An engaging personality with a kind and generous heart, he enjoyed life and helping others, and was a great friend and mentor to many who knew him.
Borden Mace produced hundreds of films, many of them for the military, in a career that spanned decades. He graduated from the University of North Carolina in 1941 and went on to serve in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He was present for Japan’s formal surrender on September 2, 1945 aboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay.
Following the war he served as the chief executive officer for producer Louis de Rochemont’s four affiliated film and TV companies for nearly 30 years. During this time Mace oversaw the production of groundbreaking films such as Lost Boundaries (1949), Martin Luther (1953), Cinerama Holiday (1955), and Windjammer (1958), in addition to hundreds of documentary and educational films. He was also involved in the production and story development of the 1954 animated adaptation of George Orwell’s Animal Farm. His last Hollywood project was John Ehle's The Journey of August King in 1995.
A huge proponent of education, Mace, along with his friend John Ehle, was instrumental in founding The North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics (NCSSM) in 1980, serving as the school's first principal and deputy director. The school's library is named after Mace and his late wife, Grace Breslin.
Following his success with NCSSM, Mace was asked to advise in the founding of the Illinois Mathematics and Science Academy in 1986, serving as interim director in its first year, and again came out of retirement in 1991 to help establish the School of Filmmaking at the North Carolina School of the Arts.
His final project, completed just weeks ago, was consultant to author Mary Faith Warshaw on her upcoming book, North Carolina’s Historic Beaufort: A Unique Coastal Village Preserved. His 8-page introduction, called Fond Memories of Life in Beaufort describes his childhood and family life growing up in the seaside village that was so dear to him, where many of his beloved relatives and friends still reside.
Borden was a true lover of the arts, especially film and theater. At 92 he took up painting as a form of creative expression, painting colorful works that incorporated unusual objects and media.
When asked recently what he wanted people to know about his life, he responded: “That I lived. Not always wisely but I enjoyed taking risks and being adventuresome and doing the unusual.” He made an indelible mark on those who knew him, and he will be greatly missed.
Mace was predeceased by his wife, Grace Breslin Wingerter, and later by his long time love, Gloria Krasnow Liebenson; by his brother, William Arendell Mace, Jr.; his sister, Laura Abernethy Mace; and by his nephew, George R. Wallace, Jr. He is survived by his sister, Mary Elizabeth Mace Johnson of Ocean; by his nieces, Billie Mace Durham of Asheboro; Elizabeth Burke of Beaufort; Katherine Parks of Cary; Jan Luzadder of Havelock; Terry McGowan of Fairfax, VA; Nancy Kahan and Maura Wolf of Salisbury, CT; Pat and her husband Richard Dina of Freeport, NY; Anne Zim of Washington, DC; and his nephews, William Borden Wallace of New Orleans; James Duncan Johnson III of Ocean; Kenneth Johnson, Falls Church, VA; Borden Mace Johnson, Arlington, VA; and Tom White.
A celebration of his life will be held at the Noble Horizons chapel in Salisbury, CT on Saturday, November 29th at 11:00 a.m., followed by a reception in the Wagner Learning Center. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to Chore Service, PO Box 522, Lakeville, CT 06039, or to the Noble Horizons Scholarship Fund, 17 Cobble Rd, Salisbury, CT 06068.