Mazur, Jr., Michael, 92, Lilly, passed away November 5, 2019 at UPMC - Altoona. Born on October 12, 1927 in Lilly, the son of Anna and Michael Mazur, Sr. Deceased family members include his parents, loving wife, Alice Kay (McGivney) Mazur; sister, Ann Mazur and brother, Stephen Mazur. Survived by his sister Mary Smilnak and brother John Mazur. In recent years, Michael contributed his time, talent, and treasure to the Lilly Borough/Washington Township community. Of his siblings, he was the only one who remained in this area where he worked as a railroad maintenance foreman. That was his day job; evenings and Saturday’s he refurbished wrecked cars and did wood-working projects. His work and his hobbies dominated his life. In addition, he maintained a fierce loyalty to his hometown. To date he has installed a bell tower and gazebo at the memorial park and contributed to the recent improvements to the Miners’ Memorial. His next project was to be a Memorial Museum for the park. Mike’s philanthropy extended to family members, to the nation and beyond, as well as to the Lilly area. In memory of his wife Alice Kay McGivney Mazur, he established a Scholarship Fund for graduates of Portage Area High School. Alice worked in the district as a second-grade teacher for more than 30 years. She and Mike had been married for 49 years. With her passing, Mike’s health issues increased. His home became merely a house, he said Alice had kept the books and their investments had become surprisingly sufficient to be shared. Thus, began charitable donations tantamount to philanthropy. His goal was to improve the lives of others by establishing scholarships, providing medical care, and contributing to the welfare of his community. In addition to the Alice McGivney Mazur Scholarship Fund, Mike established the Ann Mazur Scholarship Fund to benefit graduates at Penn-Cambria High School. Ann had a career on Wall Street in New York City. Her financial advice and influence were significant in Alice and Mike’s accrued returns on investments. To date, proceeds from these funds have benefited 34 students as they begin college. Generous funds have also been established at SS. Cyril & Methodius Byzantine Rite Catholic Seminary for future priests and at Mt. St. Macrina for nuns. Beyond the local boundaries, Mike has contributed significantly to the Disabled Veterans for track chairs, to St. Jude and Shriner’s Hospitals, the Smile Foundation to rehabilitate children with cleft-palates, and to Doctors Without Borders. His goal was to share his good fortune with humanity. As a wood-working hobbyist, Mike constructed picnic tables, benches, and sundry cabinets for his church. His picnic tables have been raffled at the annual picnic in July or integrated into the church facility. Before Mike settled into railroad maintenance, his entrepreneurial attempts included barber, funeral director’s assistant, candy store owner, traveling salesman for Mason Tailor-made clothing etc. At 39, he allowed enough time to court and wed Alice Kay McGivney. Together they were a team. They lived modestly, saved and invested judiciously, but also traveled extensively to countries in Europe, Africa, Asia, and South America.
Patience wasn’t Mike’s strong point. On a trip to Southern California, for example, he managed to visit Knott’s Berry Farm Amusement Park, Disneyland, and various family members in an afternoon – this is more truth than exaggeration.
Mike has had a long life of hard work – manual labor – his hands show the effects of that labor. His accomplishments attest to the greatness of the United States of America where a man can achieve the American Dream by having a focused goal and the willingness to do the hard work to achieve that goal. His intention was to leave proof that he had lived and contributed to the greater good of mankind. His parents emigrated from the Ukraine over 100 years ago and set the standard for hard work. Mike was living proof that individual personal responsibility coupled with diligent hard work and a loving wife will result in significant achievement. The American Dream is available to anyone willing to put forth the effort. Michael Mazur, Jr., a Lilly High School graduate, a naval veteran of WWII, a husband, son, brother, uncle, and generous supporter of family, community, national and worldwide charitable organizations was an ordinary man who had done some extraordinary things for his fellow human beings.
Friends received from 2-6 p.m. Sunday at the Serenko-Claar Funeral Home, PC, Portage, where Parastas will be sung at 6 p.m. Sunday. Divine Liturgy will be celebrated at 10 a.m. Monday at SS. Peter & Paul Byzantine Church, Portage, Father James Spontak, celebrant. Committal, St. Brigid’s Cemetery, Lilly with Military funeral rites by the Lilly Veterans Organizations. Following the committal, a luncheon will be served at the Lilly Sokol Club. Online condolences may be made at www.serenkoclaarfuneralhome.com
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