The world lost a beautiful soul on Saturday, January 21, when Brian Mack left us for a more peaceful place. Although he was challenged by serious medical issues most of his life, Brian had a resilience and spirit that inspired so many people he knew. His unexpected passing has left a huge hole in too many hearts.
Brian Patrick Mack was born in Kansas City, Kansas on December 23, 1968 into the family of Patricia and Galen Mack and his big sister Laurie. When Brian was eight, his family moved to the island of Saipan in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands. The transition was not an easy one for any of us, but Brian was soon thriving, discovering the sport of windsurfing and joining the local swim club. Brian was an incredibly talented windsurfer and probably could have been competitive some day. He made many friends at school and grew to love the island life. He left the island for high school on Maui, Hawaii, but his stay there was cut short when he developed the first of three brain tumors he would have during his life. The surgery and radiation he received saved his life, but also changed it forever.
Brian recovered as best he could and went on to graduate from Marianas High School on Saipan in 1986, then spent a year at Yuba College in Marysville, California. After the death of his father in 1987, Brian and his mom, Patricia Mack, moved from Saipan to California to be closer to Laurie. In 1988, Brian followed his mom to Las Vegas, Nevada where he learned the skill of picture framing, a career he continued when they both relocated to California in 1993. He lived in Richmond, California until moving to Carlsbad, New Mexico in 2000 when his mom retired to take care of her parents, Leroy and Marie Thompson, longtime residents of Carlsbad.
Brian found his forever job at the Riverside Country Club in 2010 taking care of the golf carts and assisting in the Pro-Shop. Brian was a daily fixture at the club and was liked by everyone, developing lifelong friendships at RCC. Brian had a witty sense of humor and never missed an opportunity to give someone a verbal shot. Although he faced significant challenges throughout his life, Brian was devoted to his job and never missed a day of work unless he was really sick. He often showed up not feeling great and would get mad if Neil, his boss, sent him home. His work ethic and loyalty can never be replaced. The Riverside Country Club members and staff are forever grateful that Brian was in their lives. He will be missed. In memory of Brian, RCC will be dedicating the driving range to him and placing a memorial bench in his honor.
Most important to Brian was the time he spent with his second family at The Blue House Bakery & Cafe. Brian was a very early riser and arrived every morning before they opened. The crew always had his water and a cup of coffee waiting for him when he arrived and it was his job to flip the Open sign at 5:52 a.m. He was apparently quite upset when they bought a neon sign that was more visible from the street and he just had to flip the switch…. Brian was especially fond of Tina Britain, owner of The Blue House, who was his Guardian Angel. She looked out for him, spending countless hours with Brian as he bravely faced his medical adventures, bringing him food, care, and a very special kind of friendship and love.
Brian will rest both in Carlsbad next to his mom and grandparents, as well as in the Pacific Ocean where our dad was laid to rest in 1987. Brian loved Carlsbad but also the ocean and this seems a fitting way for him to leave this Earth. A public celebration of his life will be held for Brian on Friday, February 10 at 11:30 a.m. at The Blue House at 609 N. Canyon Street, Carlsbad. A second memorial reception, also open to the public, will be held at a date to be announced at the Riverside Country Club.
Brian is survived by his sister Laurie Emery and her husband Art of Watsonville, California. Brian’s little dog, Ginger, who was his faithful companion for many years, will miss him immensely. Brian is preceded in death by his parents Patricia and Galen Mack and grandparents, Leroy and Marie Thompson.