November 29, 1938 — June 12, 2020


FORT WORTH – Ellen F. Mack, wife, mother, grandmother, civic leader, educator, and businesswoman died on June 12 after a decade of declining health. She was born in Columbus, Ohio, on November 29, 1938, to Mark D. and Katherine G. Feinknopf, and graduated from Columbus School for Girls. She was an alumna of Smith College and also attended Simmons School of Social Work and Vanderbilt Graduate School of Management. Ellen met her future husband Ted while they both were in college. Married one week less than 60 years, they raised 3 wonderful daughters, each of whom was Ellen’s favorite. Shortly after moving to Fort Worth in 1961, Ellen began her more than 50-year career as a civic volunteer. She served as president of numerous boards, including sections of the Junior Women’s Club, Family and Individual Services, the Fort Worth Section of National Council of Jewish Women, Friends of the Fort Worth Public Library, and Tarrant County Alzheimer’s Association. She was known as the “fastest gavel in the west” for running efficient meetings. She also served as a member of many other boards, including, among others, the Presbyterian Night Shelter and the Fort Worth Sister Cities Committee. She was a founding board member of the James L. West Center and what is now Sixty and Better, as well as a member of the founding class of Leadership Fort Worth. Her community recognitions included the Tarrant County United Way Hercules Award and the National Council of Jewish Women Hannah J. Solomon Award. As the first full-time educator at Beth-El Congregation, she created programs for the entire congregation and for outreach to the larger community. After leaving Beth-El, she worked as the Development Director for the West Center and later for Brothers and Sisters of Tarrant County. She ultimately became the Chief Operating Officer of Strategic Insight Group. After retiring, she continued to counsel small businesses as an active member of SCORE. She adored art and architecture, and tolerated Ted’s love of music and travel. As a championship swimmer, she was invited to train for the Olympic trials for the 1952 Olympics. While she turned down the opportunity so that she could pursue other interests, she continued to swim all her life. Ellen’s expert needlework and artistry can be seen in the needlepointed Chagall windows and a Torah cover at Beth-El Congregation. She was a devoted friend, mother, and grandmother, and was always ready to listen and support others. She loved dogs and chocolate, but not cooking. Friends and family will remember her fondly with a phone to her ear. She is survived by her husband Theodore; daughter Katherine Mack and her partner David Friefeld of Houston and her two sons Mack and Joseph Dowdall; daughter Elizabeth Mack and son in-law David Allen of Dallas and their daughters Brooke and Zoe Allen; daughter Alexandra Mack and son in-law Kurt Zeppetello of Connecticut and their son Julian Zeppetello; her brother Mark Feinknopf; several nieces and nephews; her devoted caregivers Dametrus (DeeDee) Taylor, Esmeralda Garza, and Ebony Thomas; and her retired housekeeper of more than 50 years, Robbie M. Little. A private graveside service was held on Monday, June 15. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a donation to a favorite charity in memory of Ellen. To send flowers or a memorial gift to the family of Mrs. ELLEN ROSE FEINKNOPF MACK please visit our Sympathy Store.
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