ForeverMissed

This memorial website was created in memory of Erica (Jackie) Mazzara 93 years old, born on December 15, 1925 and died on December 22, 2018. She will be remembered.

Posted by Agnes Pollock on April 25, 2019
Jackie was a delightful friend who loved opera, good books, her family and friends, and animals. The photo of the laughing young Jackie is wonderful, but I loved the older lady holding the cat.

Fondly, Aggie Pollock

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Posted by Agnes Pollock on April 25, 2019
Jackie was a delightful friend who loved opera, good books, her family and friends, and animals. The photo of the laughing young Jackie is wonderful, but I loved the older lady holding the cat.

Fondly, Aggie Pollock
her Life

Obituary.

Erica “Jackie” Mazzara aged 93 died this past December 22nd in Birmingham, Alabama, she died with her son Ben Mazzara by her side.


She was born Dec 15th 1925 in Berlin Germany, the daughter of Walther Jachmann and Gertrude Charlotte Maire. The family name became Jackman in 1937 when her father moved his immediate family out of Germany to England. His brother Martin soon followed.
The family lived in Manchester after arriving in England, and then moved to Wembley just northwest of London, in the spring of 1938. Erica’s mother had died very early, when she was only 11 years old, as with most, this greatly affected her. Her father died in 1947. Erica attended the Wembley Girls Grammar school where her report cards always said she was a happy child.


By age 16, Erica had a job in a millinery shop on Bond Street in London. The family was interned on the Isle of Man from May 1940 to June of 1941 after the start of World War II in Europe. After this she went to live with Ilse and Richard Ottenberg, who had barely escaped Germany in the last days it was possible, their home was in Derby in the Derbyshire district. The Ottenbergs became very well known doll makers. They were one of only three official doll makers to produce a Queen Elizabeth Coronation doll in 1953. Erica remained very close to the Ottenbergs for the rest of their lives. Many beautiful things in her home came from them over the years.

After 1941 Erica worked as a secretary for the Midlands Railway Company in Derby. Before the end of the war she worked for the US Army as a secretary.  At the close of the war and into 1946 she received a position with the US Army’s Civil Censorship Division, this division was hunting Nazis who had escaped from Germany. She was posted to the Frankfurt Germany area.


On the first day she arrived in Frankfurt she met Captain Vincent Mazzara of Birmingham, AL who had stayed with the US Army occupation forces. It was genuine love at first sight. It was soon after this that Vincent gave her the nickname “Jackie”, a nickname only known stateside, in England and Europe, she was always Erica.


They were married in August 1947 in Germany. Vincent had taken a job with Stars and Stripes so they could continue to live in the Offenbach neighborhood of Frankfurt. They stayed to early 1950, traveling in Europe constantly, with their French poodle “Pookie”.

In early 1950 they traveled on the QE2 to NY and made their way to Vincent’s home town of Birmingham. Their daughter Vivien was born in late August of 1950. A son, (Vincent Ben Mazzara) followed in September of 1953. Most of the next two decades she spent raising her children.


In 1955 “Jackie” joined the Unitarian Church of Birmingham, she eventually became their longest serving and oldest member, attending and participating there into her 92nd year. She was always very comfortable and happy with all of her friends at the UUCB, it was a very important part of her life. 


In the early Sixties she belonged to the “Friendship and Action” Committee in the Birmingham area., this group of about 20 women, white and black made contributions toward racial equality. This group sponsored many activities, including ensuring there was always a white family eating at the lunch counters in downtown Birmingham. The lunch counters which had been integrated, and boycotted by whites. 

For many years she spent her Saturday afternoons baking European cakes and cookies while listening to the NY Met Opera Saturday matinees.

By the mid- seventies she started teaching French at the Holy Family High School in Ensley AL. She also participated in the Holy Family French Club. (She very fondly recalled teaching the students in the French Club some of her baking skills.). Her fondness for Holy Family, her students, the headmaster and fellow teachers lasted the rest of her life.

Teaching at Holy Family led to her interest in doing more teaching, so she set about getting her Masters at UAB. Once she attained her Masters in the late Seventies she began teaching freshmen English at UAB, and continued this for several years. Her love of literature was lifelong.Additionally she was very active with a local play reading group and the AAUW Birmingham Branch morning book group.

Erica (Jackie) Mazzara was preceded in death by her husband of 59 years, Vincent in 2006, and her daughter Vivien in 2012. Erica is survived by her son Vincent (Ben) Mazzara of Birmingham, her brother Gerald Jackman of Leeds England, a half brother Robert Jackman and half sister Irene Marcus of London, England, and a first cousin, Eve Carvill in Bridlington, England, and all of their families.


The family would like to thank Ms Barbara Brooks for her help spanning several years, and especially for her great assistance in the final year.


In lieu of flowers, please send any donations in her name to one of her many interests: The World Wildlife Fund, Greenpeace, the NRDC, or the Alabama Wildlife Center. 

