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Joe Mack

Nov. 9, 1926-Aug. 13, 2012

Joe H. Mack, 85, a lifetime Ponsford Prairie area resident, peacefully entered eternity on Monday, Aug. 13, 2012 at his home northwest of Osage.

Joe was born to Henry and Mary (Nunn) Mack on Nov. 9, 1926 on his parents' farm on the Ponsford Prairie. He attended the Linnell Country School through the eighth grade and then went on to attend high school in Park Rapids. As a young man, Joe farmed with his father.

On Oct. 23, 1946, he was united in marriage to Violet Molander at St. Theodore's Catholic Parsonage near Ponsford. This union was blessed with seven children, Joan, Tom, John, Julie, Jeanne, Lori and Bob.

Joe and Violet purchased their own farm on the prairie and engaged in dairy farming. They worked together in transforming the rugged land into a fertile farm and raised a fine herd of holstien cattle. In the mid-1970s they sold their dairy herd and began raising beef cattle.

Throughout his lifetime, Joe enjoyed working with horses and was well respected for his knowledge in breeding and training quality horses. In addition to farming, Joe also supported his family by working road construction, driving truck and logging timber.

He was also active in his community, and served as a volunteer fireman with the Carsonville Fire Department for many years. He was a long time member of the Midwest Minnesota Harness Club.

In 1990, Joe was honored along with his good friend, Joe Bush to serve as co-grand marshals of the Ponsford Community Centennial, and they led the parade riding their horses. He was proud to have been part of the Itasca State Park Centennial Wagon Train that traveled from the State Capital in St. Paul to Itasca State Park in 1991.

For many years Joe has enjoyed giving horse drawn hayrides and sleigh rides to many friends and family members. He especially delighted in giving children the experience of a memorable ride.

Joe enjoyed deer hunting with his family, but especially enjoyed helping the youngsters bag their first deer and teaching them how to field dress their game. Joe was proud to have been awarded the Becker County Century Farm Award in 2003.

In his spare time, Joe enjoyed repairing harnesses, bridles and saddles and whittling diamond willow. Above all, Joe enjoyed spending time with his wife, children and grandchildren, who he loved with all his heart.

He will be lovingly remembered by his wife, Violet; seven children, Joan (Al) Bendson of Motley, Thomas (Elaine) Mack and John (Linda) Mack of Detroit Lakes, Julie (Greg) Sitz of Park Rapids, Jeanne (Larry) Tretbar of Ponsford, Lori (Steve) Eix of Benson and Robert Mack of Osage; special nephew, Charlie (Laurie) Jordan of Osage; 18 grandchildren; 26 great grandchildren; two sisters, Mildred Bloomquist of Little Fork and Arlene Veronen of Detroit Lakes; two brothers, Jim (Irene) Mack of Ponsford and Thomas Mack of New Brighton; as well as numerous nieces, nephews, other relatives and many friends.

Preceding Joe in death were his parents; brother, Sam; sister, Esther; and great granddaughter, Hope Brown.

Funeral services are set for 11 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 16 at St. Peter the Apostle Catholic Church in Park Rapids, with Father Thomas Friedl officiating.

Active casketbearers are Joe's grandsons, Brad Mack, Ron Mack, Wade Bendson, Brian Tretbar, Nathan Sitz, Ben Sitz, Jed Eix and Joe Eix.

Honorary casketbearers are Joe's granddaughters, Jill Mack, Kelly Schiffner, Diana Mack, Jennifer Clements, Amanda Brown, Angela Mack, Kayla Mack, Amy Mack, Leah Hall and Ashley Tretbar.

Interment will be in the Mack family plot at Linnell Cemetery near Osage. A luncheon will be hosted by the church following the service.

Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 15, at the Jones-Pearson Funeral Home in Park Rapids; and for one hour prior to services at the church on Thursday.