Obituary: Edward Mack, 89
Former Wilton resident Edward Beach Mack, of Mesa, Ariz., died on Sept. 2, 2016. He was 89.
He was an eighth generational native of Connecticut. Born in Watertown, Conn., on June 10, 1927, he wa the only son of the late Harold P. and Ruth Beach Mack Johnson. He graduated from Rogers High School in Newport, R.I. in 1944 and joined the U.S. Army Air Force where he served with the 8th Weather Wing in Labrador.
His academic studies and training took him to Southern Connecticut State University, Yale University, Columbia University, University of Chicago (as a John Hay Fellow), Williams College, and the University of Bridgeport.
Mack and his wife Jean moved to Mountain Road in Wilton in 1954 when he became a teacher in the Wilton Public Schools. He remained with the school system for 33 years as an art instructor and department chairman. The couple raised their three daughters in Wilton and Weston (where they moved in 1957). He also taught art history for several years at Housatonic Community College in Bridgeport.
The couple was active in community affairs, among them the Wilton Playshop, Wilton Library Association, Ogden House, the Silvermine Guild of Artists, Ridgefield Guild of Artists, Wilton Congregational Church, Zion’s Hill Methodist Church, The Wilton Singers, youth camps such as the 1960s-era Camp PIP, and many other local organizations and activities. In his capacity as an artist and teacher, he involved himself in many aspects of student life in the Wilton schools, from drama and music to science and industrial arts. Mack’s hand-lettered signs at School Road and Danbury Road advertised science fairs, concerts, plays, rummage sales, and you-name-it. He also created and exhibited his own artworks in a variety of media and styles.
After retiring to Mesa, Ariz., in 1994, Mack volunteered his time and skills for the Heard Museum Guild, the Arizona Museum of Natural History, the Mesa Arts Center, and two international organizations (International Executive Service Corps and Conservation International) that sent him to Honduras and Guatemala as a design consultant to indigenous artisans and woodcarvers.
In Arizona Mack continued the amateur archaeological work he had begun in Connecticut (through Norwalk Community College’s Archaeology Club) by volunteering with site restoration projects by the Southwest Archaeology Team (southwestarchaeologyteam.org/new%20ed.jpg) affiliated with the Arizona Natural History Museum. He was recently honored with a plaque by the museum for his 20-plus years as a volunteer sculptor assisting with exhibition design, especially his full-size recreation of a Pteranodon sternbergi, a bird-like dinosaur with a 24-foot wingspan (arizonamuseumofnaturalhistory.org/explore-the-museum/exhibitions/rulers-of-the-prehistoric-skies).
Mack was predeceased by his wife, Jean Baker Mack, in 2009. Survivors include daughters Jan Northcutt, Lyn Mack (Larry Welty) and Wendy Mack Allred (Jeffrey) of Mesa, Ariz.; a sister, Audrey Mack Hall (Harold) of Phoenix; a niece and several cousins.
Memorial contributions may be made to: Mack Art Scholarship, Mesa Arts Center Foundation, 1 E. Main St., Mesa 85201; and/or The Edward & Jean Mack Endowed Music & Art Scholarship, Southern Conn. State Univ., 501 Crescent St., New Haven CT 06515.