Edward Mack

Edward White "Bo" Mack IV

Tuesday, January 18th, 1949 - Thursday, December 15th, 2022
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If you’re reading this, you knew my father. But no life can be reconciled within the confines of an obituary, much less the hundred words or so printed in a newspaper. So below I will attempt to paint a more complete picture of who my father was and what he meant to us all. Even now, starting out, I know I’ve set myself an impossible task, so I hope that when you’ve finished reading, you will help my family celebrate his life by leaving an anecdote or two of your own in the comments below.


(...and now, for the rest of the story…)

Bo lived. He lived while skin-diving for crabs and coming up with sunken WWII ammo; he lived in the restoration of a ‘64 Land Rover, painted blue on one side and white on the other because his daughters couldn’t agree on what color it should be; and he lived during a later-in-life semester abroad with Bill O. taken when “making bad decisions” meant stopping for dinner at the Bunga Bunga Club or sleeping in the back of the car. But living, for Bo, encompassed far more and touched many more lives.

Born in 1949 in Windsor, CT to the late Josephine and Edward Mack III, Bo had clay in his blood. He quickly learned how to mold, dry, and fire brick, how to manage a business, and how to bond with whomever was working on the brickyard that season. It was these early friendships, perhaps, that would later lead Bo to open his life and family to anyone in search of community. But his childhood on Mack Street influenced him in other ways as well. Maybe it was an early football injury that never healed quite right that led Bo to believe that if you’re going to do something, you should do it right the first time. Maybe it was nights spent in the basements at Aunt Babe’s or Dean and Archie’s houses on Mack Street that instilled in him the deep love for family and get-togethers, as he ran drinks for the grown-ups while they had another family jam…even though mama don’t allow no guitar playin’ around here. Or maybe it was hunting rabbits in the fields at the brickyard or rowing his skiff around the salt ponds of Rhode Island that formed his life-long appreciation for stillness, and nature, and beauty. When this appreciation led Bo to tinker with an old Model-A Ford in the driveway of his parents’ house, he could little have known that would be the start of a semi-professional hobby—one that would never see an empty garage bay that he couldn’t fill with an undisclosed antique car, yet to be worked on. It was a hobby that, in many ways, would shape his future friendships and interests, and for which he will be remembered.

Though his days on Mack Street were formative, Bo was not done broadening his horizons yet. It didn’t take long for him to make new friends when he went away to college. His first semester at UCONN saw him running water down the hallway at the freshman dorm, greasing himself up with dish soap, and seeing how far he could slide. Naked, of course. But he soon put (some of) his antics aside when he transferred to Alfred University to finish his degree in ceramic engineering. While at Alfred, he met an intoxicating young woman with whom he could finally talk about art and Tolkein and Willie Nelson. They read poetry to each other sitting in the branches of a tree. They played cribbage straight through one of Bo’s final exams. Finally, they knew their love would last when they weathered an upstate New York winter’s night in a VW campervan. After that, it didn’t take much convincing to get Susan to marry him, though only (per her father’s request) if Bo shaved his beard for the wedding. It was the first, and last, time an adult Bo would have a bare face. It was not the last time Bo and Sues would break down in an old car.

After graduation, Bo took a job at Acme Brick in Arkansas. The following ten years would see him managing the largest automated brick plant in the country. The plant was owned by Justin Leather Company so, of course, everyone in the family soon acquired cowboy boots of some exotic leather—ostrich or alligator or python. Bo fell in love with the country life, and when he was not at the brickyard, he was out bailing hay, hunting, or tending to his garden with Gigi the miniature mule. He was the go-to man for Sues’ horses, guinea hens, and even a troublesome peacock who once decided to perch on the peak of their metal barn during an ice storm, so that Bo had to scramble up the building and free its magnificent tail, which had frozen to the roof.

