carl was very much a union man and was a member of Plumber’s Local 75 for 49 years. He was known to many of his plumbing buddies as the ‘Polish Plumber’ or the ‘Polack’.

Carl was a truly devoted husband to Ruth A. Mack (Rewolinski) for 46 years. Carl had four children‚ Diane‚ Sam (Carol)‚ Andy (Lynn) and Lisa (Jon Hanson). Carl had four grandchildren‚ Amanda‚ Bryan‚ Amy Mack and Morgan Hanson. Our dad taught us not only to respect other people but to respect ourselves and to take pride in who we are. Our dad always voiced his opinion on what he believed in. He only expected us to try our best when we did something and encouraged us to learn how to do it and do it the right way. Dad‚ you were truly the backbone of our family and could always make things okay when they were going wrong. You gave of your time freely and generously to teach us how to be good and down to earth people. We respect you for who you were and will never forget you for what you instilled in us.

To know Carl was to love him as he always had a smile; he always waved to anyone whether he knew them or not. As his wife‚ I still have people come up to me and say‚ ‘I miss that big red truck and the wave we always exchanged when he would go by.’

We planned on retiring for many years‚ then in 1995 Carl did and we searched for the right area. We’ve visited in Grand Marsh for over 18 years until we found some property. We built a house on then 20 acres. Carl spent many hours making it our home. His favorite was his shop. After two years of putting up decks‚ building additions and completing projects‚ Carl was finally able to sit back and putter in his shop every day from sunrise to sunset. In 2001‚ our son and his wife found an Amish buggy‚ which Carl wanted for so long. It needed lots of TLC and Carl sure did that. By the summer of 2002‚ it was completed and he was surely proud. He even pondered about renting a horse to give his five year old granddaughter and the other grandchildren a ride.

In early 2002‚ Carl found out he had a heart problem‚ but that never stopped him. When consulting with the doctors‚ he frequently asked if he could stay on with the fire department‚ his next love after our family. New Chester kept him on to run pumpers and drive trucks‚ with the doctor’s approval. I was told that coming from a ‘big’ city‚ to a small community‚ he taught the guys ‘a few’ things. Carl was very ‘outspoken.’ He loved Fire Prevention Week with the kids. He showed them the trucks and then would deliver his speech. He enjoyed it so much‚ and many of the kids looked forward to seeing him the next year.

As his wife‚ I couldn’t find another ‘Mr. Nice Guy.’ He and I go back as friends since our mid-teens. I learned so much from him – plumbing‚ electrical‚ house building‚ and mostly fishing (oh how I miss that!). I especially miss our daily card games. Every morning after breakfast we would play cards‚ bird watch and observe the deer and turkeys in our front yard from our kitchen window. Carl was a mentor to our children‚ they learned so much from him. Both boys went on to become volunteer firefighters and the girls would always count on Dad when they needed help with major house repairs or simply how to barbecue on the grill.

Carl was always ready to help anyone. After being a plumber since 1954‚ he could repair almost anything from tractors to sharpening knives. He would help me can‚ bake and anything else that was asked of him.

Part of my life went when he went on his last call. Please remember to say ‘good-bye’ when that call comes in‚ because my biggest regret is that I never said ‘good-bye’ on April 22‚ 2003. God sure got a great man when He took Carl to Heaven to join ‘His department.’

The fire department did a great job on saying their farewells and the family and I will always be part of the fire department’s family. Thanks for being there firefighters and Carl‚ thank you for letting me be your wife‚ we are so proud of you.

Carl died while on the scene of a house fire on April 22‚ 2003. His heart finally gave out. Carl was a volunteer firefighter for 41 years. He previously served on the Muskego Volunteer Fire Company for 34 years‚ and was President of the same for 25 years. Carl was greatly devoted to the fire service and to the community. He was always giving of his time whether it was teaching a new member how to run a truck‚ going to meetings several time a week‚ or simply giving a child a tour of the fire station. Carl never expected anything in return for all the hours he ‘donated’ as a volunteer‚ and he eventually gave the ultimate sacrifice for what he enjoyed doing.

Carl Mack made an impression on everyone who met him. He was a very strong willed man who‚ when he died‚ left a void in many people’s lives.

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  1. sure do miss you dad…your laugh, your smile, your strength. but we will ALWAYS carry your heart and your you…Diane

    – Diane Mack