On September 23, 2022, Mack (Charles Anthony, Jr.) Machacek, 61, went to his heavenly home, after a courageous five-year battle against cancer.
Mack was born to Alice Nell Davidson and Charlie Machacek on February 25, 1961, at Mobile Infirmary in Mobile, Alabama. On October 11, 1997, he married the love of his life, Karen Prigge. He and Karen made their home in Austin, Texas, where they were both active members of their community.
Mack attended school in San Antonio and graduated from Churchill High School in 1979. The avid Texas Longhorn fan graduated from Corpus Christi State in 1988 with a degree in Computer Information Sciences. He often used his quick wit to mention that he graduated just in time— the following year his college alma mater became Texas A&M University Corpus Christi.
In August 1995, Mack received certification as a volunteer firefighter at TEEX Brayton Fire Training Field in College Station. It was during this time that he met Karen at a dance at Texas Hall of Fame. Mack used his skills as a selfless volunteer firefighter at Westlake Fire Department.
His employment began at BP/Arco in Lafayette, Louisiana, followed by positions with Motorola, Nextel, and Primeco, where he was a project manager in the building and installation of cell sites. Before his illness advanced, he was a Building Construction Manager at Brookfield Residential in Austin. He worked Texas Longhorn home football games in various capacities, most recently at suite Will Call on the East side of Darrell K Royal — Texas Memorial Stadium. He went to every game possible, chemo treatments permitting.
Perhaps no profession meant more to Mack than the years he spent with Karen as owners of Oak Hill Scuba in Austin. It was there that he was able to combine his love for scuba diving, a passion he discovered in 1987, with his innate ability to teach. Consequently, he was able to share with others of all ages and skill levels the beauty of exploring marine life.
Mack also incorporated his diving expertise with his dedication to the Wounded Warrior Project. As a certified NAUI Course Director, he touched the lives of many severely injured soldiers by teaching them to dive and, therefore, offering them the freedom of mobility that only water can bring to a wheelchair-bound warrior. During his lifetime, Mack had the privilege of diving throughout the Caribbean and was able to offer many soldiers that same incredible travel experience. He also used his expertise to successfully train epileptic and autistic children in those same skills.
A talented wood craftsman, Mack created many items for his home and often volunteered hours to Habitat for Humanity.
With an outgoing and caring nature, Mack was a man of great faith— an attribute that would be both comforting and necessary following the discovery of a malignant growth in his right arm, the day after his 56th birthday in 2017. He remained active in his church, Bethany Lutheran, until the time of his death. Never one to pass up the opportunity for fun and friendship, Mack expertly knew his way around a bar-b-que pit and was a welcome member of his church’s Holy Smokers.
Alongside his strong faith in God, Mack’s willful disposition helped him overcome many of life’s obstacles, including alcohol addiction. He achieved 17 years of sobriety and went on to use his struggle to enrich the lives of others by starting a 12-step program at Bethany Lutheran.
Mack could easily have been “beaten” by his tragic illness but, instead, remained positive, determined to fight until there were no more options. His biggest regret was leaving Karen, and he worked diligently until the very end to make sure, to the best of his ability, that she would be able to move forward after his passing.
Mack was a true hero, exemplifying strength in every possible way through his battle with cancer. Knowing it may not help him conquer the disease, he endured rigorous clinical trials, in hopes it might aid in cancer research and, ultimately, help others win their fight.
He lived his life altruistically — always reaching for the betterment of mankind.
Mack was preceded in death by his parents, Charlie and Alice Machacek; his father-in-law, LeRoy Prigge, and stepfather-in-law, Dennis Luetge.
Mack is survived by his wife of 25 years, Karen, and his beloved pets, Tug and Scooter; his mother-in-law, Erma Prigge Luetge of Austin; sisters Laura (Jeff) Singleton of Bella Vista, Arkansas, and sister Mary (Dennis) Horn of Friendswood, Texas; nephews Carl (Rachel) Stephens of San Antonio and Derek Horn of Friendswood; niece Arin Stephens of Sarasota, Florida; and great nephew/niece James and Alice Stephens, and a host of special friends.
Graveside services will be held 11 a.m. Tuesday, September 27 at Prairie Lea Cemetery in Brenham. A Celebration of Life will be held in Austin on at a later date. Visitation with the family will be 5 p.m. – 7 p.m. Monday, September 26 at Memorial Oaks Chapel.
Special thanks to Mack’s caregiving team, the Sarcoma Team at MD Anderson Hospital and Hospice Austin, especially Paige Sabatino.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to www.bethanyaustin.com/give
Mack did not lose his battle against cancer, he won; as he is now with God, free from pain and suffering. In remembering Mack, consider his giving nature and his innate ability to bring out the best in people. Then please “pay it forward” with simple gestures of kindness toward others.
Matthew 25:23: “Well done, good and faithful servant… Enter into the joy of your Lord.”