|Name||George E Mazurak|
|Status||Deceased - 0731/2010 Columbia, MO|
|Bio||George Mazurak, a longtime editor and reporter at the Columbia Daily Tribune, has died. He was 56. The Tribune said Mazurak died Saturday at his home from complications from amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, also known as ALS and Lou Gehrig's disease. Mazurak had been the newspaper's assistant city editor for about five years, and spent about 15 years as the Tribune's crime and courthouse reporter. "He was a heck of a cops reporter," Tribune Managing Editor Jim Robertson said. "Cops really liked him. Even though he could be tough on them, he had a sense of fairness." Mazurak had been on leave from the Tribune since April after the condition made him less mobile. Doug Schwandt, who worked for the Columbia Police Department from 1979 to 2000, said officers developed a respect for Mazurak. "He worked hard to get it right," Schwandt said. "He could be a pain in the neck sometimes, and he was a bit of a bulldog, but he wasn't mean about it. He was persistent and always tried to get at the truth about what was going on." Mazurak also was an avid reader and baseball fan. "He often joked that one of the things really unfortunate about having ALS is knowing that you have a disease named after a New York Yankee," friend Bill Clark said. Mazurak wrote in an e-mail to Tribune employees in June that although his "physical horizons have narrowed," he continued to "enjoy my place in this world with my wife, daughter, friends and colleagues." He ended the note by telling the staff to "keep the presses rolling." Mazurak is survived by his wife, Maureen, and 17-year-old daughter, Laura. Funeral arrangements are pending.
George Elliott Mazurak of Columbia won his heroic battle with ALS at his home on Saturday, July 31, 2010, and joined his Lord and Creator in heaven. He was 56. A memorial service to honor George’s life will be at 1 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 5, at Christian Fellowship Church. A reception will follow the service. Burial will follow at Sugar Creek Cemetery, 1400 S. Hickory Grove Road. George Mazurak, 1953-2010 Mazurak, George George was born Sept. 23, 1953, in Independence to Fred and Margaret Mazurak. He married Maureen O’Day on Feb. 22, 1991. Their daughter, Laura, was born May 14, 1993. He is survived by his wife; daughter; and sister, Christine, of Independence. His brother, Russell, passed away in the early ’80s. After graduation from Mizzou with an English degree, he served as a bartender and teacher until he found his calling in the newspaper business. He wrote for the Fulton Sun Gazette and the Iowa Daily Nonpareil in Council Bluffs before settling into a 20-year career with the Columbia Daily Tribune. He was the crime and courthouse reporter for 15 years. For the last five years, he applied his impressive reporting and proofreading skills as an assistant city editor. George loved the newspaper business. He wanted to tell people’s stories in a clear and accurate manner, to give voice to those affected by life’s events. Beyond the newspaper, George loved his wife, daughter and Jesus Christ. He enjoyed history, reading, hiking, gardening, sailing and Royals baseball. He even packed a parachute and jumped out of a perfectly good airplane three times in the ’80s. As George’s body weakened, his faith grew stronger. He was a living example of the total provision of Jesus Christ, expressed in 2 Corinthians 12:9: “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” George kept these words from Romans 5 in a framed copy in his living room: “We rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know suffering produces perseverance, perseverance produces character, and character produces hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit whom he has given us.” It could be said of George Mazurak: He fought the good fight. He finished the race. He kept the faith. He is now enjoying his crown of righteousness bestowed by his Lord. George appreciated the support and encouragement of his church family. Instead of flowers, his family encourages memorial donations to Christian Fellowship Church.