One of the oldest and most historic buildings on Hill Air Force Base was renamed March 18 for the man who was most instrumental in preserving it.
During a ceremony held at the Hill Aerospace Museum, the museum's chapel was renamed for Col. Nathan Mazer, who, along with other Top of Utah community efforts, helped get the museum built and brought the chapel there.
The newly named Mazer Memorial Chapel was dedicated on the 100th anniversary of its namesake's birth.
The chapel was built in late 1942, renovated in 1945 after a major fire and again remodeled in 1948.
Col. Patrick Higby, 75th Air Base Wing commander, said during its "active duty" service, the chapel was the site of many baby blessings, weddings and funerals.
It was replaced by a new base chapel in 1964, but continued to serve as an education building and then as a storage facility before it was scheduled for demolition in 1984.
Rather than see the old chapel destroyed, Mazer, working with the Aerospace Heritage Foundation of Utah, spearheaded a fundraising campaign to relocate the building to the museum grounds and restore the structure to its World War II configuration and appearance.
When the renovated chapel was rededicated in 1989, it became a permanent part of the museum.
"Why is this chapel here?" said Lt. Gen. Marc Reynolds, chairman of the Aerospace Heritage Foundation. "There were a lot of people involved, but Nate was definitely at the head of the pack."
Jack Price, vice chairman of the Heritage Foundation, said Mazer was relentless in his quest not only to preserve the chapel, but also to have it prominently displayed and used by the museum.
"Most of the ideas about what to do with this chapel came from Nate," Price said.
Mazer was born March 11, 1911, in Philadelphia. He was drafted into the Army in 1941 and later joined the Air Force, retiring at Malmstrom AFB in Montana in 1964.
He then moved to Roy and began working at Hill. He later became a local civic leader as the director of business generation for Ogden and helped develop the Ogden Business Park.
He lived in the area until his death in 2006. He is buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
"This chapel was the culmination of what my dad was," said Mazer's daughter, Harriet Mazer. "At the very end of his life, he was still trying to buy pieces of history for it. He would have been very happy to see this day."