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Dr. August C. Mazza(1919-2013)

(News Article) Dr. August C. Mazza, a long-time family physician and anesthesiologist who had a practice in Findlay and helped establish the Mazza Museum at the University of Findlay, died Saturday in Bridge Home Health & Hospice. He was 93.

Dr. Mazza, who had been a patient in hospice for a week, died from renal failure, said his wife, Maxine Mazza.

A native of Erie, Pa., Dr. Mazza enrolled in 1937 at what was then Findlay College on a football scholarship. A pre-med student, he graduated summa cum laude in 1941 with a bachelor degree in biology.

At the college, he met his first wife, the former Aleda Pfost. They were married May 30, 1942. She died in 1989. The couple contributed money in 1982 toward the purchase of the first four pieces of art to start a museum devoted to original art in children's books. The donation was given by the Mazzas to celebrate the university's centennial.

Now called the Mazza Museum of International Art from Picture Books, the collection has grown to more than 8,000 original illustrations.

"None of us ever dreamed that it would become so well known or so large," said Mrs. Mazza, who married Dr. Mazza on Aug. 18, 1990.

After two stints in the military, earning his medical degree from the University of Cincinnati, and maintaining a family practice in Erie, he returned to Findlay in 1962 to start a practice near his wife's hometown of Van Wert, Ohio, Mrs. Mazza said.

Dr. Mazza had his medical offices at 801 S. Main St. He was an anesthesiologist at Blanchard Valley Hospital in Findlay in the mornings, assisting in surgeries and procedures, and went to the office for appointments with patients for the remainder of the day.

Mrs. Mazza said his day usually began at 7 a.m. at the hospital and continued until as late as 8 p.m. when he went home to have dinner with his family. She said he then returned to the hospital to make rounds, ending his day at 11 p.m.

"He also made house calls. I think it was in the 1960s when he finally stopped delivering babies," she said.

After college, he was a product engineer in the laboratory at Union Carbide in Fostoria until he was drafted in 1943 into the Army-Air Corps.

A second lieutenant, he took classes at the University of Iowa and Yale University. He was a member of a unit at Bradley Field in Connecticut that guided planes onto landing fields.

After his discharge in 1946 from the military, he returned to Union Carbide to earn money for medical school. With the encouragement of his older brother, he enrolled in 1947 at the University of Cincinnati and graduated in 1951 with a doctorate in medicine.

He was called back into active duty for three years, serving as a physician in the Air Force at Chennault Air Force Base in Louisiana. He had a general practice and was an anesthesiologist in Erie, Pa. from 1954 to 1962.

Dr. Mazza retired from the family medicine practice in Findlay in 1984 and ended the anesthesia practice in 1987 when he became an industrial physician for OH Materials in Findlay.

However, he left the company the following year to work as a general practice physician at a clinic in Carey, Ohio, operated by Blanchard Valley Health System. He retired from the clinic in 1998.

Surviving are his wife, Maxine; daughters, Catherine Mazza and Lisa Kirk; son, Jeffery A. Ramsey; sister, Livia Funaro; five grandchildren, and three great grandchildren.

Visitation will be from 1 to 8 p.m. today in the Colden-Crates Funeral Home. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday in St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church. The family suggests tributes to the Mazza Museum or Bridge Home Health & Hospice.

Published in Toledo Blade on Mar. 12, 2013
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