CWO (ret) Dave Mack

I have been informed that Dave Mack, a retired CWO and former AB RCR passed away on 26 August at home in Darwell AB. Additional details are unknown at this time. If anyone can add details, please do so in the comments.

Update: There have been many additions in the comments, thanks for everyone who is filling in the details.

Update: There will be a Celebration of Life Ceremony at 2:00 pm, 1400hrs Friday, Sept 7th. See the comments for more details.

45 Responses to “CWO (ret) Dave Mack”

  1. on 27 Aug 2007 at 9:19 pmJoe Bentley

    I great friend I will miss miss him we remained solid friends after his ret, went horse back up into the Rockies , spoke once a month on the phone . again I have lost my Friend

    Joe Bentley

  2. on 28 Aug 2007 at 4:41 amRoy Comeau

    Was in the Regiment wiyh Dave and spent many day’s on his place in Darwell.A fine freind,will be missed.

  3. on 28 Aug 2007 at 4:49 amRoy Comeau

    In reference to the original post on Dave.I am certain that he retired as a CWO. More to follow on the final arrangements.

  4. on 28 Aug 2007 at 10:20 amEd Haines

    I was proud to be called his friend. One of a kind. I was with Kay last night, she is obviously distraught but a very strong women. Dave was on a sheep hunting trip in the rockies near Cadomine (a small mining town south of Hinton). His partner Len took him to hospital in Hinton 0200hrs Sunday 26 Aug. He was flown to University of Alberta hospital in Edmonton and died approx 0900hrs in hospital. Dave’s brother from Ontario is due in Tuesday morning and will steer the family ship. Many friends have already called Kay and information on Dave’s last wishes should be passed on soon to all concerned. Dave did retire as a CWO and RSM of 1 RCR, spent many years in the Airborne Regiment and probably instructed most of us on one thing or another. I had the pleasure to spend time with Dave and Kay this year riding horses at his place in Darwell. I will miss my friend. Airborne!

  5. on 28 Aug 2007 at 11:51 amJim Ogden

    We were young troopers together in the Airborne early 70s in Edmonton. Dave was a fine soldier and a good friend. I think the last time I saw Dave was approx late 80s/early 90s in Petawawa. He was doing his morning PT on a pair of ‘bangy boards’ and the sweat was rolling off him. He was ‘giving it all 100%’, typical Dave. You will be missed my friend.

  6. on 28 Aug 2007 at 7:26 pmHeather Elliott

    Shocked to hear of Dave’s passing. I spoke with Dave not too long ago, as he calls Fred and I frequently – he seemed to have a passion for the life he had found in the ‘outback’ country of Alberta. Always filling us with details of the many treks he takes to the back country with his brood of horses. I’m glad he was involved in an activity that was filling him with life when he was taken away.
    Our thoughts to the family.

  7. on 29 Aug 2007 at 8:21 amPaul ( Mousie) MacKeigan

    Dave was my Pl WO, CQ , CSM and a good friend. I will miss you and well never forget the times we spent together.

  8. on 29 Aug 2007 at 6:32 pmDarrel Connick

    I still am in shock to hear of Dave’s passing.
    Outstanding gentleman.
    Served with him both in the Airborne and also Recruit school.
    Always, always set the example.

    Dave.You will be missed.
    My thoughts and regards to the family.

  9. on 30 Aug 2007 at 2:17 pmDarrell Chiasson

    Dave was everything you would expect from an Airborne Soldier. Hard as nails. Worked in the Cornwallis Hospital when he was at CFRS, in the Regt together, and during the first Gulf War, I was attached to Charles Company as the medic with Dave.

    He will be missed. Thoughts and Prayers to the family.


  10. on 31 Aug 2007 at 10:18 amGene Leskiw

    I learned of Dave’s passing yesterday and I am still in a state of dis-belief. I met Dave 5years ago as I was walking through the Whitehorse campsite at Cadomin. We struck up a conversation and immediately became friends. I hunted and rode with him the next few days and we continued to share those times every year since then. Dave was one of a kind individual..he had heart ..he had soul and he certainly had a passion for life..he exemplified life at its best by doing those things that meant most to him..those around him knew of that ..and that is why he was such a very likable man. There were things that I discovered about myself, which made me a better individual, just by being around Dave…that was the kind of person he was. I will miss Dave, but I thank him for giving us those moments which will forever be great memories for me. To Kay and Family , my thoughts and prayers in a time of sorrow and grief.

