Photos appear on Michigan State Cross Country Study
If you have children or grandchildren looking for a way to college and a bit of financial aid, here is an opportunity for a MSU undergrad student majoring in kinesiology and also pursuing a teaching degree. If they are willing to attend Michigan State University, which I hear is a pretty good school, they might want to check out the link below. Walter C. Mack was an Olympic aspirant in 1940, lost his chance with WWII and a combat injury, but still returned and ran for MSU in cross county and track after the war and was an All-American. He became a teacher in Southern California and coached at John Muir HS in Pasadena and Cal Tech. Pete Brown who was one of Walter's students at Eliot Jr High School sent us this announcement. Pete recalled that Walter Mack used to show cross country films in his history classes at Muir. He managed to send two southern California runners to Michigan State, but those lads had a really hard time with the harsh conditions brought on by the Midwest temperate climate.
The Glendale Times carried Walter Mack's Obituary in 2010.
Walter C. Mack
After graduating from Lafayette High School in Buffalo, Mack attended Michigan State University. He was selected All American in both track and cross country during his sophomore and junior years.
Shortly after Pearl Harbor Day, Mack enlisted in the Navy. He was trained as a pharmacist mate and then volunteered to serve in Marine Corps. During action in the South Pacific, Mack was wounded while rendering medical aid to fellow Marines on New Britain Island and received the Purple Heart medal.
Mack spent much of his teaching career at John Muir High School where he taught advanced world history. His essay tests became known throughout the school as the “Mack Attack”. To make his course more interesting, Mack presented to his classes photos and stories he collected during three trips around the world.
He is survived by his wife of 56 years, Patricia Harris Mack, a retired teacher at Glendale High School; sister and brother-in-law, Grace and Stan Padd; several nieces and nephews; and hundreds of former students.
Mark Havitz, professor at the University of Waterloo in Ontario has created a great website of Michigan State Track and Cross Country History that has a lot of great archival photos and even some video of 1940's era NCAA Cross Country Championships that were held in East Lansing, MI.
That site can be found at: