Mack remembered across the country

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, January 29, 2003

&uot;The Today Show family has lost one of its own…&uot; Matt Lauer, co-anchor of the top-rated television morning show, used those words on Monday morning to express the pain and sorrow felt by the show’s staff after learning of the sudden, tragic death of Auburn University senior Ceddrick Mack.

Mack, 23, a mass communications major, served as an intern on the Today Show last summer.

He had been offered a position with the show after his graduation in May of this year.

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&uot;He was such a wonderful young man, we all felt he had a really bright future…we truly feel for his family,&uot; said Linda Horn of Pioneer Electric.

A Greenville native and 1998 graduate of Greenville High School, the popular student passed away last week from complications caused by sickle cell anemia, a disease Mack had battled since childhood.

Mack was known for accentuating the positive in life.

Friends and acquaintances said he constantly praised his family, hometown, state and the strong educational foundation he received in the Butler County School system.

He was an active part of the Greenville Area Arts Council and the Miss Camellia scholarship program board and an avid supporter of the Butler County Junior Miss program.

&uot;He was such a bright and articulate young man, so pleasant—he really represented our city well,&uot; noted Jo Weitman of the Martin House.

In an interview given to the Advocate during his internship last summer, Mack stressed how he saw himself as an unofficial ambassador for this area and hoped he could serve as a strong role model for area youth, especially for his younger brother Vincent and for other African-Americans.

He noted that New Yorkers were presently surprised and very receptive to the good manners and respectfulness to others he routinely showed. &uot;Hey, that’s how we are in Alabama,&uot; he would explain.

He credited his mother, Bernice, with being his &uot;number-one fan&uot; and the one who gave him &uot;a vision for the future.&uot;

Mack was very active in student government at Auburn, where he served as both treasurer of the SGA and president of the Student Alumni Association.

A special memorial service was scheduled for him at the university’s student union in Auburn on Monday night.

Mack’s funeral was held at Lomax-Hannon College in Greenville on Tuesday afternoon.

On NBC’s Today Show tribute to Mack, Katie Couric recalled that the popular intern was &uot;smart, always had a smile on his face, an infectious laugh…and that trademark bow tie.

[He was] a real sweetheart. We are all so sad.&uot;

Many local citizens expressed deep shock and sadness at the sudden loss of a young man whose future seemed full of so many possibilities.

&uot;I didn’t even know Ceddrick had [sickle cell anemia].

He simply didn’t talk about it… I do respect the fact he didn’t want the disease to become front and center in his life. But losing him so suddenly was such a shock.

It’s hard to believe he’s gone,&uot; commented Magoo Hamilton of the Greenville Area Chamber of Commerce.

At the funeral Tuesday, Allen Stephenson said, "If I know Ceddrick, he's in Heaven right now, dancing."