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Political mentor mourned

Ben Mazur, who died Monday at 97, organized Democratic Party in Plymouth.


When residents of Plymouth think about politics, Ben Mazur comes to mind. It was Mazur, after all, who organized the Democratic Party in Plymouth, and who residents knew for holding several public offices throughout the years.

Mazur’s legacy is now left behind to those he mentored. He died Monday at the age of 97.

“He taught me the ins and outs of politics,” said longtime friend and Democratic Party member Carl Clemm. “I ended up running for (Plymouth borough) council, and now I’m finishing up 20 years and running for re-election.”

Clemm said he met Mazur when he was just a boy and has known him for the past 43 years. “He was a good man, and he helped a lot of people out. He didn’t care what party you belonged to.”

He was a great fisherman, too, Clemm said of Mazur who always took trips to Oneida, N.Y., with his nephews.

Born in Plymouth, Mazur retired in 1972 from the Department of Auditor General Bureau of Liquor Audits. He also owned Mazur and Brozena Service Station in Plymouth for 22 years, and served in the U.S. Army and the U.S. Navy Seabees.

Mazur’s political background includes being elected as a Plymouth councilman, State Democratic Chairman of the Second Legislative District, and chairman of the Plymouth Borough Democratic Committee.

In 1972 and 1976 Mazur served as a delegate to the Democratic National Conventions in Florida and New York.

Among Mazur’s accomplishments, he was awarded several certificates and letters from presidential candidates and presidents. In 1997, he received a letter of appreciation from Bill Clinton, thanking Mazur for support offered to Clinton during his presidential election.

Mazur is also listed in the founders of the official registry of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Memorial, and received documentation which reads, “Your certificate confirms your place in American history.”

“He was a very interesting man, and very involved with Democratic politics,” said Gene Hogan, of Plymouth, who has known Mazur for more than 30 years. “He’s 50 years older than me, but we got along and talked politics. And whenever he had a problem with his car, he’d come up and see me,” Hogan said of the Bull Run service station he owns in Plymouth.

“Ben got me involved in politics when I came back from the service in 1946,” said Ed Sarocek Sr. “He encouraged me to stay in politics, to help myself and other people.”

Sarocek said Mazur was a good friend over the 60-some years they knew each other. “I washed cars for him years ago, even before that.

“He asked me to run for council and I did that for 16 years. He taught me a lot,” Sarocek said. “If he could help a person, he would go out of his way to do it. He was a good man.”

Read Ben Mazur’s obituary on Page 10A.

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