John F. Marozza, 69, city police officer, horse breeder

May 16, 1999|By Frederick N. Rasmussen | Frederick N. Rasmussen,SUN STAFF

John Frank Marozza, founder and former owner of T.L.C. Horse Transport and a thoroughbred breeder, died May 9 from complications of diabetes at Anne Arundel Medical Center in Annapolis. The Severna Park resident was 69.

A robust man who began riding horses as a 9-year-old growing up in Hagerstown, Mr. Marozza had bred thoroughbreds and appaloosas since 1970 at his 78-acre Windsor Hills Farm in Everett, Pa.

In 1983, he began Tender Loving Care Horse Transport, better known as T.L.C. Horse Transport, with a Ford pickup and a trailer that could carry two horses.

Mr. Marozza quickly earned a reputation for reliability in transporting precious and sometimes moody horses.

It wasn't unusual for him to transport horses from Canada to New Orleans and up and down the East Coast.

Thomas R. Srock of Severn, who purchased the business from Mr. Marozza in 1993, got to know him when he hired him to pick up one of his fillies in South Carolina and he went along for the ride.

Mr. Srock accompanied Mr. Marozza on his travels for two months, learning his tricks for handling horses, before he took over the business.

"We became close and fast friends, and in addition to horses, we both liked listening to Patsy Cline tapes as we drove along," Mr. Srock said Friday.

Mr. Marozza was an "excellent navigator," he said.

"He had such a knowledge of roads that if there were a traffic jam or accident, he'd get you on a new road real fast," he said, laughing.

Mr. Srock recalled a time in Sweetwater, Tenn., when one of a pair of thoroughbreds they had picked up at an auction refused to eat or drink.

"In order to get the horse some nourishment and water, he wet the animal's hay with apple juice. He knew that horses like apples, and he thought once the horse smelled the apple juice, he would begin eating, and he was right," Mr. Srock said.

"He had a whole collection of little quirks in dealing with horses that he passed along to me, and he was strictly very serious when it came to his work. There were horses that no one else could load -- but he could. And he never raised a whip. He just had a knack in working with them," said Mr. Srock.

Mr. Marozza, who loved animals, at various times raised llamas, burros, ducks and even worms, which produced organic soil he sold from his home near the Magothy River.

Born and raised in Hagerstown, Mr. Marozza was a graduate of Augusta Military Academy in Staunton, Va., and attended Newport News College.

During the Korean War, he served with the Army and saw heavy infantry action. He was discharged in 1952 after the death of a family member.

He joined the Baltimore Police Department as a patrolman assigned to the Southwestern District in 1958 and retired in the early 1980s at Central District.

In addition to being an outdoorsman, Mr. Marozza was an enthusiastic collector of hats. He was seldom without his favorite Green Hornet baseball cap.

He had been a longtime communicant and usher at St. John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church, where a Mass of Christian burial was offered Thursday.

He is survived by his wife of 42 years, the former Mary Theresa Sayers; three sons, Michael J. Marozza, Mark T. Marozza and David J. Marozza, all of Severna Park; and two grandchildren.

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