Obituary: Paul H. Mazerov / Passionate educator, Marine Corps veteran

April 21, 1930 - Dec. 24, 2012

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In his professional life and long after retirement, Paul H. Mazerov was an educator, through and through.

The Marine Corps reservist and social studies teacher at Bethel Park High School was, in his later years, a volunteer instructor of Holocaust history and spoke passionately to youth about the genocide of millions of Jews during World War II.

"I think the world has lost another fabulous educator," said former colleague Samantha Chilton, senior associate at Holocaust Center of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, "and another voice for those who perished during the Holocaust."

Mr. Mazerov died Monday at the Country Meadows nursing home in South Fayette of complications from dementia. He was 82.

Born in Pittsburgh in 1930, Mr. Mazerov graduated from Allderdice High School and joined the Marine Corps Reserves at 18.

The longtime Scott resident -- most recently of Collier -- served in the Korean War and later trained fellow Marines and worked as an intelligence officer, his son Michael Mazerov said. He was promoted to colonel and spent more than 25 years as a reservist, including four summers on active duty in Quantico, Va.

"He was a very, very patriotic person. His military service to his county was the thing I think gave him the greatest pride," his son said.

In that spirit, the Mazerov family placed Marine Corps stickers on the family car and would fly the branch's flag outside their home. Michael Mazerov said there wasn't a day since retirement that his father wasn't donning a Marine Corps cap, T-shirt or sweatshirt.

"And sometimes all three," he said.

At Bethel Park, Mr. Mazerov taught social studies and history, starting with 10th grade. He especially enjoyed studying Asia and the Cold War, an interest he likely developed during his service overseas, his son said.

There were occasional elective courses, too, giving him an opportunity to teach Holocaust history to teens. Michael Mazerov said his father was a demanding teacher and set high expectations for his students -- many of whom, despite the rigor, used to visit the family home in Scott.

In 1989, he retired from the Marine Corps Reserves and from teaching and volunteered at the Holocaust Center of Pittsburgh. Mr. Mazerov lost extended family members, including second and third cousins, in the genocide, his son said.

Ms. Chilton met Mr. Mazerov in 1998 and described him as a passionate teacher and docent at the Holocaust center in Oakland.

"The Holocaust for many young people is ancient history," she said. "He wanted to make sure they knew what the Holocaust was about ... and ensure nothing like this ever happens again."

When he wasn't volunteering, Mr. Mazerov was also an avid hunter and target shooter. Active for years after his own children were grown, he was spry enough to romp around with his grandchildren -- and attend to his beloved cats -- for many years, Michael Mazerov said.

Paul Mazerov is survived by his wife Corinne Wagman Mazerov of 59 years; son Michael of Silver Spring, Md.; daughter Laurie Mahala Mazerov of Santa Fe, N.M.; two grandchildren and nieces and nephews.

Services are scheduled for 10 a.m. today at Temple Emanuel of South Hills in Mt. Lebanon. Visitation at Temple Emanuel will be one hour prior.

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Molly Born: or 412-263-1944.


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