GLENDALE, Mo. — Patrick Mack, a beloved garbage truck driver in Glendale, died unexpectedly at around 3 a.m. Saturday from an undiagnosed infection.
The neighborhood of Glendale is now rallying around his wife, children and grandchildren to help with expenses. They are asking people to donate to the same GoFundMe page they set up for his daughter.
The family is also asking for any pictures of Mack that people might have. People can post the pictures to the "Patrick Mack Memorial" Facebook group.
A community is rallying around a beloved garbage truck driver after tragedy hit his family.
The dreary weather matched the mood of Glendale on Friday since their 'ray of sunshine' wasn't on the roads.
"I’m going to be honest; I’ve had to help a few neighbors out of here and bring them to their cars because they were so upset about what happened to this man. They love him so much," Mike Vitale, a Glendale resident, said.
That 'man' is Patrick Mack.
"He is the mascot of Glendale," Sarah Spakowski, another Glendale resident, said.
Mack is the picture of a smiling face you see on the counter of Vitale's Deli now with a donation jar beside it.
According to Vitale though, this community is used to seeing that smiling face behind the wheel.
"You’ll see Patrick driving up on one of his routes and every child on this street on North Sappington will stop and give him a wave and cheer at him. On his birthday, they made cards for him, they waited out in front of their house for his birthday," he said.
Glendale resident, Colleen Sneed, said they love Mack like family.
"He just brings so much joy and when we heard about any tragedy he was going through, we were just like, how can we bring that much joy to him and kind of take away his burden, so that’s what we wanted to do. He is always honking at all the kids, waves, smiles, gives huge bear hugs," she said.
Mack was already on a leave of absence for rotator cuff surgery, according to Vitale.
Then, police said his daughter, 28-year-old Adayshia Jackson, was killed during a domestic violence dispute on March 18.
This tragedy left Mack devastated and two kids without a mother.
Vitale said because of the daily joy he brings the neighborhood every day, his extended family in Glendale wanted to step in and help.
"He gives something that nobody does anymore, the personal touch and it goes a long way here. It’s not about money here, it’s about how much we love this man and how much we are willing to do for his family because we love him. He’s just a special person to us," he said.
Along North Sappington Road it's hard not to miss Mack's smiling face on a stick in the air.
"He's the best trashman ever," 7-year-old Charlie Sneed said.
A group of neighborhood kids said they're missing what Mack does best.
"How he honks at us and sometimes gives us a big hug," 10-year-old Jacob Sneed said.
The group of kids spent their Spring Bring behind a table selling gum and chips.
According to Sneed, they raised over $500 in just three days.
Spakowski said Mack is the kind of man she wants her children to learn after.
"He is the prime example of trying to teach my kids, you get what you give and so he puts that out into the world and now he’s giving it back, so it’s a perfect example to show them," she said.
It's clear that Mack is much more than a guy that just picks up their trash.
"It’s the little things that make him who he is and that smile he’s got, it says it all," Vitale said.
The GoFundMe was created four days ago and already has over $37,000 raised.
You can donate to Mack here.
You can also drop off direct donations at Vitale's Deli and Glendale City Hall.