By Mark Hanzlik
Martin Hanzlik, a former YMCA executive and Novato resident since 1963, died Oct. 11 as a result of a heart attack. Local family members were at his side during his passing at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in San Rafael.
Marty was born in Des Moines, Iowa, on June 13, 1926, the son of Paul and Rose Hanzlik. He attended Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa, where he met Mary Voorhees, and both graduated from the University of Iowa in 1949. He married Mary in Washington, Iowa, on Aug. 19, 1950.
Shortly after, the couple settled in Modesto, where he began a lifelong professional career with the YMCA. He had additional “Y” positions in San Mateo in 1954, and St. Louis in 1959. In 1963, Marty settled his family in Novato after he accepted the executive director position at the Marin YMCA.
He was a born camper, first with the YMCA in his youth, later as a "Y" director and most importantly with his own family.
From 1970 until retirement in 1984, Marty was vice president of personnel at the San Francisco YMCA. He continued his lifelong service to others after retirement by serving as an interim executive director at the Marin YMCA and the Novato Human Needs Center, where he was also on the board.
Marty was a long-time gamer — fantasy football, puzzles, solitaire and hearts. Throughout his life he loved the outdoors and camping, especially water, in which he could move with ease. In his later years, he was kayaking in Baja or bodysurfing in the blue waters of Hawaii. Marty and Mary enjoyed traveling in their RV across the country and annually to Baja. At home in Novato, they were both members of the Novato United Methodist Church.
In addition to his wife, Mary, he is survived by: Matthew (Susan) Hanzlik of Pacifica; Mark (Mary Lou) Hanzlik of Sacramento; Megan (Doug) Erlendson of Santa Rosa; and Martha (Maureen) Hanzlik of West Hartford, Conn. He is also survived by seven grandchildren (Evan, Katie, Neal, Andrew, Jimmy, Lucas, Macy) and sister Gene Ana (Robert) Hawthorne of San Jose. Marty’s grandchildren adored him while learning the art of transforming cheap paper plates into fine art by using them as paint canvases, and also acting out classic campfire skits.
The family is grateful for the care provided by the medical professionals at Kaiser Permanente. The family would also like to thank their friends and community for their support. Memorial gifts in honor of Marty can be made to Novato United Methodist Church and the Marin YMCA.
Would you like to share your memories or wish the family well? Add a comment below.