Palo Alto Online - Lasting Memories - John Erick Mack's memorial

John Erick Mack
March 8, 1932-June 16, 2020
Palo Alto, California

Submitted by John E. Mack III

John Erick Mack Jr. (Erick) passed away peacefully on Tuesday, June 16 at home in Palo Alto, California after 88 years of an extraordinary life. He was the oldest sibling to Peter Hawley Mack and Laurie Mack McBride, spending his childhood in Pasadena and Guatemala where his father ran the family coffee business. Erick attended Polytechnic School, Philips Academy-Andover High school, and received a Bachelor and Master Degree in Geology from Stanford University. He was on Stanford’s 1952 Rose Bowl team. He lived in the Zeta Psi Fraternity with his parrot Pedro Malo, famous for colorful vocabulary. Erick met Margaret Diane Dickson at Stanford, marrying in 1956. They lived their first year in Japan where Erick served in the Navy as a Lieutenant JG. They moved to Guatemala and had their first child John Erick Mack III, then moved to Australia for 6 years where they welcomed their children Carter Dickson Mack and Laurie Elizabeth Mack. Returning to the US in 1967 great tragedy struck when Diane and Erick’s brother Peter were killed in a car accident. In 1968 Erick married Dagmar Maria Quidde from Ecuador and they had a son Peter Quidde Mack. They lived in Pasadena for the next 30 years. Life revolved around family, friends and Erick’s love for the outdoors, including backpacking, fly fishing, Baja vacations, skiing (teaching most of the neighbors to ski) and Boy Scouts (Erick, his sons and oldest grandson were Eagle Scouts.) After retiring, Erick and Dagmar parted ways. Years later Erick married his longtime friend Marion Macfarland Worthington, spending 21 years in Palo Alto enjoying family, friends, Stanford events and world travel. Erick’s career flourished at Union Oil/Unocal over 40 years. He started as a field geologist in the jungles in Guatemala and rose to a senior executive in oil and gas, and geothermal energy. In the 1960s, he led the first major oil discovery in Australia. He traveled the world with endless adventure including; encountering headhunters and Piranha attacks in the Amazon, helicopter crashes in the Andes and Australian outback, nationalizations, coups, hostage negotiations and more. Erick was the Chairman of the Circum-Pacific Council for Energy and Mineral Resources, a US government and industry partnership to improve science in the energy and mineral resources field. Erick always focused on family charitable projects in Highlands Guatemala. He and his sister Laurie donated family lands with significant Mayan ruins to the Universidad del Valle de Guatemala (UVG). Erick also wrote a comprehensive book on his family history. Erick is survived by his wife Marion, sister Laurie McBride (John), sister-in-law Beatriz Chuinard (Robert) - widow of Peter Hawley Mack, his children John (Nicole), Carter (Margaret), Laurie Rohrbach (Matthew) and Peter (Tara), Marion’s children Diana Krieg (Jan), Cynthia Worthington (James Clift) and Bill Worthington (DeNeice), 14 grandchildren and one great-grandchild. In lieu of flowers please consider making a contribution in Erick’s memory to: The Mack Family Initiative at UVG to help impoverished indigenous Mayan youth in Guatemala through the US Foundation for UVG – USFUVG at:

Tags: veteran, business

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