Mack Irvin Lewis, 76, passed away Monday, January 23, 2023, at his home in Decatur, Alabama. Mack was born August 30, 1946, in Lansing, Michigan to Mack Lewis of Athens, AL and Hattie Mae Lewis (Irving). At a young age he and his family moved to Decatur, Alabama where he lived the duration of his life. He was the oldest of their two children.
Mack was a proud graduate of the 1964 class of Lakeside High School in Decatur, Alabama. Before he could accept his diploma, he was off to basic training in the US Air Force. He served as an Aircraft Mechanic from 1964 to 1970, serving in the Vietnam War.
He met and married the love of his life, Patricia (Johnson) on January 30, 1977. Mack and Pat enjoyed 46 years of love, laughter and friendship. During this time, they had two children. Mack was a proud and devoted father to Marc and Melba, and grandfather to Makayla, Lawren and Jaxon.
After serving his country, Mack began breaking glass ceilings in his professional career. In 1964, Mack became the first black Firefighter for the City of Decatur. After battling fires and riding fire trucks he realized that he could be of service by sharing what he saw. Knowing that a picture is worth a thousand words, he began his journalism career behind the camera. No stranger to being the first, he became the first black cameraman for Channel 48 News. He went on to become the first black photographer for the Decatur Daily, where he captured up close personal photographs of residents and life in Decatur. He also did work with the University of Alabama A&M.
Outside of his family, there was one other love in Mack’s life, and that was the game of baseball. Mack fell in love with baseball at a young age, and that love never died. He played on both the Baseball, Fast Pitch Softball, and football teams during his time in the Air Force. He passed the love of baseball onto his children, and went to coach them, and other children in his craft on the Dixie Youth Baseball League. After his coaching days were over, he stayed close to the sport for years as an umpire and referee for Decatur Youth Services and the Alabama High School Athletic Association. In addition to baseball, Mack was a well-rounded athlete, running track as well as playing football in high school. His natural talent and speed landed him a spot in a semi-professional football league on the beloved Decatur Roughriders from 1962-1964.
Mack was generous with his time. He often made it a priority to check in on his friends and loved ones. He had a good-humored way and did not hesitate to offer sage advice to anyone who needed it...whether they wanted it or not. He loved to laugh, he loved good music, he loved good food, and he loved a good cigar. His smile and presence will be missed.
Mack is survived by: his wife, Patricia; son, Marc; daughter, Melba (Larry); grandchildren, Makayla Hayes, Lawren Hayes, Jaxon Hayes, and great grandson, Morgen Hayes; brother, Michael Irvin; sisters in law, Regina Jones, Denise Mason, and Judith Renea Matthews; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. Mack was preceded in death by his parents.
Funeral services will be 11:00 AM Saturday, January 28, 2023 at Macedonia CP Church in America at with the Rev. Dr. Lynn Herring officiating. Burial will follow at Sterrs Cemetery. Public viewing will be from 1:00 to 5:00 pm on Friday at Reynolds Funeral Home.
Funeral is also live streamed on YouTube: