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1/4/2016 2:00:00 PM Write a Letter to the Editor Write a letter to the Editor

Man Behind Mack Trucks' Museum Plans to Call it a Career After 58 Years

Don Schumaker was working in the shop of Sheesley Supply Co.'s batch plant in Allentown, Pennsylvania, in December 1957 as the ready-mix concrete outfit headed into the cold, sluggish winter months.

So, unsurprisingly, on Dec. 10, 1957, Schumaker and two other shop crew members were laid off. But, company officials told the three men, they had friends at Mack Trucks' test lab. Why don't they interview at Mack and try to work there temporarily — at least until Sheesley could bring them back?

"On Dec. 12, I went to Mack and stayed there," said Schumaker, of Orefield, Pennsylvania.

That's not an exaggeration. Sheesley was the last company Schumaker worked for that wasn't Mack. Schumaker, who turned 80 on Dec. 22, has been with Mack Trucks for 58 years — more than half of the truck manufacturer's storied history.

He's still there today as the curator emeritus of the Mack Trucks Historical Museum in Allentown. Schumaker is now in the process of retiring, though he isn't ready to commit to an official date.

VIDEO: Schumaker talks about his career

Because of health issues, he is logging about 15 hours a week at the museum. Schumaker still has some tasks he wants to complete, including transferring some of his extensive knowledge and experience to those coming onboard now. He may even get up to 20 hours a week before retiring sometime in the middle of 2016 — maybe.

He's tried to retire from Mack before.

After joining Mack as a test lab mechanic in December 1957, Schumaker advanced through a number of positions within the lab. Over the years, he took several college courses from various area universities, culminating with a bachelor's degree in engineering from Lafayette College in 1987.

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By Jon Harris
The (Allentown, Pa.) Morning Call

 

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.



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