RAPID CITY | James A. "Jim" Mack, 90, passed away Thursday, Aug. 7, 2019, in Rapid City.
Jim was born Aug. 18, 1928, in Hettinger, ND. He grew up in Harding County and graduated from Buffalo High School in 1947 and from Black Hills State University in 1951 with a Bachelor’s degree in Education. In 1960, he was one of the first four students to receive a Master’s degree in Education from BHSU, pursuing graduate study in Guidance Counseling at the University of North Dakota and the University of Montana.
Jim met Grace Neville while the two attended BHSU. They married on Oct. 29, 1951. Jim was drafted into the Marine Corps in August 1951. He spent eight weeks in boot camp in MCRD in San Diego, Platoon #250. He transferred to Naval Air Technical Training Center, Memphis, TN, where he attended Aviation Electronics School for eight months. Upon completion of electronic school, he was transferred to 3rd Marine Air Wing, Opa Locka Marine Air Station, Miami, FL, Photographic Squadron VMJ3. Jim completed active duty in August 1953.
He taught mathematics at the high school in Baker, MT, for eight years, then was a high school counselor in Glendive, MT, for eight years. Jim then worked in the Admissions Office at South Dakota School of Mines and Technology for 20 years, then as Director of Surbeck Center for seven years until his retirement in 1993. Since retiring, he traveled throughout the U.S., to Alaska and the Bahamas.
Jim was always active wherever he lived. In Montana, he belonged to an archery club, bowling leagues, bridge clubs and he refereed high school wrestling. When he moved to Rapid City, he enjoyed hunting and fishing, especially ice fishing at Deerfield Lake. He and Grace enjoyed traveling in their motorhome, then in a fifth wheel with the Good Sam Club, as well as many trips to Green Bay, WI, Estes Park, CO, Medora and the Hostfest, ND, Nashville, TN, Corpus Christi, TX, and many other places.
Jim served as a volunteer in the Pennington County Sheriff’s Volunteer Program for 13 years. He and Grace delivered Meals of Wheels for 15 years. He served on the Canyon Lake Senior Citizen’s Board for six years. He was a life member of the Elks Lodge and a life member of the American Legion.
He danced for 10 years with the Sons of Norway dance group — Leikaringen (like-a-ring-en). The group performed in North and South Dakota, as well as Montana and Canada.
Jim is survived by his wife, Grace; son, Dave and wife Donna; daughter, Kris and husband Brad Hovland; grandsons, James and Colin Mack; granddaughters, Gena Shirley and Beth Mack; great-grandchildren, Emma, Ava, Bria, Claira, Lexie, Stacy, Brody, Danika, Wyatt and Deidre.
Jim’s family is very grateful for the care given by the Fort Meade VA, Shirley’s Adult Daycare, The Village, and Hospice House.
Memorials are suggested for Meals on Wheels and the Alzheimer’s Association.
Visitation will be one hour prior to the services.
Celebration of Life services will be at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 13, at Faith Lutheran Church, with Pastor Warren Lahammer officiating. Burial will be at a later date at Black Hills National Cemetery near Sturgis.