Apr 21, 2016Obituary: Arnold H. Mack
Arnold H. Mack, a leader in the U.S. watermelon and potato industries, has died. Mack, who founded Mack Farms, in Lake Wales, Fla., a watermelon and potato growing and packing operation, passed away on April 20.
Arnold, 72, a resident of Lake Wales, Florida and native of McCullough, Alabama passed away Wednesday, April 20, 2016. He was a 1961 graduate of Escambia County High School in Atmore, Alabama and a 1963 graduate of Gupton Jones College of Mortuary Science in Dallas, Texas. He also attended the University of Alabama. After college, he moved to Robertsdale, Alabama to help open the Mack Funeral Home. During this time, he also served in the United States Air Force Reserve for six years. In 1967, he partnered with a close friend in a watermelon growing venture in South Alabama; thus starting a lifelong career in the produce industry. He has served as past president and board member of the Alabama Watermelon Association, Florida Watermelon Association, and National Watermelon Association. Arnold was instrumental in the creation of the National Watermelon Promotion Board and served on the United States Potato Board.
In 1972, Arnold began brokering watermelons and vegetables out of South Florida. In 1980, he established a farming operation growing watermelons and vegetables East of Lake Wales, Florida. This farm operation has grown to become one of the largest in Florida. Mack Farms, Inc. has become synonymous with brands such as McMelon watermelons, River Gold potatoes, and vegetables which are marketed nationwide in the U.S. and Canada.
While Arnold enjoyed building his company to an industry leader, he has most enjoyed making friends and promoting the produce industry. His hobbies included watching Alabama football and playing golf. Recently, the National Watermelon Association named its annual golf tournament the Arnold Mack Watermelon Invitational.
He is survived by his wife Brenda; three sons, Chandler (Iassena) of Vero Beach, Florida, Jon David of Lake Wales, Florida and Jay-Allen of Lake Wales, FL; two grandchildren, Colin and Georgina of Vero Beach, Florida; sister, Judieth Linam (Jerry) of Sevierville, Tennessee; as well as several nieces and nephews, and his two loving Yorkies’, Tate and Mel. He is preceded in death by his parents, Hubert and Jewel Mack of McCullough, Alabama; brother Huey A. Mack (Jean) of Robertsdale, Alabama.
Funeral arrangements by Marion Nelson Funeral Home, 454 S. Buck Moore Rd, Lake Wales, Florida; funeral services will be held 11 am Saturday, April 23, 2016 at the First Presbyterian Church, 16N 3rd St., Lake Wales, Florida with the Rev. Chad Reynolds officiating and internment will be held at the Lake Wales Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his honor to the First Presbyterian Church of Lake Wales or the Good Shepherd Hospice in Sebring, Florida.