In ‘81, when Bo returned to the family business in Connecticut, he brought with him Sues, a puppy and a kitten, two horses (one pregnant), and three daughters. They all (except the horses) moved into a cottage that Bo had helped his father build on the coast of Rhode Island, near where he had spent time as a child. For a year, he drove the two-hour commute to and from Windsor, just so that he and the family could be near the water. Salt ponds, marshes, grassy fields; this was Bo’s country.

The commute soon wore thin however, and Bo and family moved back to Windsor, then Suffield, where he and Sues welcomed their fourth child. Settling into family life, scarcely an afternoon went by that Bo wasn’t coaching soccer, taking the kids to a horse show, teaching them how to drive the bush hog, or birthing puppies. In winter, he would wait for the first good ice on the pond, then he’d bring everyone out for a fire and spend hours holding the kids up, teaching them to ice skate. But nothing made Bo happier than sitting on the screened porch after a hard day’s work, spitting watermelon seeds, watching a storm roll over the fields with Sues and kids.

As he liked to say, Bo was the “pater familias,” the sole remaining patriarch of his Mack family. This made him equally proud and sad, yet he embodied its meaning in all senses: throwing reunions, keeping his family “in wheels,” and ensuring that everyone–whether family or not–was looked after. When he understood that one of his daughters’ friends was struggling for direction, Bo wasted no time in taking her under his wing, opening the family to her, and giving her the love and protection that she needed. It was an act that Bo would perform over and again in his life, to lesser or greater degrees. His inflexible code of ethics would not have allowed otherwise; how could he call himself the pater familias if it did? In addition to the moral code, the title came with a certain set of “Rules of the Road,” diligently developed and fine-tuned over the years, a few of which are:

● Know how to drive stick and change a tire
● On a car rescue mission, the extract-ee should spring for drinks for the extract-or
● There is a perfect tool for every problem–even if it’s someone else’s hands
● The “old guy car network” has far more five-star reviews than AAA
● Be on the lookout for what might be hiding in the tall grass…you never know when it might be a Jaguar
● Keep a bottle of cocktail sauce handy in case you run into a homeless clam
● Never try a new recipe on a guest
● Bananas and boats don’t mix
● Ice cream is mandatory when on vacation
● A lobster is not meant to be shared. Lobsters, however, are best eaten in good company
● Stubbornness and Ukrainian don’t dilute

Once the kids had grown and started families of their own, Bo looked towards what retirement might mean for him and Sues. They traveled to the end of the train line in Japan–making four connections until finally they were on a one-car train on a side route–to track down a potter with whom Bo wanted to discuss technique. In a Boston-New York rivalry, he joined his son-in-law dressed up like elves to welcome the NY Football Giants onto the field for their Christmas match; in return, Bo watched Rich sit spellbound in the GM’s seats at Fenway (a game that kicked off the downfall of the Red Sox’s season, which Bo naturally blamed on Rich). Bo and Sues even ran a forbidden monastery cheese smuggling operation (at least once) with the Oliveris and Moncriefs. But though the world was bigger than ever for Bo, he loved being at home most, surrounded by Sues and family, walking Trooper through the tobacco fields, and cooking for his friends. If asked, Bo would say that he was happiest “resting his eyes,” listening to the kids downstairs playing 5-and-9, their laughter filling his house.


To his children, Dad was a model of what marriage, parenting, and responsibility should look like. He took care of them, in all senses of the word, and he never missed an opportunity to pass on what he had learned. He taught them everything from how to hammer a nail straight to how to grow a tomato; how to corral an unruly horse to how to splice a wire. Sometimes, though, he knew that what was needed most was to simply sit up at night and just “be” as the girls did homework into the wee hours of the morning. But he also showed his kids the lighter side of life, like how to unwind on the lazy river at Typhoon Lagoon, or trade dramatic wax comb solos with Bill M. or Rob.

To his grandchildren, Grandpa was laughter, adventure, and calm guidance. He showed them the world when he took the family to Italy for his and Sues’ 50th wedding anniversary. His stories about broken-down old cars always drew a smile. And he always knew the best way to fix a Matchbox car when it got “jammed up.” No matter if it was with car pointers, travel tips, or sports advice, Ed always knew just how to guide his children and grandchildren.

