John Mack Roberts passed away in Reno, Nev., on Saturday, Feb. 18, 2023.
He was born Nov. 3, 1935, in Downey, Calif., to Georgia Josephine Shi Roberts and Jack Mooney Roberts. Mack was joined in August 1937 by a baby brother, George. The family moved to Yucaipa, Calif., where Mack learned to raise hogs and cattle and to pick apples and peaches. He graduated from Redlands High School and studied landscape architecture at California State Polytechnic College in Pomona, Calif. During this time, he met Lois Lennon from Covina, Calif. They were married on Feb. 2, 1957.
After graduation from Cal Poly, Pomona, Mack practiced landscape architecture in San Diego, first with the San Diego School District and then with Wimmer and Yamada, landscape architects. Mack also practiced at Drayton Inc. in Covina and Linesch and Reynolds in Costa Mesa and Long Beach. In 1968, he began teaching at Cal Poly, Pomona. Since Mack was teaching with a bachelor’s degree, in 1970, the family moved to Ames, Iowa, where Mack taught full-time at Iowa State University while working on a master’s in landscape architecture. After receiving his degree in 1972, he continued to teach at ISU until 1985. Then, because he missed his mountains and trout, he moved to Washington State University in Pullman, where he taught from 1985 until his retirement in 2001.
Mack received the Outstanding Teacher Award in the College of Agriculture at Iowa State University and became a Fellow of the American Society of Landscape Architecture in 2011.
Mack and Lois had four children, Kelly, John, Douglas and Michael. Living in California, Iowa and Washington (and a sabbatical time in Denver) allowed the family to visit and learn about many parts of the country.
Mack is survived by his wife, Lois, daughter Kelly (Ron), son John (Julie), son Douglas (Shirley), son Michael (Stephanie), 12 grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren. Surviving also is his brother, George (JoAnn), and nieces and nephews. Preceding him in death were his father and mother and his father- and mother-in-law, Jack and Gladys Lennon.