  11. on 31 Aug 2007 at 10:45 amEd Haines

    Details for Dave Mack, CWO (Ret)
    A celebration of Dave’s life will take place on Friday September 7, 2007 at the Darwell Community Hall in Darwell Alberta. (Directions below).
    Attire: Come as you are, Jeans, boots, hats are fine; Veterans if you wish Association blazers, sports coats, suits with medals; serving members if you wish Military Service Dress with medals.
    In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to:
    Canadian Forces Hospital Comforts Program,
    CF Personnel Support,
    4210 Labelle L. Street, Ottawa, K1A 0K2
    Cheques can be made payable to:
    CFHCP Interest to CF Personnel Support Program.
    Or any charity of your choice, Such as Wounded Solder Fund, The Soldier On, Mcpl Paul Franklin’s Northern Alberta Amputee Program, Dave wanted to support the troops, etc.
    Refreshments will be served.
    Directions from Edmonton to Darwell: Go west on Yellow head trail-Highway 16 West approx 68 km, Turn Right (north) on Provincial Secondary Route 765/Range Road 50 for 9 km to Darewell. At the Darwell corner The community hall is just across from the Fire Hall.

  12. on 31 Aug 2007 at 10:46 amEd Haines

    That’s at 2:00 pm, 1400hrs Friday, Sept 7th.

  13. on 31 Aug 2007 at 1:33 pmMiles Rattray

    Message for Heather Elliot & Fred Ingram – DeeDee Rattray (Cawley) here. I have spoken with Kay several times this week and she had asked me to try and get in touch with you as she couldn’t find your number. I couldn’t find a number for you either and tried to contact Frank Gratton but that didn’t work out either. Miles is on his way out next week for the service. Pretty big shock to us all. I’m sure that Kay would love to hear from you as she specifically asked me to try and contact you. Could you give her a call ? Thanks – if you need her number or anything call us @ 902-678-2367.

  14. on 31 Aug 2007 at 2:57 pmHeather Elliott

    Msg for Kay (thru Dee Dee Rattray) from Heather Elliott
    Fred Ingram is currently away guiding a river trip – expected to return this Sun. (2nd Sep). I’ll be sure to inform Fred right away of Dave’s passing. We have your number – I’d like to wait til Fred arrives home before we call.
    Fred will be quite upset, and he and Dave spend endless hours discussing the similarities of their chosen 2nd careers – in the wild.

  15. on 31 Aug 2007 at 10:26 pmC.V. "Spot" Norris

    My sincere condolences to Dave’s family.

    He will be missed by many soldiers, serving and retired.

    Godspeed my friend !

    Pro Patria

    Ex Coelis

  16. on 01 Sep 2007 at 12:37 amHammy Hamilton

    Well, this is very emotional to hear of the passing of another airborne comrod. Kay, I had the pleasure of meeting Dave a lot throughout my career. He always had my deepest respect as a soldier. Kay, Dave was a soldier of soldiers. He’ll be missed. And we’ll see you on the 7th of September (airbourne soldiers will always re-group)

  17. on 01 Sep 2007 at 7:51 amDavid Lavery

    Dave was solid, hardcore who at times I thought he was a mad man especially during some of our PT sessions….which I will always treasure. I am proud to have served under him both in the Airborne and the RCR. Dave surprised me out of the blue and called me up last summer when I was going through some rough times, it was a treat to hear from him and to know that his passion for the outdoors was going well, he thoroughly sounded as if he was enjoying his life out west and with Kay.
    You will be sorrowfully missed and always remembered -Airborne-Pro-Patria-

  18. on 01 Sep 2007 at 4:54 pmBJ MacLean

    Dave was an outstanding soldier. He will be missed by many

  19. on 02 Sep 2007 at 7:10 amJJ

    Dave, thanks for those things you taught me over the years.
    I am who i am today partly because of your teaching.
    Take care of the troops up there Dave.

  20. on 02 Sep 2007 at 5:36 pmTrapper Cane

    One Hell of a Pathfinder Group is now together with Chuck B and Hodgy already in place, others as well taken too early.. I always could look forward to Dave’s sitreps about his life in the Saddle-Earlier when we served in Pathfinder Platoon Id made a Freind that stood by me as Injurys or later Life threw Its worst at us…Our Best to Kay-Dave was one of the Best, He’ll be missed.

