September 18, 2021
BALTIMORE COUNTY, Md. - On Saturday, July 31, 2021, Robert Mazurek passed away peacefully in his home in Baltimore County surrounded by his family. He was 95 years old.
Robert, known as Bob to family and friends, was born June 9, 1926, and raised in Ironwood, Michigan, located in the Upper Peninsula near Lake Superior. He was the son of the late Mary (nee Stanczak) and Albert Mazurek and brother to the late William "Bill" Mazurek. He would often talk fondly of his time growing up in the U.P., reminiscing about school, time spent with family, friends, and the small neighborhood grocery and candy store that was owned by his family where he held his first job. Although times were hard growing up during the Great Depression he had a happy, blessed upbringing and was very proud of his Polish heritage.
A 1944 graduate of Luther L. Wright High School, he excelled in many school activities, serving as president of the National Honor Society and senior class president, and was a star athlete in track and field as well as football. As captain of the undefeated football team in his senior year he achieved All-State recognition for his outstanding season as a defensive tackle. The entire team from that year was inducted into the Luther L. Wright High School Sports Hall of Fame.
Bob felt it was his patriotic duty to serve his country during World War II and enlisted in the U.S. Navy in 1943 during his junior year where he served as V.P. R.O.T.C. Officer until graduating. Soon after, he began radio operator training in Texas and California. The war ended before he saw active duty in the Pacific, and Bob would often tell the story of how he hopped onto a passing freight train and then hitchhiked his way back to Ironwood to settle into civilian life.
His life suddenly was forever changed when he met the love of his life, Elizabeth "Betty" Burt, at the summer carnival. Both she and Bob recounted the story that when he heard that Betty and her friend didn't have a way to get home to nearby Bessemer, Michigan, he told them to wait there and sprinted the mile to his home asking his father if he could borrow his car because he just met the girl he was going to marry.
They were married just a few years later in 1949 and enjoyed a devoted, loving marriage that lasted 64 years. Beginning their life together in Milwaukee, Bob graduated from Marquette University in 1951 with a Bachelor of Science in business administration. After graduating he began a lifelong career with the Standard Oil Company (now BP) where his skills took him to Green Bay, Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Baltimore, Atlanta and Kansas City. Along the way Bob and Betty had nine children and made countless friends in every town they lived.
At the age of 60, he retired and built a home with Betty in the Hereford area of Baltimore County, Maryland, where he enjoyed his time with his wife, children, grandchildren, wonderful neighbors and friends. Bob was a deeply religious man and was an active congregate of Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church in Parkton. Family traditions and holidays, especially Christmas, were very special to Bob. He was most happy and proud when he was surrounded by all of his children and grandchildren gathered together from afar.
Always wanting to exercise both his mind and body, he continued to work a part time job for more than 20 years at a family friend's business selling lotto tickets, retiring finally at the age of 90. Bob had an incredible sense of humor and this position gave him the perfect setting to tell his new and old jokes to anyone who would listen. Some of his favorite memories from the store are when he went nose to nose on all fours with 6-9 Jonathan Ogden, who is a Hall of Fame tackle for the Baltimore Ravens. Another time he was chased around the store by Ray Lewis after Bob made off with his Super Bowl ring when he let him try it on.
Bob was an avid gardener and enjoyed wild berry picking, traveling with his family, polka dancing with Betty, watching the Green Bay Packers while eating his favorite food, traditional U.P. pasties, and playing his beloved Star Chemnitzer concertina. He became a very polished musician in his retirement and was invited to play in the Baltimore Polish Home Club Band as well as many other groups through the years.
Bob and Betty are survived and cherished by their nine children, Carol Diamond and her husband Werner Uebersax, Robert Jr. and his wife Peggy, Michael and his wife Blanche, Joseph, James, David, Mary Benedict, Jane and her husband Jon Price, and Nancy and her husband Thomas Rinard; his grandchildren, Laura and her husband Brandon Bordeaux, Rachel Mazurek, Jennifer and her husband Matthew Holt, Christopher Rinard, Lauren Benedict, Matthew Rinard, Elizabeth Mazurek, and Stacey and her husband Mark Phillips; by his great-grandchildren Jackson and Grace Bordeaux, and Piper and Sophie Phillips; and by many nieces, nephews and other extended family.
Bob had a wonderful life and his family and friends will miss him dearly. Memorial donations may be sent to the Alzheimer's Association. The family will be holding a private memorial.