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Beardsley-Mitchell Funeral Home

1818 Sunset Cliffs Blvd, San Diego, CA

OBITUARY

Peter Jordan Mazza

April 3, 1978September 1, 2020

Peter Jordan Mazza, beloved husband, father, son, brother and uncle; trusted colleague; cherished friend; and giver of life advice, words of wisdom, and leadership, died Monday, September 1, 2020, at the age of 42. He passed away in his love-filled home, with his three favorite girls, Megan, Elsie and Cora, by his side, and his young son Christopher playing with trucks in the next room.

Peter was born in Canton, Illinois and grew up in Cheshire, Connecticut, where he spent every spare moment of his childhood playing sports and skiing. One of the great loves of Peter’s life was athletic competition. Indeed, he was a competitive ski racer and standout high school athlete in both baseball and football. He led the Cheshire High School football team to State Championships all four years that he played. As with so many other things, Pete excelled in sports not only because of his natural ability, but because he worked tirelessly to be the very best player, teammate, and leader.

After high school, Peter spent one year at Avon Old Farms and then attended Yale University, where he majored in History and played starting linebacker for the Yale football team. Notably, Peter was chosen as the captain of the Yale football team his senior year, an honor made even greater by the fact that only one player served in that role each year. Pete’s leadership on the football field set him apart. As his friend and teammate, Than Merrill recently said, “Pete led by example and was always prepared for every situation. He was the wise old man amongst young men trying to find their way.”

Peter graduated from Yale with distinction and spent the next year working for then Senator Joe Biden, and caring for his mother Maureen during her battle with cancer – a true testament to the fact that his dedication to hard work and public service was only surpassed by his dedication to his family.

In 2005, Peter earned his law degree from the University of Michigan Law School. It was there that he met his beloved wife Megan, introducing himself with a handshake at a law school bowling league night. Peter and Megan moved to San Diego after law school, where Peter began his legal career as a clerk for District Court Judge Marilyn Huff, and then became an Assistant United States Attorney for the Southern District of California. Peter’s time at the U.S. Attorney’s office was spent prosecuting gangs, violent crimes, and major frauds. He then entered private practice at Jones Day, where he quickly became a partner and a trusted friend and adviser to his colleagues and clients. In 2019 Pete returned to the U.S. Attorney’s office as the First Assistant United States Attorney, a role he cherished. Pete was diagnosed with stage iv colon cancer just one month after his swearing-in; yet, his dedication to public service, and the U.S. Attorney’s office in particular, gave him the determination to continue working nearly full-time while simultaneously undergoing grueling cancer treatments, procedures, and surgeries. Peter will be remembered not only for his tireless work ethic, athletic prowess, daredevil skiing adventures and innate leadership skills, but also for his principled approach to life and his great sense of humor. He was all of the things we should all aspire to be – honest, kind, loyal, reliable, compassionate, fun-loving and always pushing himself and everyone around him to do and be their very best. His Yale football coach, Jack Siedlecki recently said, “I can’t tell you how many guys said, I want my kids to grow up to be like Peter Mazza.”

In 2006 Peter married Megan on a beautiful January day in Chicago. Peter approached marriage and fatherhood as he did all other things in life: with passion, kindness, and an unending supply of strength and love. He was a dedicated partner to Megan as they built a life and a family in San Diego over the last 14 years. Raising his three children – Elsie (9), Cora (7), and Christopher (3) – was the greatest joy of his life. Peter’s intellect, athleticism, and love for the outdoors, made him the very best playmate, ballet shoe tier, homework helper, pancake maker, owie fixer, Happy Bear camping partner, advice giver, softball coach, and fort builder three kids could ever want.

Peter spent the last 18 months of his life battling cancer, and he did so with an enormous amount of strength and courage. He never let his disease define how he lived his life. Instead, he worked, fathered, and deepened his friendships, all while he fought for his life. A deep and abiding faith in God defined both his battle with cancer and his life. Peter’s faith never wavered, and even in his final days he told his children to have hope, believe in miracles, and assured them that they would be okay. Peter was a leader to the very end, showing us not only how to live, but also how to die with courage and faith.

Peter is survived by Megan, Elsie, Cora and Christopher; his father Francis and his wife Sharon; his sister Erika, brother-in-law Todd and niece Kaya; his father- and mother-in-law, Attila and Patricia Weninger; his sister-in-law Elizabeth Vander Woude and niece Olivia; his brother- and sister-in-law Chris Weninger and Rebecca Cohen; and innumerable friends. Peter was preceded in death by his beloved mother, Maureen Mazza. We take great comfort in the fact that Peter and Maureen are reunited once again.

An internment will be held for Peter on Monday, September 7th at 2:00 p.m. at El Camino Cemetery, located at 5600 Carroll Canyon Road, San Diego, 92121. The service will be held outdoors so there are no restrictions on the number of people who may attend, but the family requests that all guests wear face masks and adhere to social distancing guidelines.

In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to help support Megan, Elsie, Cora and Christopher. A GoFundMe has been started, which you can access here:

Services

  • Graveside Service

    Monday, September 7, 2020

Memories

Peter Jordan Mazza

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Nate Allen

September 15, 2020

The last time I saw Peter Mazza was twelve years ago at a mutual friend's wedding. I had met Pete and his family through the Leritz’s almost 15 years prior on the ski slopes of Burke, VT. Even in the mid '90s, Pete’s character was of the highest regard, his connection magnetic and he was a joy with whom to converse uphill and ski downhill.

At Alex’s nuptials in Boston, I had the responsibility of delivering the best man’s speech. Before the glasses were raised, I was fortunate to visit with Pete and meet Megan and at one point he said, “Are you ready for the speech? I’m expecting big things from you tonight, Nate.” Instantly, I was on the balls of my feet, equally balanced to pounce to deliver him a practice round and lay low to save it for the mass audience. I have had the privilege of captaining and been led by many. In that moment, though, I felt the captain’s weight and responsibilities meet duty and commitment at a level higher than many have asked of me and I have asked of many. It’s one of the few conversations that I remember from that evening and, like many I’m certain, wish we had spoken longer. With his disposition and seemingly effortless leadership style, it’s so easy to see why he made the consistent and long lasting impact that he did on so many. I can only imagine how good of a husband and father he has been and I pledge to up my game on both fronts in Pete’s honor...and provides yet another reason for Team Burke to continue its annual ride in the Pan Mass Challenge to raise money for cancer research and patient treatment.

This is very sad for so many for so many reasons. My heartfelt and deepest sympathies to the Mazza family. My family wishes you peace and love now and always.

Muffy Selfridge

September 10, 2020

My heartfelt condolences to Peter's wife Megan and children and to Erika, Doc and families for your loss.

Jennifer Wideberg

September 7, 2020

Remembering Pete fondly today, and sending love and prayers to the Mazza family.

Deepest condolences,
Jenn Wideberg (Weedie, Yale ‘01)

Kevin Kelly

September 6, 2020

If a man is measured by:

The intensity with which family and friends mourn his passing;
The kindness and respect with which he approached all people;
The reverence in which he held his family;
The public service to which he committed himself, at the expense of more remunerative employment;
The courage with which he accepted his unfair fate;
The esteem in which he was held not simply by family, friends, teammates, and colleagues, but by opponents and adversaries; and
The standard and love and decency to which he held himself accountable....

Then we now bid a final farewell to a great man. Rest in peace, Pete -- gone but never forgotten.

Kevin Kelly

Janice Conner Germann

September 5, 2020

My deepest sympathy to you and family.

James Perlotto, M.D.

September 5, 2020

I knew Pete well when he was a student / athlete at Yale. I had the privilege of serving as one of the Team Physicians for the Yale Football team. I remember Pete as a stand out in every way: a true leader, a calming presence, a hard worker and one who deeply cared about every person on the team. I have tremendous respect and affection for Pete and I am so saddened to learn of his early death from Colon Cancer. Sending love and comforting thoughts to his family and all of his friends. James M. Perlotto, M.D. (Guilford, CT) P.S.: my nephew Jake McAlinden just graduated from Cheshire High School where he followed in Pete's footsteps as a star on the Football Team. I will share Pete's story of inspiration with Jake. Pete's love will live on.

Julie McGaugh

September 5, 2020

Thinking of you at this sad time.......love has no boundaries even those that divide heaven and earth. So whenever you feel sad, your hearts are always connectedo together.

Julie McGaugh

September 5, 2020

Thinking of you and your family. Love knows no boundaries

even those that divide heaven and earth. So whenever you feel sad, just remember, your hearts
are connected together.

Julie McGaugh

September 5, 2020

Love knows no boundaries even those that divide heaven and earth. So whenever you feel sad just remember your hearts are always connested together. Thinking of you and your family.

Steve and Kathy Addazio

September 4, 2020

I was privileged to coach Peter in high school, and be a part of his life. Pete was a special guy, from a young age, who had the immeasurable “IT” factor. His toughness, character, passion for the game and ability to lift others around him was everything you hoped for. He was caring, respectful, always put the team and others first, and his work ethic was outstanding. All unsurprising, if you knew his parents. Cheshire was lucky to have the Mazza family.
While he had a remarkable high school career, it unsurprisingly didn’t end there for Pete. He went on to be an incredible leader and captain at Yale, earn his law degree at Michigan and have a prestigious career. I followed Pete’s journey from afar with love and pride.
While I didn’t have the great chance to meet his wife and children, his family was clearly his greatest accomplishment of all. I would just like to say to his kids that while your time with your dad was much too short, please know that you have a special father, who has left behind an extraordinary legacy you will be able to carry with you forever.
We will always carry a special place in our heart for the Mazza family.
Steve and Kathy Addazio

FROM THE FAMILY

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