ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – Residents in the St. Louis County town of Glendale are rallying in the wake of tragedy. They’re doing it for beloved garbage truck driver Patrick Mack after his daughter, 28, was murdered over the weekend.
There’s a new donation jar on the counter of Vitale’s Deli for Mack’s family, a family bigger than perhaps he ever knew.
“We were all crushed,” said Mike Vitale, the deli owner. “It hits home because he’s us. He’s our family.”
“He hangs out the window and says, ‘Hey Ginger, what’s going on?’” said Ginger Fawcett, a Glendale resident.
Residents would wait with their garbage at the curb on trash pickup day for a dose of Mack kindness: that big smile, that infectious laugh, maybe even a hug. That goes for kids, too.
“Hi, Patrick. We miss you,” said Morgan Coulson in a video message recorded by her parents.
Morgan was playing with her toy garbage truck.
“The children in this neighborhood, they all know him,” Vitale said. “When his birthday comes, they’re in the driveway with cupcakes.”
Mack’s daughter, Adayshia Jackson, a mother of two, was shot to death in a domestic dispute on Soria Street in north St. Louis County, just after celebrating her birthday on Friday night. The suspect is in jail on a murder charge.
It happened when Mack was sidelined from his route while recovering from shoulder surgery.
There’s another donation jar at Glendale City Hall, along with a basket for cards that people have been dropping off.
Vitale, Fawcett, and fellow resident Diana Allen have also set up a GoFundMe account to help Jackson’s children and perhaps cover funeral costs.
Donors had nearly doubled the $10,000 goal within the first 20 hours. The total stood at $19,644 and counting as of 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.
“Financial is second here. The love comes first,” Vitale said. “He’s just part of us.”
“He’s a good example of how joy and happiness cross all jobs, races, socio-economic, age groups, whatever,” Fawcett said. “He’s just kind, and we all love him.”
“It just verifies (for us), and I hope that it verifies to him what he means to all of us,” Allen said. “It’s about embracing him, and hopefully knowing how much we all care about him will help him a little bit.”
Mack said his heart was overwhelmed.
“They’re all trying to do what they can to lessen my pain,” he said.
He called the Glendale residents his second family.
Mack works for Republic Services. A spokesperson said management was encouraging workers to donate.
“We extend our sympathy. He is one of our best employees, the kind of driver we value most highly,” the spokesperson said.
Even if you’re not from Glendale, maybe stop by and drop something off. When Mack is back on his route, come back and say hello to him. You’ll certainly get a smile and maybe one of those hugs.