To Sue, his wife of 52 years, Ed was the gentle thrill of stream fishing at Alfred the very moment spring touched the air. Being young and carefree, taking walks to the local bar for 25¢ drafts with Persnickety, the cat, trailing along after them. He was the hard love of watching after the girls when boys started to come calling, scaring them so badly they slept with their shoes on during a sleepover. He was the joyful moment of dedication and hard work when a car came off the lift for the first time, and he and Sues went for a test drive around the lake. Or that first sunny day of spring when the MGA came out of the shop, and Bo and Sues bundled up in blankets and winter coats and took off for the day; even better was getting home numb and cold to make a big fire and a warm soup.


There are stories about my father that I’ve heard a hundred times. Sometimes it seems like his life boils down to this handful of anecdotes, told over and over when we get together for lobster dinners, holidays, parties. Though I knew him for 36 years, there are parts of him that I didn’t know at all.

I am always amazed and surprised by the outpouring of stories that he never told when we get together with friends and family. In so many ways, and in so many different capacities, he lived. We’d love it if you would honor my father’s memory by telling us a story or two about how he touched your life in the comments below. Let us know if we missed a car or a good car story as well.

Thank you for being a part of Bo’s life. He loved you all.


That time I broke down with Bo, an appendix (please add!):

● When the brakes went out on his truck–in order to stop, he had to plow into a cornfield
● When Kath’s Saab broke down in Vermont–he and Bill M. hauled up a stop-gap, walked into the dining hall, and proudly announced to Kath’s entire residency program, “Did anyone call for an Alfa?”
● When Word got the Land Rover stuck off roading–then Bo got the truck stuck trying to pull Word out…so they had to call Bill M. to come pull them all out
● When the Morgan stalled at the Enfield bridge–and Bo yelled at Kath to “Get out, push!” and then just as the clutch popped in and he rolled into the middle of the intersection, “Now get in, quick!”).


Cars Bo Restored, a non-exhaustive appendix, by location:

Windsor, CT
○ 1930 Model A Ford
○ 1961 Ford Galaxy
■ his first car- putrid green

Alfred, NY
○ 2 Volkswagen campers
■ one pop top, one V top

Various, Arkansas
○ 1951 Plymouth Cranbrook
■ gigantic steering wheel and no power steering
○ 1954 Chevy Sedan Delivery
■ driver’s seat loose, you would shift and turn and hold onto something so the seat didn't fall out, you along with it. Gas pedal fell off while driving - it was an adventure to drive at one point
○ 1954 Lincoln Capri
■ as Ed had his head under the hood, a black snake slithered down in front of his face; air conditioned
○ 1963 Studebaker GT Hawk
■ hot car, high compression, disc brakes
○ 1980 Jaguar XJ6
■ one of the first 200 imported
○ 1964 Alfa Romeo
■ Sue took off in this after an argument and he could her hear for miles doing a hot hard mad shift
○ 1936 Packard 1401 Opera Coupe
○ 1951 Cadillac Coupe
○ 1948 Desoto

Cain St., Suffield, CT
○ 1949 Packard Standard 88 - 4 door sedan
○ 1953 Packard Patrician
■ bought from a priest
○ 1948 Packard Custom Convertible
○ 1959 Jaguar Mark II
■ abandoned in a garage in NJ (the shame)
○ 1967 Saab 95 - blue station wagon
○ 1959 Morgan 4/4
■ found in a barn loft; he restored completely
○ 1984 Alfa Romeo GTV6 - black
○ 1979 Alfa Spider
○ Lots of Saabs for kids
○ 1986 or 84 Audi Coupe - red 5 speed, 5 cylinder
○ 1986 BMW 325 es sport- red, racaro seats
○ 1979 Alfa GTV Velocissima - black
○ 1959 MGA - white
○ 1974 Citroen SM - black
○ 1972 Citroen Pallas - maroon
○ 1959 Mercedes 190
○ 1977 Porsche - white
■ with 1987 motor
○ 1965 Land Rover A series
■ built pretty much from scratch, painted one side blue and one side limestone
○ 1939 MG TB
○ Vespa

