ST. CLOUD – Mack Motzko was many things to many people.
The 20-year-old — who lost his life in a car crash a little more than a week ago — was the son of Gophers men's hockey coach Bob Motzko and his wife, Shelley, a brother to Ella and Beau, a student of faith, a hockey player and avid golfer.
Mack took on all those roles with the kindness and generosity of someone well beyond his years, according to his close friends and family members who spoke at a celebration of Mack's life Monday at Cathedral High School in St. Cloud.
Drake Lundeen, a lifelong family friend, said he's always considered Mack a brother.
"What's truly incredible is that there's probably many guys in here right now who'd describe Mack the same way," he said, adding that Mack was filled with "unwavering kindness."
Motzko graduated from Cathedral in 2020 after spending the 2018-19 school year at Minnetonka after his father was hired as Gophers coach. He returned to Cathedral as a senior — a decision Mack talked about with his godfather, Brian Schoenborn.
"He loved this place first and he loved it most," he said.
Schoenborn described Mack as intentional and kind.
"He taught me a lot more about spirituality, faith and love than I ever taught him," he said.
Mack and another passenger — 24-year-old Sam Schuneman — died of injuries suffered in a single-vehicle crash in Orono. The driver turned himself in and was released without bail last week. Authorities say high speeds and alcohol were factors in the crash that remains under investigation.
Hundreds of people attended Monday's ceremony. Most were wearing a "Sunday red" golf shirt in honor of Mack's love of golf and Tiger Woods.
"This place still echoes with Mack's spirit," said the Rev. Scott Pogatchnik, who described Mack as having such depth to his soul for someone so young.
"We have great kids here at Cathedral — just tremendous, tremendous families — some of the very best you'll ever meet, but even among that select group, there was something about Mack," he said.
Ella Motzko, Mack's sister, read a letter to Mack, describing him as "the best person I know."
She said she has been comforted this past week knowing all the nice things people have said about Mack were also said to him while he was alive.
"The world did not wait to love you and tell you how special you are," she said. "I will spend the rest of my life striving to be more like you, but you're a pretty tough act to follow."
Schoenborn said Mack's death is a reminder that the meaning of life is love — and all that matters is time.
"He didn't have a lot of time but he made the most of it," Schoenborn said. "Don't waste time. Love like Mack. Live like Mack."
Jenny Berg • 612-673-7299