In Memory

Mace Fink

Mace Fink

Date of Death:  July 23, 1962

Place:  American-British Chowdery Hospital in Mexico City, Mexico

Age:  20

Cause of death:  Undiagnosed, "mystery" disease contracted while vacationing in Mexico

Other circumstances:  Doctors failed in an effort to save him by using an iron lung and performing a tracheotomy.

Mace's life:  He had just concluded his junior year at Oberlin College in Ohio, where he was a star on the swimming team and a regular at third base on the baseball team.  He held varsity swimming records in the 440 and 220 yard free-style events.

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10/27/08 07:33 AM #1    

Eric Engberg

Based on the research we've done in newspaper and Social Security archives, Mace appears to be the first of our classmates to pass away. He had transferred to HPHS from a school in New York City when his parents moved, and his voice still carried the flavor of the New York streets. He was a member of both the HPHS varsity swimming and baseball teams.

Mace's death at age 20 while traveling in Mexico at the end of his junior year at Ohio's Oberlin College propelled the college community into creating a suitable way to honor his memory. Because Mace was co-captain of the swimming team and regarded as the best distance swimmer in Oberlin's history, most of the effort focused on his athletic achievments.

In 1966, Oberlin dedicated a new scoreboard for swimming events at the college pool. The plaque on the scoreboard read, "In Memory of Mace Fink '63. 1942-1962. The memorial scoreboard made possible by his family and friends as a tribute to his competitive spirit, inspring leadership and determination to excel."

At the same time the college instituted the "Mace Fink Award" to honor a swimmer who had proven himself in "clutch situations." At the ceremony dedicating the scoreboard one of Mace's fellow swim team members noted that he was basically a quiet, almost shy person, but one who "threw himself into whatever he was doing with a sincere vigor and a commitment that bordered on abandonment." All who knew him at HPHS would agree.

He was with us for too short a time.

01/16/09 01:34 PM #2    

Ted Repsholdt

I think Mace joined my session when he moved to Highland Park. He soon became one of the guys because of his athletic prowess. Also a very good student. Quiet and unassuming, he stayed on the sidelines most of the time. Not as noisy as Engberg, Scorno, and Johnson.


05/17/13 12:19 PM #3    

Jeffrey Levinger**

Mace was one of my best friends at HPHS.  We spent a lot of time together, visiting each other's families, wrestling, racing, talking  ---  Mace was a great, great guy.  His death was devastating to me  ---  I thought his Dad had to be kidding when he called from the airport, escorting Mace's body back for burial  ---  but it was no joke, and I took it hard.

Mace was also very funny, and a great competitor;  I'm not surprised to read of his many achievements and acknowledgments in college sports.   I visited his family in New York not too long after his death; but sharing time without him made us all sad.

Mace was really great.

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