Eugene “Mohammad” Mack passed away on August 10, 2017.
Mack was originally from South Carolina and came from a family of landowners.
“This a big loss,” said his friend Wally Bazemore. “He was a great family man. He was a tremendous neighbor. He was on tenant patrol for years. It took a lot just to sit out there and practically guard the building.”
According to Bazemore, who had known Mack for about 30 years, he passed away rapidly. “I know he was having complications,” Bazemore said. “I went to the hospital and he had tubes everywhere.”
Bazemore first met Mack in the 1980s when they both would go to tenant association meetings. Mack was Muslim and Bazemore was Muslim back then. They would commiserate together about things that were not happening in Red Hook. They would always point out NYCHA’s incompetence and things in the community that they felt were neglected.
“He would call the police when necessary regarding his building,” Bazemore added. “If he saw something, he would say something. He was not the type of person who would look the other way.”
Mack worked on keeping the area outside of his building safe and orderly and would call elected officials when something needed to be brought to their attention. Bazemore thinks that he lived in 135 Richards Street.
“He was always at meetings pointing out issues,” Bazemore said. “Mohammad would call Dan Wiley (Nydia Velazquez’s community liaison) all the time in reference to drug dealing or lack of services. He was a watchdog for the building.”
Mack could often be seen walking around with his yellow and blue tenant patrol button if he was on duty or off duty. . Bazemore would see him with the button at meetings, out on the street and out at Methodist Hospital.
Bazemore thinks that they should have buried him with that button.
“He wore it so often and he was one of the most diligent tenant patrol participants on the west side.”