Forest Road, West Suffield, CT
○ Citroën Deux Chevaux
■ one white, one blue
○ 1963 E-type Jaguar Coupe
■ he restored completely
○ 1956 Land Rover Series 1
■ “Stumpy”
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To send flowers to the family of Edward White "Bo" Mack IV, please visit our Heartfelt Sympathies Store.

Service Details

  • Visitation

    Sunday, January 8th, 2023 | 1:00pm - 3:00pm
    Sunday, January 8th, 2023 1:00pm - 3:00pm
    Heritage Funeral Home
    1240 Mountain Road
    P.O. Box 309
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    The Calling Hours will be from 1:00pm to 3:00pm with a Memorial Service at 3:00pm on Sunday, January 8, 2023, at Heritage Funeral Home, 1240 Mountain Road, West Suffield.

    In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Smilow Cancer Center at Yale:
  • Service

    Sunday, January 8th, 2023 | 3:00pm
    Sunday, January 8th, 2023 3:00pm
    Heritage Funeral Home
    1240 Mountain Road
    P.O. Box 309
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    The Calling Hours will be from 1:00pm to 3:00pm with a Memorial Service at 3:00pm on Sunday, January 8, 2023, at Heritage Funeral Home, 1240 Mountain Road, West Suffield.

    In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Smilow Cancer Center at Yale:


We encourage you to share your most beloved memories of Edward here, so that the family and other loved ones can always see it. You can upload cherished photographs, or share your favorite stories, and can even comment on those shared by others.

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Private Condolence
Ned, Lincoln and Leah Daniels, Joe, Christina & Sofia Battle, and other have sent flowers to the family of Edward White "Bo" Mack IV.
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Kelly Riley

Posted at 11:54pm
Dear Sue & family - My heart goes out to all of you and I'm so sorry for your loss. Bo had a way of being witty, charming, cool, and fun - simultaneously. He was a very special guy and I will always carry fond memories of my interactions with him. Sending much love and healing energy to you all. xo Kelly Riley

Ned, Lincoln and Leah Daniels

Posted at 10:44am
Erin, Austin & Mack Family, With our sympathies, we hope this token can be a small reminder of the full life your dad, grandfather & husband lived.
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Ned, Lincoln and Leah Daniels purchased flowers and planted a memorial tree for the family of Edward Mack. Send Flowers


Sharon Overbaugh

Posted at 11:56am
Sue, there are not enough words to describe the wonderful friend that Eddie (BO) has been through so many years. We became good friends in 6th grade, as we shared the fear of our teacher, Ms. Searle.😁. His parents had their hands full when he and John were together, but always laughable! One night, while making pizza dough, they accidentally spilled beer on the dough. It rose so high it broke the refrigerator shelf. His Mom was not too happy! We had so much fun at the beach house, boating from the pond to the back side of Charlestown Beach! It was like having our own private beach. I have so many fun, wonderful memories that will never fade .😊.
My heart goes out to you, Sue, and your wonderful family. A very smart, talented, fun-loving soul (did I mention Handsome?) has gone to hang out, cause mischief, and have a beer wihh Johnny O. again! Love to All ❤️, Sharon

Ray Lasky

Posted at 08:56pm
I am unable to attend services and want to say how sorry I am. Many childhood experiences of growing up with Bo are in my memory and bring a smile.
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A memorial tree was planted in the memory of Edward Mack

Joe, Christina & Sofia Battle

Posted at 06:11pm
So sorry Rebecca and fam. Much love
Flower Image

Joe, Christina & Sofia Battle purchased flowers for the family of Edward Mack. Send Flowers


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