A Memorial Service will be held Sunday May 19th at 1:00pm at the Unitarian Church of Birmingham, 4300 Hampton Heights Drive, 35209.

Obituary

Erica “Jackie” Mazzara aged 93 died this past December 22nd in Birmingham.

She was born Dec 15th, 1925 in Berlin Germany, the daughter of Walther Jachmann and Gertrude Charlotte Maire. Along with her brother Gerald, the family enjoyed a comfortable life and travelled widely.

This existence came to an end in January 1933 with the rise of Hitler. Her father was Jewish and although Erica was not brought up in that religion, she became subject to various restrictions that manifested themselves over the coming years, relating to schooling, freedom of movement and social interaction. Erica’s mother then died suddenly in 1936, which left a void in her life that affected her greatly.

Her father Walther recognized the worsening situation under the Nazis and emigrated with Erica and Gerald to England in 1937. Walther married Wera, a fellow émigré and they lived first in Manchester and then moved to Wembley, northwest London in the spring of 1938.

Erica attended the Wembley Girls Grammar school where her report cards always said she was a ‘happy child.’ This was despite the traumas that she had gone through to date, showing her strength of character and resilience - traits that were evident throughout her life.

As “enemy aliens,” the family was interned during the early stages of World War II from May 1940 to October 1941 in the Isle of Man, an island off the west coast of England. Soon after their return to Wembley, Erica began employment in a millinery shop on the fashionable Bond Street in London.

At this point she went to live with Ilse and Richard Ottenberg, who had managed to escape from Germany just before the beginning of World War II. Their home was in Derby in the county of Derbyshire, two hours north of London. The Ottenbergs became very well known doll makers and were one of only three official doll makers to produce a Queen Elizabeth Coronation doll in 1953. She remained very close to the Ottenbergs for the rest of their lives. Many beautiful things in her home came from the Ottenbergs over the years.

Erica worked as a secretary for the Midlands Railway Company in Derby. Some time before the end of the war she went to work for the US Army as a secretary.At the close of the war and in to 1946 she attained a position with the US Army’s Civil Censorship Division, which was hunting Nazis who had escaped from Germany. She was posted to the Frankfurt Germany area. In December 1946 Erica became a naturalized British citizen and the family name was officially changed to ‘Jackman.’

On the first day she arrived in the Frankfurt area she met Captain Vincent Mazzara of Birmingham, AL who had stayed with the US Army occupation forces. It was genuine love at first sight. It was soon after this that Vincent gave her the nickname “Jackie”, a nickname only known stateside; in England and Europe, she was always Erica

Erica and Vincent were married in 1947. Sadly, her father had died a few months before. Vincent took a job with Stars and Stripes, so they could continue to live in the Offenbach neighborhood of Frankfurt and travel throughout Europe along with their standard French (but from Antwerp) poodle “Pookie”.

In early 1950, they traveled on the QE2 to NY and made their way to Vincent’s home town of Birmingham. Their daughter Vivien was born in late August of 1950. A son Vincent Ben Mazzara followed in September of 1953. Most of the next two decades were spent raising her children.

In 1955 “Jackie” joined the Unitarian Church of Birmingham, she eventually became their longest serving and oldest member, attending and participating into her 92nd year. She was always very comfortable and happy with all of her friends at the UUCB, it was a very important part of her life.

In the early 1960s she belonged to the Friendship and Action group in the Birmingham area. Organized by Peggy Fuller, it was a group of about 20 women, white and black. One thing this group did was make sure there was always a white family eating at the lunch counters in downtown Birmingham which had been integrated, and then boycotted by all of the areas whites.

For many years she spent her Saturday afternoons baking European cakes and cookies while listening to the NY Met Opera Saturday matinees.

By the mid 1970s she started teaching French at the Holy Family High School in Ensley AL. There was also a French Club at Holy Family. Her fondness for Holy Family, her students, the headmaster and fellow teachers lasted the rest of her life. She very fondly recalled teaching the students in the French Club some of her baking skills.

Teaching at Holy Family led to her interest in taking part in more teaching, so she set about getting her Masters at UAB. Once she attained her Masters in the late 1970s she started teaching freshmen English at UAB for several years. Additionally, she was very active in several play reading and books groups and the Birmingham Branch of the AAUW.

Erica/Jackie is survived by her son Vincent (Ben) Mazzara of Birmingham, and her English relatives: brother Gerald in Leeds; sister Irene and brother Robert in London, from her father’s second marriage; first cousin Eve in Bridlington; and all of their families, who remember her with much love and affection.

The family would like to thank Ms Barbara Brooks for her help spanning several years, and especially for her great assistance in the final year.

In lieu of flowers, any donations in her name can please be sent to one of her many interests, the World Wildlife Fund, Greenpeace, the NRDC, or the Alabama Wildlife Center.

A Memorial Service will be held Sunday May 19th at 1:00pm at the Unitarian Church of Birmingham, 4300 Hampton Heights Drive, 35209.

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