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Joseph R. Mazzola


1927 - 2014 Obituary Condolences
Joseph R. Mazzola, long time Broomfield resident died suddenly at his home on Wednesday, June 18th.
Joe, as he preferred to be called, was born to immigrant parents Salvatore and Filippa Papa Mazzola, in Chicago on September 8, 1927. He attended schools in his northwest neighborhood graduating from Tilden Tech, an all boys' technical high school.
Immediately after high school graduation, Joe joined the U.S. Army in the Engineering corp. Following his service as leader of a cartography platoon in the Phillippines, Joe entered Michigan State University as one of thousands of returning G.I. students. He intended to major in civil engineering, but, after adding geology classes to his schedule, he changed his major to Geology and began his lifelong passion for oil and gas exploration.
It was during his time at Michigan State that he met his future wife, Marion Marie Friday of Lansing Michigan. After graduation from M.S.U., Joe married Marion on June 23, 1951. Together they began lives far different then they had ever imagined.
Joe took a job with Gulf Oil and started his career mapping prospective areas of interest is August of 1951. The newlyweds moved west to Lewistown, Montana where Joe joined his Gulf crew chief and mentor T. D. Mundorf. Marion stayed in Lewistown while Joe and Mundorf traveled to North Dakota where they would work the assigned area for the next three months with occasional visits to Lewistown.

So began the six year pattern of moving throughout the states of Montana, Wyoming, Nevada, Utah, Colorado and Oklahoma. Joe moved from field work to well sitting , and, finally became Gulf Area Stratigrapher in Casper, Wyoming . In June, 1956, by now the young Mazzola family included children; Deborah Ann, Jan Marie and Joseph David. A geologist friend heard of an independent oil company searching for talent and suggested they contact Joe. Three days after meeting the representatives of Kingwood Oil out of Oklahoma, Joe was hired to manage oil and gas exploration In their expansion office opening Denver. Having fallen in love with Colorado while working out of Durango two years before, the Mazzola's broke speed records for moving a household and family of five.

Their search for their first real home brought them to the brand new Broomfield housing development.It seemed the perfect place to raise a family. 240 Hemlock was only a rough finished basement but it was an answer to their dreams. The house was completed by March of 1957 and, despite rain and mud, the Mazzolas moved into their home; aptly named the Cinderella Model. Joe became involved in Broomfield community life almost immediately. Several of the young family men started a chapter of the Junior Chamber of Commerce. Joe was one of the first members. Without a governing entity, the Jaycees became the 'go-to' organization that would get things done. Over time, youth sports groups were formed, a three day Broomfield Days celebration held over July 4th became an annual high point of the summer. It seemed that Broomfield Days in July always brought rain so that event was eventually moved to early fall. The Miss Broomfield Pageant became a popular event with the Broomfield community following Miss Broomfield to the Miss Colorado State Pageant. Nativity of Our Lord Church was formed by a dedicated group of Catholics that included Joe and Marion.

The Jaycees assisted in the drive to incorporate Broomfield and ultimately Broomfield was incorporated because of these efforts. An interim city council was formed to set and supervise the election of the first full time Broomfield City Council. At that election, Joe Mazzola was elected to serve his Ward. Joe was named "Outstanding Young Man" by the Junior Chamber.

Eventually, the Junior Chamber of Commerce gave way to the Rotarians and Joe found that the Rotary motto of 'Service Above Self' stated his feelings of 'giving back' for all the opportunities he and his family had found in America.

Over the years, Joe changed companies as a way to keep his family settled in Broomfield. Two more daughters, Lisa and Cara, were added to the family and there was swing set and a dog in the chain link fenced back yard. The people of Hemlock Street became one big family with each person eager to give help when needed. Joe survived by-pass heart surgery at the age of 43. Given a 50-50 chance to make it, Joe did what he always did; took the odds and beat them. The Emerald School area became accustomed to seeing Joe run three miles twice a day accompanied by his devoted Manchester terrier, Petey.

Eventually, Joe joined with Gordon Rosenblum and Paul Holleman in a startup company named Inter-American Petroleum. That company flourished and was acquired by a New York group of investors and renamed Kenai Oil and Gas Incorporated. Kenai successfully initiated its first public stock offering by the New York Stock Exchange. The New York based celebration included an interview of Joe Mazzola by the Wall Street Journal.

Joe remained with the new, larger Kenai as Exploration Manager, and eventually, became the Vice President of Kenai Incorporated. Years later when Kenai was sold Joe continued his career as the Exploration Manager of Intoil, an Iraqi held company.

At the age of 72, Joe officially 'retired' but spent hours each day working on charitable causes he researched thoroughly before giving them his attention.
He devoted his time to challenging projects made available to him through Broomfield Evening Rotary and Rotary International. The Broomfield Rotary Foundation 501c3 was created. For over five years, the club has been working on completing international clean water and sanitation projects aimed at decreasing preventable diseases in underdeveloped countries. Joe focused on the Rotary Clean Water Project and helped Rotary clubs world wide to join together in the funding and completion of these projects. Locally, Rotarian Joe was active in working with Santa Cops bicycle program, The Varra Police and Fire Personnel Golf Tournament, Healthy Learning Paths, F.R.I.E.N.D.S of Broomfield, more recently Mental Health Partners and supplying glasses, hearing aids for those in need.
Three years ago, Joe was honored with a "Heart of Broomfield" award for his philanthropic work in the community. He had always been the heart of his family.

When asked, "Why did Joe feel obligated to be involved in charitable works?" His wife replied, "Joe believed that if you saw a something that caused human suffering, you must act as best you can to eliminate the conditions causing the suffering. Not one person should suffer while others stand by and do nothing."

Joe is survived by his wife of 63 years, Marion; children, Deborah Ann (Jessie) Becker, Indian Rocks Beach, Florida, Jan Marie (Bill) Tecklenburg, Broomfield, Dr. Joseph D. Mazzola (Connie), Broomfield, Lisa Jo (John) Fitzgerald, Broomfield, and Cara (Ken)Spengler, Westminster. Eight grandchildren: Nicole Marie Becker, Arvada; Jason Wehrley and Sarah Tecklenburg Frederick (Jayson), Denver; Hailey Jo and Ryan Mazzola, Kyle, Andrea, and Michael Spengler, Broomfield. Chicago family includes nephews John, Raymond, and Anthony Mazzola and their families; Loretta Kunovic and family, and Maria Mazzola and family and many more cousins. Joe was preceded in death by his parents Salvatore and Filippa; his sisters, Lucy Trapani and Sara Frankowski, and his brother John Mazzola.

Visitation will be held on Tuesday, June 24th between 4pm-7pm at Rundus Funeral Home located at 1998 W. 10th Ave., Broomfield, Colorado. Rosary will be said at 7pm.
Funeral Services will be held at Nativity of Our Lord Church, 900 West Midway Blvd. Broomfield, Colorado at 10:00 a.m. Wednesday, June 25. 2014. In lieu of flowers, please consider contributions to any of Joe's favorite charities listed above.

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Published in Broomfield Enterprise on June 22, 2014
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