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Mack retirees enjoy transition

January 12, 2009|By JANET HEIM

MAUGANSVILLE -- When Marian Tuzes, 84, retired from Mack Trucks in 1982 after a career that spanned 40 years, she said there was a "big hole" in her life. Joining the Mack Golden Bulldogs, a group of Mack retirees, helped ease the transition.

"Well, I think it's been a great club ... It was good to be able to come to these club meetings and go on special trips," said Tuzes, who was transferred from Plainfield, N.J., to Hagerstown as the first woman computer programmer.

A charter member of the club, she was on hand with 112 other Mack Golden Bulldog members Monday at the UAW building on Maugansville Avenue to celebrate the club's 25th anniversary.

The group was started July 11, 1983, when Steve O'Keefe agreed to be the organizing chairman. Dues were $5 per year for members, which hasn't changed in 25 years, and $3 for associate members, spouses of Mack retirees.

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There were 29 charter members, 12 of whom are still living. Twenty-five years later, there are 239 paid members and associate members, with about 300 on the rolls, said Harold Duffey, president of the Mack Golden Bulldogs.

"They had the foresight to plan for a retirement club for us to enjoy. It works like a well-oiled machine. I believe we could say it was built like a Mack truck," said Duffey, in his remarks at the celebration.

Memories of club activities include a Christmas dinner dance, picnics, golf league, development of a monthly newsletter, monthly meetings and charitable contributions.

Travel played a big part in the organization, with trips taken to Mack plants in Canada and Allentown, Pa., visits to dinner theaters and trips to places such as Yellowstone National Park, Alaska, the Bahamas and Myrtle Beach, S.C.

"It's the camaraderie that has made this club go 25 years, and hopefully it will go more," Duffey said.

The celebration included a time for members to share stories of trips and club activities, many of a humorous nature.

On Monday, Williamsport High School senior Shannon Draper sang musical selections, ending with "God Bless America."

Prize drawings and refreshments followed.

Charter member Vera Butts, 81, was part of the group that organized the club and also served a two-year term as its president. She retired after 22 years at Mack.

"I think it's unbelievable that we started with such a small group and managed to grow to this size," Butts said.

Duffey stressed that the Mack Golden Bulldogs also includes Volvo Powertrain retirees. He said the retirees appreciate what Mack and Volvo have done for them and the community.

The following are Mack Golden Bulldogs charter members: Ray Brandenburg, Dan Bottenus, Butts, Milt Elliott, Tony Francis, Bill Karsay, Dewey Lockwood, Steve Long, Walt McCabe, Mike Mondak, Frank Moran, Dick Morrisey, Francis Motts, Paul Nally, Fred Naimo, Steve O'Keefe, John Petro, Mike Quinn, Val Redick, Harold Roof, Joe Rulewick, Lou Sestak, Jake Shaw, Dave Smith, Joe Sottile, Russ Spessard, Tuzes, Betty Violet and George Wagner.

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