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Maj, Gen. David H. Berger, Combat Center Commanding General, kneels in prayer during the memorial service for retired Marine Col. M.J. 'Mac' Dube at the base Catholic chapel, June 13, 2014. Dube enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1951 during the Korean War, and later commission in 1958.

Photo by Cpl. Charles Santamaria

Memorial honors life, career of Col. M.J. ‘Mac’ Dube

13 Jun 2014 | Cpl. Charles Santamaria

The church was still as those who filled its pews prayed. The memories and thoughts that were shared through the words of friends and family members soothed the feeling of loss, which weighed heavily in the room. The congregation gathered to mourn the loss of an honorable Marine and beloved member of the Twentynine Palms community. Retired Marine Col. M.J. ‘Mac’ Dube, 80, passed away, April 29.

The base catholic chapel held a memorial service for Dube in the chapel’s hall, June 13. Dube enlisted in the Marine Corps in 1951 during the Korean War and served as a platoon sergeant during the conflict.  He commissioned in 1958, and after graduating the basic school in Quantico, Va., transferred to 2nd Marine Division at Camp Lejeune.

“I only saw the last 12 years of a 38-year career, so my perspective wasn’t there until I became older and was able to understand it more,” said Marc Dube, son of Dube. “Seeing everything during the memorial and all the memories people shared with him, I see the type of Marine he really was and how much people admired him.”

Dube was admired by many because of his actions and was also a decorated Marine.

Dube’s personal and unit decorations include the Silver Star, Legion of Merit, four Bronze Star Medals with Combat ‘V’, four Purple Hearts, two Air Medals, the Joint Service Commendation Medal with Combat ‘V’, the Army Commendation Medal, the Combat Action Ribbon, four Presidential Unit Citations, three Navy Unit Citation Medals, two National Defense Service Medals, three Vietnam Crosses of Gallantry, and two Vietnam Honor Medals 1st Class. His service to his community after the Marine Corps also affected many.

“Despite the sadness in the room today, I have to say how personally grateful I am ‘Mac’ was in my life and the positive influences he had on the people in this room today,” said Jim Bagley, consultant, G-5.

The priority he had for his family was another trait pointed out by many of his friends and loved ones. Dube leaves behind his wife, Patricia Dube, of 42 years, two sons, Marc and Erik Dube, and grandchildren Allison, Ryan, Marissa, Aiden and Keira.

“He was big and loud but I’m glad my kids got to see the gentle side of him as their grandfather,” said Marc. “He loved having his grandchildren around…I hope as they grow older they are able to learn and understand more about what type of person he was.”

Dube served as the chief of staff aboard the Combat Center for his last term and retired in 1989 at the rank of colonel with 38 years of service. Dube remained in Twentynine Palms, Calif. and was elected to the city council in 1994. He served as mayor for two terms before he left the council in 2002 and became the field representative to the First District Supervisor.  Col. Dube was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars, The Marine Corps League, The American Legion, Marine Corps Association, and Desert Cities Mitchell Paige MOH Chapter of 1st Marine Division Association, 3rd Marine Division Association, Elks and Rotary.

“Seeing the impact he had on people through his actions was amazing,” said Marc. “Growing up he was my dad, but as I got older I realized he wasn’t just my dad, he meant a lot to many people. Once a Marine always a Marine. He never lost that. He always wanted to be connected to the Marine Corps and I see now how the Marine Corps shaped his life.”

Through his service to our country and the Twentynine Palms community, Dube affected many lives in a positive way. It is through those memories, acts, and sacrifice that he continues living in the hearts of many.

“Being here in Twentynine Palms, it’s very comforting to know that father was well-respected and liked… To have a ceremony such as this was fitting and much appreciated by my family.”

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Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms