The man lovingly referred to by friends and family as “Mr. NAU” will be remembered at a service at 11 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 10, at Saints Peter and Paul Catholic Church, 1946 E. Lee St.
Sam Borozan, who graduated from the Flagstaff campus in 1957, died on Thursday, July 25. He was 90.
Borozan spent much of the past six decades around Northern Arizona University, working in the financial aid and university’s alumni relations office.
Borozan, who served in the Marine Corp. for six years during the Korean War, was born in Bisbee but raised in Tucson.
He leaves behind his older sister, Milena Parber, 92. His brothers, Michael and George (a longtime local broadcaster), passed away in years past.
A graduate of Tucson High School, Borozan also spent much of his free time after graduating with a bachelors and two master’s degrees from NAU working as an official in numerous sports for the Arizona Interscholastic Association.
Parber described her late younger brother as a kind soul who enlisted in the Marines out of high school, despite having a stomach ulcer that should have disqualified him from serving.
Instead, Borozan worked as a line cook at Camp Pendleton in San Diego, dishing out food to grunts and generals alike.
“I was tickled by his enthusiasm for the job,” Parber said via email. “He sent me an official Marine cookbook, explaining, ‘It’s easy, Micki, just divide everything in the recipe book by a thousand!’”
Borozan’s enthusiasm for sports, including his longstanding presence on the links of Randolph Park and other Tucson city facilities, earned him the respect of Tucsonans of all ages, according to Parber.
His larger-than-life presence some 250 miles north at NAU earned Borozan the respect of Vice President for Intercollegiate Athletics Mike Marlow.
“Sam is a mental snapshot that generations of past student-athletes will carry with them forever," Marlow said in a statement remembering Borozan. “NAU Athletics is eternally grateful for the passion that Sam consistently exhibited proudly for his beloved Lumberjacks."
Perhaps the greatest passion in Borozan’s life besides athletics was the simple act of photography, shooting countless portrait and landscape shots of his surroundings.
The first-generation college graduate later would teach classes in NAU’s health science department, while remaining a constant presence at Lumberjack athletic events, always with camera in hand.
Borozan’s commitment to the Flagstaff university also included work to launch a scholarship for the school’s women’s soccer program in 2000, as well as the Borozan Memorial Scholarship Fund to honor his late father, Stevan, who passed away from silicosis in 1934.
Borozan was inducted into the NAU Athletics Hall of Fame in 2004, as well as the Arizona Softball Hall of Fame for his work as an umpire in 2003.
Saturday’s service will be followed by a gathering of friends and family at the church’s Madonna Hall following the service.
Friends and family are encouraged to “pay it forward” by donating to the NAU Sam S. Borozan Soccer Scholarship Endowment in lieu of flowers. Donations can be sent to PO Box 15400, Flagstaff, Arizona 856011.