HERSHEY - Serafino Paul Mazza Jr. died suddenly on Saturday, March 9, 2013, at Penn State Hershey Medical Center, with his loving family surrounding him. He was 82 years old.
Paul Mazza is survived by his beloved wife, Maralyn Davis Mazza, and five children, Laura Anne Mazza-Dixon, David Paul Mazza and his wife, N. Taylor McCall-Mazza, Virginia Marie Mazza and her partner, Theresa Vescio, Susan Margaret Van Etten and her husband, Robert Van Etten, and Serafino Paul Mazza III and his wife, Sue Ann Beninsky Mazza.
He was predeceased by his oldest son, Thomas Anthony Mazza, who died on March 10, 2001.
Serafino Paul Mazza Jr.
The 15 grandchildren who will remember his loving concern and passionate interest in their lives are: Courtney Allyn Stachowski, Alyson Mansfield Mazza, Bethany Marie Dixon, Niven Paige McCall-Mazza, Alessandra Davis Stachowski, Danielle Witlin Mazza, Fallon Grace Mazza, Isabella Marie Stachowski, Lundun Davidson McCall- Mazza, Serafino Paul Mazza IV, Colten Van Etten, Joshua Martin Mazza, Tyler Van Etten, Serafina Hope Mazza and Madison Faith Mazza.
Others in Paul Mazza's immediate family include his beloved sister, Rose Marie Stiffler and her husband, Michael Stiffler, and her children, Claudia Mitten Hon and Eleanor Sapiro Mitten.
Paul and Maralyn's extended family includes his late brother-in-law, Donald W. Davis, his wife, Virginia Davis, and their children Randall Davis, Deborah Kvam, Donald Davis III, Palmer Davis, Jennifer Heard and Ruthie Davis.
Born on Nov. 7, 1930, in Cresson, S. Paul Mazza Jr. was the son of Italian immigrants. His father, Serafino Paul Mazza Sr., originally of Sersale, Calabria, and mother, Vera Margaret (Runzo), of Cefalu, Sicily, were married in Cresson in 1925.
Paul Mazza graduated from State College High School in 1947. He studied accounting, history and philosophy at the University of Notre Dame, graduating in 1952. He received his law degree from Harvard Law School in 1955.
Paul married Maralyn June Davis, of State College, in 1954. They moved back to State College in 1956. He established a law firm with Ned Willard and Wayland Dunaway, which is now the The Mazza Law Group. His special concern for the elderly shaped his career as a lawyer. His concern for the needs of farm families led to his formation of the Pennsylvania Farmer's Association Legal Service in 1972. Paul served as well on the State College Planning and Zoning Commission, and many other community boards, most spectacularly the Central PA Fourth Fest Fireworks Committee.
Of all of his accomplishments, it was South Hills School of Business and Technology of which he was proudest. In 1970, he and his wife Maralyn founded the two-year associate degree school to meet the employment needs for highly-skilled employees in the area. Expanding now to four campuses, Paul's legacy continues with South Hills' 6,000 plus graduates. On the first day of school, Paul shared his three most important philosophies with the new students by stating, "We will be nice to you, you will be nice to each other, and you will work harder at our school than at any other time in your life." Paul put his students first, any time that he passed a student in the hallway he would say, "Is there anything I can do for you today?" Paul truly considered his students, his faculty and his staff part of his family.
In 1990, Paul started the tradition of Sunday afternoon music picnics on the State College campus of South Hills. Enjoyed by young and old, these free concerts feature local musical talent and lemonade for a penny. The tradition will continue as it enters its 24th year this June.
Maralyn and Paul Mazza have dedicated their lives to improving the lives of others by being interested in each person who comes across their path, and making themselves available to assist those people in any way they can. In 2012, Maralyn and Paul Mazza founded the Mazza Foundation for Education, a nonprofit organization devoted to creating opportunity for students through scholarships, nurturing social responsibility and advancing educational innovation.
Paul's love for his family was boundless. He and Maralyn loved nothing more than gathering on the coast of Maine with all of their family and friends. The bonds they formed in Jonesport, a small fishing village on the hard-scrabble coast of Maine, carry on to this day in his children's and grandchildren's love for each other and the area.
Paul was determined to share his Italian roots with his family. In 1988, he traveled to Italy with all of his children and has been taking several grandchildren to Italy each year ever since. The friends he met along the way are now part of Paul's ever-expanding family.
All who knew Paul know that baseball was his passion. After a 40-year hiatus, he donned his uniform once again and has played in the Center Sluggers League for the New York Yankees ever since. He was still practicing at the batting cage last month.
Words cannot express the profound influence S. Paul Mazza Jr. has had on his family, friends and community. He will be missed by all who knew him.
Visiting hours will be held from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, March 14, 2013, at Koch Funeral Home, 2401 S. Atherton St., State College.
A Mass will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, March 16, 2013, at Good Shepherd Roman Catholic Church, 867 Gray's Woods Blvd., Port Matilda. At 6 p.m. Saturday, a celebration of life will be held for family and friends at the Nittany Lion Inn.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be sent to the Mazza Foundation for Education c/o First National Bank, 2591 Park Center Blvd., State College, PA 16801.
Arrangements are under the care of Koch Funeral Home, State College.
Online condolences may be offered and the guest book signed can be done at www.kochfuneralhome.com.