Richard D. Mack ’64 died on October 18, 2020 in Byfield, Massachusetts.
(The following was published by the Boston Globe on October 20, 2020)
Richard “Dick” Mack, M.D., of Byfield, MA, passed away suddenly on Sunday, October 18, 2020, at the age of 78. Dick was born in Louisville, Kentucky on December 23, 1941, along with his identical twin brother, David. He was the son of Dr. and Mrs. Keller Mack and spent his childhood in Springfield, Illinois, graduating from the public high school as an avid tennis player and excellent student. Dick traveled east to attend Bowdoin College in Maine, graduating in 1964. Having fallen in love with New England, he chose Tufts Medical School in Boston, where he graduated with his M.D. in 1968. Prior to graduating, Dick met and married the love of his life and best friend, Gerry Fitzgerald. He completed his Pediatric residency programs at both Tufts and Duke University in N.C., before serving two years of active duty as a Major in the U.S. Army in Indianapolis, Indiana. In 1973, Dick and Gerry, with two children in tow, moved back to New England where Dick joined a Pediatric practice at Anna Jacques Hospital in Newburyport, MA. The birth of their third child in 1975 followed the move to Byfield, MA, where they raised their children and established a home for the next 45 years. In addition to his successful 36-year private Pediatric practice at Anna Jacques, he served as a team physician for Triton Regional High School athletics for many years, was a long-standing member of the Newburyport Fortnightly and Dalton Clubs and later was a gifted model shipbuilder, contributing many finely crafted ships to several Newburyport maritime museums and shops. A fine photographer of his own family, grandchildren and nature and lifelong scholar, Dick was first and foremast a voracious reader, preferring to read by a warm fire at home or oceanside at Plum Island. His interests were incredibly varied and his attention to them thorough; he most often had 4-5 books in process at any one time, on subjects ranging from Art History, Chess Masters, Quantum Physics, Civil or World War history, interspersed with a classic English spy novel or two. When not immersed in his books or appreciating classical music in his Byfield sunroom, Dick could be found in the mountains or on the local roads, literally. An eager hiker and skier, then an accomplished distance runner, Dick finished multiple marathons including his beloved Boston Marathon twice as an American Medical Association team member. His running career was followed by several years as a road bike enthusiast, where he found new, paved paths up the White Mountains of New Hampshire with like-minded long-distance biking friends. Dick always embraced new physical challenges fully while never failing to appreciate the wonder and beauty of the New England outdoors he loved so much and which he made sure to share with his family throughout his life. In his retirement Dick enjoyed warm months in Florida playing golf with Gerry and enjoying their many, many longtime friends in Massachusetts, Florida and Maine. But more than anything else, Dick became his grandchildren’s best Grampy; his life-long preference for the company of children was clear as he was always the first to tune into their humor, saw new discoveries through their eyes, and was always ready to sneak out to the toy store for those “must have” gifts. Dick will be remembered for his kind spirit, his intellect, endless curiosity of the world and his generous, gentle love of his wife, family, friends, patients and community. He is survived by his loving wife of 53 years, Gerry, his brother David Mack, of California, sister Phylis Reynolds of Illinois, and his three children; Amy (Mark) of Virginia, Andrew (Jennifer) of Ohio and Katherine (Jack) of Massachusetts, and six grandchildren: Natalie, Andrew, Finley, Benjamin, Mae and Julia.