Rev. Mraz at the monarch butterfly waystation dedication ceremony, held Aug. 15, 2023

Northampton Borough Council opened their meeting on Thursday, May 2 with a moment of silence for community staple Rev. Jerry Mraz. Mraz passed away after a brief battle with illness on April 24. 

Born in Czechoslovakia in 1933, Mraz and his family emigrated to the United States in 1940. He was called to Holy Trinity Slovak Lutheran Church in the borough from 1972-2010 and served as pastor Emeritus until his death. Mraz was a familiar face across the borough, having served as Chaplain for the Northampton Police Department and the Northampton Emergency Corps, in addition to recognition by local organizations like the Northampton Exchange Club, Lehigh Township Lions Club and Chapel of the Four Chaplains Legion of Honor. Over the last several years, Rev. Mraz dedicated himself to the establishment of monarch butterfly waystations along the D&L Trail in Canal Park. 

“There is a lot to be said for what he has done and how he dedicated himself to it,” said Councilman Ronald Glassic. 

“This town has lost a great person whose civic pride and passion surpassed…what anyone expects from a town person,” added Mayor Tony Pristah. Pristash worked closely alongside Rev. Mraz when he joined the Northampton Chamber of Commerce in 2001. 

“Since 2001, Jerry has been the same congenial heartwarming person that he has always been,” Pristash continued. 

“Pastor Mraz was an icon in the town,” said Borough Manager LeRoy Brobst. “He was a good Christian gentleman.”

“He was quite the character,” said Councilwoman Judy Haldeman. “He held all of us accountable on this council. He was tenacious about his passion for the butterfly waystation [and] I certainly hope the community joins us to keep that going.”

For Mayor Pristash, there is no question of whether the waystation will continue. He says scouting organizations and local churches have already gotten involved. 

“Rest peacefully,” said Pristash. “We are going to take it from here…We are destined and responsible to carry that on for him. He did that much for the borough.”


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