ANDERSON — Deacon Mack Reese Sr. was someone who would always follow through with his word.
And more often than not, that word was "help."
Reese died on Nov. 4 at the age of 80, and today at noon his family and friends will celebrate his life at the Anderson Zion Baptist Church he helped to build for more than 50 years.
He was a political and social difference-maker. He worked at Delco Remy for 30 years. He was a member of the United Auto Workers Local 662. He was a leader in the local NAACP. On Sunday, family and friends called him a pillar of the community. He was a stalwart of the local Democratic Party and served as a precinct committeeman for years.
But to his children, he was simply "Dad."
That was the best way his oldest son Mack Reese Jr., could describe him.
"Even with all the other things he did, he was always there to fill that role with us," Reese Jr. said. "He was just a great guy."
In the past few days since his passing, Reese Jr. said he's received calls and spoken to people whose lives were changed by his father. He said he had no idea the impact Dad had made on the lives of so many people in Anderson.
"The more I hear from people, the more I realize just how involved he was. I'm just now hearing about a lot of it," he said. "It makes me feel great."
Friends and admirers have come to Reese Jr. and told him that his father was a father figure to them as well. When he and his three siblings were younger, health problems with his mother, Ida Reese, forced Reese Sr. to fill a lot of parenting roles. He said his father never missed a beat.