David Maziarz was more than a scoutmaster; he was a mentor.
Even after his two sons, Ryan and Kyle, reached the rank of Eagle Scout and left Boy Scout Troop 327 in Islip Terrace, Maziarz stayed in his leadership role, caring too much about the other Scouts to leave.
“He didn’t want to stop because he was a mentor to a lot of the Scouts who didn’t have fathers,” said his wife, Joan Maziarz, 54, of Islip.
Maziarz, who lived in Islip for 22 years and was planning on retiring from his scoutmaster post this summer, died May 29 from complications of COVID-19 at Southside Hospital in Bay Shore, his family said. He was 53.
Born Nov. 24, 1966 — Thanksgiving Day — in Amityville, Maziarz grew up in West Babylon, where he lived until moving to Islip in 1997. He was a volunteer with the West Babylon Fire Department for 18 years, only leaving when he moved out of his hometown.
“He loved the camaraderie,” Joan Maziarz said. “He loved going into burning buildings. He was always the first one on the scene.”
Maziarz worked for 27 years as a correction officer at Rikers Island Prison Complex. He spent the past few years of his career in the fire safety unit before retiring in February 2017. Maziarz’s work at Rikers furthered his desire to inspire young men through Scouting, said Joe Bobrowski, committee chairman of Troop 327.
“One of the things he always said was that he wanted the Scouts to have a better life than what he had seen at Rikers,” said Bobrowski of Central Islip. “That was one of his goals, to help make them better people.”
A devoted father and die-hard Mets, Giants and Islanders fan, Maziarz passed his love of sports to his sons. He would drive up to the University of Maine to watch hockey games with his son Ryan, who is a senior at the school. Whenever his sons needed help, he would be there.
“I totaled my first car freshman year and he just dropped what he was doing and drove seven hours up north to come help me,” said Ryan Maziarz, 21, of Islip.
In addition to his wife and sons, Maziarz is survived by two brothers, Joseph of Arizona and Gary of West Babylon, and a sister, Venus Maziarz of Mineola. A drive-by memorial was held on June 2 at Frederick J. Chapey and Sons Funeral Home in East Islip. He was cremated, Joan Maziarz said.