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Death Takes Walter Mack At Age of 74

Death Takes Walter Mack At Age of 74 image
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Was Associated With Department Store Here For 55 Years
Death this noon took one of the pioneer builders of Ann Arbor, Walter C. Mack, who for 55 years, many of them as owner and manager, was associated with one of Michigan's oldest and largest department stores. Mr. Mack, who had been in ill health for several years, was 74 years old.
The veteran Ann Arbor merchant passed away in his home at 730 Haven Ave. shortly after 12 o'clock.
Mr. Mack, who was born in Ann Arbor, May 3, 1867, became first associated in 1884 with the store Mack & Co., which was founded by his father, Christian Mack, in 1857. He was 17 years old. From that time until he retired in the spring of 1939, Walter C. Mack was a name that meant much in state business circles and a great deal more in Ann Arbor.
Served Six Generations
During the years when Mack & Co. was becoming a household word to the six generations of southern Michigan families which it served the company pioneered in many merchandising ventures.
The store was one of the first to establish a "bargain basement" and to introduce style shows with living models. At one time it was one of two department stores in the state permitted to have a drug division.
Mr. Mack, who was always too busy to bother with social or fraternal affiliations, made his presence felt in ways that in his mind "would do more good" towards the prosperity of Ann Arbor - the city of which he once said, "I will never lose interest in watching its progress."
Mr. Mack took pride in developing his business, and incidentally developing Ann Arbor's business and he more than once showed himself to be a forerunner with progress.
Modernized Store
Under his guidance the early 19th century "general" store of 85 years ago became one of the most modern of retail houses utilizing approximately 100,000 square feet of floor space. Mr. Mack retired, to "have some leisure and conserve my health" from the store (which still is an Ann Arbor landmark at the northwest corner of Liberty and Main Sts.) on April 1, 1939 when the business was leased to a firm headed by Chauncey T. Ray, Flint.
For the past three years the pioneer merchant passed his days quietly reminiscing and keeping an interested eye on the doings of the business world which he had left after so many years service.
Mr. Mack is survived by his wife, the former Miss Florence Kinkle, Shelbyville, Ky.; a son, Christian Mack, proprietor of the Christian Mack Insurance Agency here; two daughters, Mrs. Henry B. Heyburn, Louisville, Ky., and Mrs. Walter H. Mack, Ann Arbor; and a brother, Edwin F. Mack, Chicago.
Private funeral services will be held but other arrangements have not been made.