  21. on 03 Sep 2007 at 12:04 pmEd Haines

    Kay is looking for anyone who may have pictures of Dave, especially in uniform. If possible and you have spare copies please send to: Box 218, Darwell, Alberta, T0E 0L0. Or if you have electronic and could scan them please send to me; or,; and I will print them out in time for the ceremony. Thanks.

  22. on 04 Sep 2007 at 3:53 amBob Chafe

    First met Dave when I got to 3 Cdo in the summer of 1984. As a young pup I remembered how Dave walked us into the ground during mountain school and didn’t break a sweat, you could tell he was in his element. I got to know him in a more personal setting when he was the the crse WO on my Pathfinder crse in 1986. He was a fair and hard man who everybody respected. I got to know Dave alot more when I got out of the military. Spent some time hunting with Dave and been to his place in Darwell a few times. Haven’t spoke to him for a couple of years and just last week, a guy who I work with in my current profession ran into Dave in Cadomin, the day before his passing…. I said to my wife just recently I should give Dave a call to see how he is doing. After learning of Dave’s passing, you realize how short life is and I am kicking myself in the nuts for not picking up the phone. Kay and family, my sincere condolences. You will be missed Dave,

  23. on 05 Sep 2007 at 12:02 pmEd Stark

    For many of Dave’s friends who read this and say or think “Who the H.. is Ed Stark”, a brief introduction. I met Dave shortly after his retirement from DND through a mutual friend and close family member, my much older sister Kay (that slam was for her benefit so she’ll know I still love her). Based on our military backgrounds, our love for hunting and the backcountry, combined with our mutual enjoyment of tormenting the H.. out of Kay, we became good friends. At some point he stopped razzing me about being a leg and a maintainer and I stopped razzing him about his enjoyment of jumping out of perfectly serviceable airplanes and living in a trench. We spoke often and spent some good times together at their ranch near Darwell or camping and horseback riding in the mountains. We shared many a beer and swapped many a story over the years. We planned to do some more serious horseback riding and hunting in the mountains when I could get more time away from the office. Every year he rubbed it in that I was still working while he was off hunting for weeks at a time. When I heard he had passed away on Sunday, it struck home deep. I’m not generally an emotional person, but later while sitting alone having a beer to toast his passing, my eyes filled with tears as they are right now as I write this on the AC on my way to spend some time with Kay to help out in her time of need and sorrow. I, as many of you, have lost a good friend. His family has lost even more. However, he has left me, and probably many of you, with a lot of memories of times spent together. He will be with me in spirit every time I head off hunting. For those of us left behind, I am sure he would push us to soldier on and to remember life is too short not to live it and to stay in touch with those whose company we enjoy.

  24. on 05 Sep 2007 at 6:18 pmCol Dave Barr

    I only heard today (5 Sep) of the passing of Dave Mack. Dave and I served togetther in Pathfinder Platoon in the mid-80s. A character to be sure, and a hell of a soldier. I learned a lot from Dave, and find it hard to believe that he he is gone. I regret that I won’t be able to attend the Memorial. My thoughts are with his family, friends and fellow Airborne comrades.

  25. on 06 Sep 2007 at 9:59 amEamonn Barry

    Fond memories of Dave as the 3 CDO CQ! Never a dull moment or quiet one in the Z lines!

  26. on 06 Sep 2007 at 7:46 pmFred Ingram

    Dave was one of the hardest men of his kind, an Airborne soldier to the core. He would have it no other way. Dave was a true adventurer always looking for the greatest challenges life would bring. He really didn’t have a mean bone in his body, and not a bad thought in his mind. Dave was a man who found a simple kind of life. You could find him driftin around the mountains, packing, scouting and hunting for some food. He would be riding the trails in the four winds enjoying every breath he took. He would come back and share all his stories with those that cared. Then one day he went out hunting and never really did return, the sky went still, and he left doing what he loved.

    Dave my good friend, I’m gonna miss you

    Kay and family my Deepest condolences.

