Mazelle ‘Cheesecake Lady’ Bohacz dies at 53
Dedicated alum was co-chair of the Class of '78 30th reunion
Dedicated alum Mazelle Ablon Bohacz ’78, known affectionately as the 'Cheesecake Lady' in her native Dallas and as 'Muz' by her many Brandeis friends, died on Dec. 30, 2010, after a nine-month battle with pancreatic cancer.
A successful entrepreneur, she built Mazelle's Cheesecakes, Concoctions, Creative Kitchen into a national brand that serviced thousands of restaurants nationwide. Her decadent desserts were also offered by American Airlines to its first-class passengers.
“She was the Ben and the Jerry of unjust desserts. Just reading the ingredients could bring on cardiac arrest,” Cheryl Hall, a business writer for the Dallas Morning News, wrote in a tribute column published on Jan. 4. “She'd pack on 20 pounds doing culinary R&D and then plunge into Weight Watcher's mode to take it off. She walked up to 12 miles daily before exercise was vogue.”
In 2001, at the age of 44, Mazelle sold the business and became her husband Kevin’s partner at CPrompt, an e-business consulting firm. She stayed connected with Brandeis in the years following her graduation with a degree in American studies, but became more involved when she volunteered to serve as co-chair of the Class of 1978’s 30th Reunion. Through her commitment and hard work, the June 2008 get-together set records for attendance and the size of the class gift.
“I had the pleasure of working with Muz on that reunion in 2008, and it's more than fair to say that she single-handedly brought the Class of 1978 together to create a weekend that all of us who attended will always remember,” Mark Surchin ’78 said. “Her boundless energy and larger-than-life personality not only reunited old friends, but resulted in many of us getting to know classmates we never knew when we were on campus.”
In recognition of her work, she received the Service to the Alumni Association Award. She was the inspiration for last year’s creation of the Mazelle "Muz" Ablon Bohacz Award, which is given annually to reunion chairs who demonstrate similar enthusiasm and dedication. She was also a generous donor to the university.
“Through force of personality and around-the-clock commitment, she had a unique way of engaging people,” said Myles Weisenberg ’78, vice president of development at Brandeis. “We will all miss her very much, but her spirit will live on.”
After receiving her cancer diagnosis in March 2010, Mazelle turned to her Brandeis family for opinions, expertise, introductions, referrals to specialists, and -- most of all -- friendship.
The Mazelle "Muz" Ablon Bohacz Scholarship Fund has been established in her memory. Gifts can be made online or by calling Orla Kane (800-333-1948).
An on-campus memorial service is being planned.
In addition to her husband of 15 years, she leaves her parents, Fred and Suzanne; two sisters, Rachelle and Bari; and a brother, Baron.