Small town hero inducted to Midvale Hall of Honors
Nov 06, 2018 04:14PM
● By Jana Klopsch
Joseph Mazuran lived his entire life in Midvale, he was recently inducted into the Hall of Honors. (Photos provided by Burke Wells)
By Heather Sky | [email protected]
There’s a certain virtue in stories of small town beginnings.
Joseph Mazuran was born in Midvale in 1920 to parents who were Yugoslav immigrants. He lived his entire life of 68 years in Midvale and wore his origins as a badge of honor. Mazuran loved his community and loved to serve. He was known by his family as an avid fisherman, devoted grandfather and always said he “wouldn't live anywhere else.”
“He felt Midvale was the greatest town on the map,” said Mazuran’s son-in-law, Burke Wells.
Every year, the Midvale Arts Council recognizes a notable individual who has made a significant contribution to the betterment of Midvale City. Thanks to the detailed application submitted by Wells, Mazuran became the most recent Hall of Honor Inductee during the 2018 Harvest Days celebration.
Mazuran devoted his life to the betterment of the city he loved. Throughout his lifetime of service, he contributed to his community in a wide range of capacities. Mazuran served as mayor of Midvale from 1970-1974 and chief of police from 1952-1959. He was a city councilman for eight years, a volunteer fireman for the Midvale Fire Department for 36 years, and served on the Salt Lake County Merit Commission for six years.
A former star athlete, Mazuran coached WBBA baseball in Midvale, and worked at the Trail Sports Center for 11 years. He retired from the Salt Lake County Roads and Bridges Department in 1984.
“He was always willing to give of his time, expertise, and talents to better the city he loved,” said Wells.
Throughout Mazuran’s career with the Unified Police Department, he launched several youth programs and clubs to combat juvenile delinquency. He created a Youth Job Program to work with local businesses to keep adolescents off the streets, and received a personal letter from C. Nelson Day—Assistant United States Attorney—to commend him for his efforts. He also worked with the youth as a Little League coach, presented awards to student crossing guards, and solved “tough cases” brought to his attention by Midvale Elementary School students who all knew and loved him.
Mazuran was one of the most popular and prominent officers within the precinct and upon his resignation as chief, he received a multitude of thank-you letters for his service—written by school children, the president of the local bank, the Utah Department of Public Safety, the US Congress Legislative Assistant, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. There are numerous newspaper articles entailing Mazuran’s devotion, many of which were preserved by the Midvale Museum and can now be found online at digitalnewspapers.org
Mazuran passed away in 1988. He left behind his wife, Alice, and their two daughters—Kathleen and Marsha. And 57 years after his assignment as chief of police, Mazuran’s great nephew—Jason Mazuran—took on the role in 2016, where he was sworn in as chief of police for Midvale City by the Unified Police Department. He successfully carried on Joe’s legacy for over a year.
Mazuran’s determination to fight for justice from a place of high morals did not go unnoticed, and he made lifelong friends while devoting his life to his family and community. Even after all these years, the community is still learning from their beloved chief of police, mayor, friend, husband, father, and grandfather. Mazuran is a small town hero who will always be remembered by the city he loved.