  27. on 07 Sep 2007 at 8:44 amHugh McReynolds

    I met Dave in the late 70s in Petawawa. I had the pleasure to work with him on mountain schools and in Recce Pl. Anyone who worked or knew Dave can tell Dave Mack stories. He had a character and personality which was unique to Dave. Anyone who knew Dave will mourn his passing, but like me smile as you remember the time Dave …….(he did so many things).

    Dave you will be remembered for a long time and always the thought of you will bring happy memories.

    Kay and family are thoughts are with you.

  28. on 15 Sep 2007 at 1:21 pmscotty paterson 2@3 cdo 1977/84

    I remember Dave and the rest of the crew(who’s names appear on this scroll) from the early days of the airborne in petawawa. As one who stayed to be part of the regiment when 3 RCR went to Germany, I like my many buddies, which I still have, were always in awe at these fellows from Edmonton. We worked our butts off to be part of the airborne family and succeded because of paratroopers like Dave.

  29. on 17 Sep 2007 at 6:23 pmFrank MacNeil (Monkey)

    Well for all of you who knew Dave knew we spent alot of time together as really good friends, we were in Recce, we climbed, we ran, we fished, we hunted, we biked,we freefalled and we partied and with the parting we were in trouble together. Dave was a real close friend of mine who made me laugh and shack my head with the stuff we did and get away with and his wife Kay was also a very dear friend of mineand my wife Lynda, Dave will be missed by us all , but he is in good company the friend we lost before Dave are waiting to meet him again, Dave have a good one, we will meet again, Airborne my friend.

  30. on 01 Oct 2007 at 8:32 amRick Gyorfi

    I was shocked and saddened by the news of Dave’s passing. Frank Gratton let me know last week. I met Dave when he joined the Airborne in ’75 before the move to Pet. He was a solid friend and good scrapper. The kind of guy you would want watching your back. My sincere condolences to Kay and family. Fair winds Dave.

  31. on 02 Oct 2007 at 11:49 amRon Adams

    Just Browsing through and saw that Dave had passed away.
    I first met Dave in Cornwallis as I was a recuit going through basic. Sgt. Mack scared the h… out of me, Next time meeting Dave was in Petawawa as I had joined the Airborne Regiment as a Vehicle Tech. supporting the regiment. He would show up at Maint Plt looking for 1 vehicle or other.
    I will miss him
    soft landing Dave
    arte et marte

  32. on 04 Oct 2007 at 7:22 pmStacy Mc Andrews

    I only recently became aware of this site and felt compelled to to send my condolences. I met Dave in Recce platoon in the Regiment and in fact he was my first Det. commander as well I served with him in 1 RCR . I was in awe of this legend and was stunned when informed of his passing. He was a great leader and when you got through his gruff outer shell he became an even better friend. I kept in touch with him periodically over the years and was happy to hear he was guiding for a living, something that he always said he would do. I must say the Airborne Brotherhood lost a good man but we are consoled knowing he died doing what he loved. At least we can take comfort knowing he will be there to guide us into our last R.V.

    My deepest sympathy.

  33. on 09 Oct 2007 at 8:55 amRandy Huber

    Dave was named “Canada’s Toughest Soldier” in Macleans a few years back and who could disagree? Dave you were a great example to all of us. RIP Dave.

  34. on 20 Oct 2007 at 5:59 pmMelanie Rose

    I’ve heard the name Dave Mack many many times over the years. My father John Rose was friends with him and they served together. sad that he’s gone.

  35. on 06 Nov 2007 at 6:44 pmMike Ryan

    Sorry I have taken so long to get a message out. Everyone has pretty much summed up what a great guy Dave Mack was. Everything that was said about him was truly what we see and remember of Dave Mack. I also met Dave when I was a young soldier in 3 CDO. I worked with him through the years in Petawawa, London and Edmonton. You don’t realize how much of an impression a friend like Dave makes on you until they’re gone. Even now when I think of Dave Mack… I smile. Rest Dave.

  36. on 05 Dec 2007 at 5:02 pmUsman (Uzi) Valiante

    I just came a cross this and I am shocked.

    Sgt. (as he was then) Dave Mack was my section commander during Phase 1 and 2 of my Phase training in Gagetown in 1985.

    Of my 12 weeks with him there and of my numerous attachments to 3 CDO all I can say is that it was Dave Mack most of all who shaped in mind what it is to be a soldier.


  37. on 27 Mar 2008 at 9:22 amAl Lopes

    I am shocked and dismayed to hear of Dave Mack’s passing at such a young age. Does anyone know what was the cause of his death ie. accident or illness?

    I knew him well back in the borne and always thought he was indestructible. He was tough as nails but at the same time he was a true gentleman.

    My deepest condolences to Dave’s family over this most tragic loss.

  38. on 25 Dec 2008 at 10:44 amDale Verch

    After so many years I come across this site;
    I was just a kid 18 yrs old and Dave was a man that I looked up to he personified the meaning AIRBORNE. There we so many great guys in that unit.

    I was one of the quite guys and the smallest lol, the first time I met Dave was during MTN school, in the early 80’s. I remember climbing up a route he had left us,as I peeked my head up over the edge and looked into my eye’s ,his words to me were, ” how the heck did you get up here, you little shit, we made this route so no one could climb it”, as he put his combat boot on my helmet pushing me back and he said get your ass back down there and do it again….

    I remember another time when Darrel kisslinger and I were out running one night and we came across the pathfinder course just off the side of the road, and to my surprise Darrel yelled out “Airborne sucks” I looked at him and of course our pace quickened just a little, next thing we heard was Dave running down the road after us, yelling “get back here you two”, of course we weren’t stupid and kept running…he did find out it was us but in fun he tortured us for a day, I also believe Monkey was chasing us also,but at that time he did have a bit of a belly on him lol….

    Dave Mack and Red(can’t remember his name) decided to have a race and free climb this cliff,well all of us looked at each other in bewilderment as the two took off up the cliff arms and legs flying I’m not sure how many times each of them lost the holds but they made it to the top, and in the true Airborne fashion they looked down at us and yelled next, ya right!!!!

  39. on 01 May 2009 at 10:02 amCarol (Kenney) Munn

    Belated condolences. I recently came across this site. I was stunned to hear Dave had passed but, not so surprised to hear that he passed doing what he loved best. Dave was a character unto his own. He was a true soldier; as those who served with him can, and have, attested to. His love of the military, animals and life was uncompromising. I met Dave when I first went to work (as a civilian) for 3CDO OR in Petawawa just prior to them going to the Middle East. When he returned, {grin} we spent the next few years together, both in Petawawa (my home town) and 2 postings to London. He and I, his sons Grant and Robert and our Springer Spaniel, Saxon, over the years, spent many wonderful times in the outdoors boating and fishing and doing all of the “fresh-air” things that came so naturally to him. Although we eventually took our different paths, he was from time to time in the back of my mind; so, I was delighted to hear on his retirement had established his outdoors retreat scenario he spoke so often about. The many stories and tales of escapades never failed to make me laugh. I still see Frank Gratton and Scotty Collins on a fairly regular basis and Dave is often a topic of humorous “do you remember when” conversations. Cheers Dave; you are now serving with many friends and comrades who have gone before and I know you will be waiting (with a wry grin and a devious plan) to “initiate” those who follow.

  40. on 29 Jul 2009 at 7:12 amname

    I want to say thanks!,

  41. on 21 Nov 2009 at 6:39 pmBruno Paquin

    I recently came across this site. I’m sorry to hear about Dave Mack’s passing. I met Dave when I got posted to 3 CDO, RCR. 1982-1985
    Back in the days when I knew him as Sgt Mack . I am proud to have served under him both in the Airborne and the RCR. Dave was AIRBORNE ALL THE WAY. The Best. (Message for Fred Ingram. We served together from basic traning. Last time I met you was in 1992, in Petawawa. I would appreciate it if you can contact me by e-mail.
    To Dave’s family I wish you my deepest condolences.

  42. on 26 Apr 2011 at 2:40 pmjan evans-mack

    You are missed

  43. on 23 May 2011 at 9:37 amjan

    He was what he was. A good soldier but a bad husband. God got it right.

  44. on 12 Oct 2011 at 10:06 pmTony McQuillan

    Well now , we hung together in the old days in Gagetown 2 RCR ,around 74 ‘ had one hell of a time , Triumph and Bsa were the mode of transport , man the times we had !!! Dave was a good friend .
    My condolences to the family

  45. on 10 Jan 2012 at 3:54 pmdave

    Served with him in Petawawa and he was the best. My deep condolences.