Jan Mauritz

March 8, 1946 - December 28, 2020

Obituary

Born on March 8, 1946 in Weiden, Germany, Jan carried the values of justice, kindness, and gratitude with him when he immigrated to the US at 19 for an education and to pursue his American Dream. As a new immigrant, he bagged groceries, traveled selling magazines, and worked the night shift at the New York City YMCA. When Jan and his future wife Pamela Brys were introduced by a mutual friend, Pam journaled that she had “met the most wonderful man.” After he graduated from City University of New York and Boston University Law School, Jan and Pam drove across the country with friends adventuring, landing in Washington in 1976. Together, they had two daughters and Jan established his law firm in Tacoma. 

Because Jan’s family had been persecuted in the Holocaust due to their Jehovah’s Witness faith and because he had fled as a child from East Germany to democratic West Germany, Jan held skepticism towards ideologies and was a fiercely independent thinker. When he went through the Rite of Chritistian Initiation at the age of 62, he brought constant questions and inquiries, culminating in his Baptism in the Catholic Church on Easter Vigil. 

Jan’s greatest joys came from playing with dogs and his grandchildren, sharing stories, and learning news and ideas from around the world. In his neighborhood, he knew every dog’s name (not necessarily their humans’) and was known to pull over the car to hand out treats. He was excited to add men to his family when Andrea and Sabrina married Zack and Chevy, but the tenderness in him from being in a home with only women for decades could not be hidden. Each time he met a new grandchild, he held them gently to his cheek and often began to sing old German songs.  He was proud of representing his clients in their pursuits for justice, as well as his charity work with the Knights of Columbus. He was as fierce as he was gentle, as passionate as he was grounded in his values. 

He is preceded in death by his courageous grandparents, Ernst and Betty, who raised him, his mother and step-father, his nephew, John Welch, and several beloved family pets. 

He is remembered with love by his wife of fifty years Pamela Brys, sister Connie Noble, daughters Andrea Anderson (husband Zack) and Sabrina (husband Chevy Midas), in-laws Sandra and Bill Welch, grandchildren Leo, Charlotte, Vincent, and Hendrix, and many caring neighbors and friends. 

Friends are invited to join a Virtual Celebration of Jan’s Life on Wed., Jan. 27th 5:30pm PST. Please email sabrina.mauritz@gmail.com for Zoom information. A small funeral Mass will be held on Thurs., Jan. 28th at St. Theresa’s parish; please contact the family if you’d like to attend.

Here Jan will have the last word: “I am learning that God is love. I really believe that. God is love.”

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Carolyn Wood
Carolyn Wood
14 days ago

A truly gentle man. His warmth, compassion, and intelligence created ripples that will live on in the world, How lucky I am to have known someone who makes saying goodbye so hard.

Jane Marie Ryan
Jane Marie Ryan
13 days ago

This is so beautiful. Clearly he was a wonderful human being who was deeply loved and cherished. My thoughts are with you all. Especially to Andrea, whom I know from PLU. After reading this about your father Andrea, it is clear that you carry his spirit and heart with you in all you do and in who you are. Peace, Jane Ryan.

David C Snell
David C Snell
1 day ago

My buddy Jan was a steadfast friend and frequent collaborator. One of by favorite attorneys in the County. I will miss him.

rogers Wilson
rogers Wilson
1 day ago

I first met Jan in 1980 when I first entered private law practice. My office was next to his at 402 Tacoma Avenue South where Jan shared office space with Graves and Staurset (Starsky and Hutch, my wife called them, after a TV show popular at the time). Although I never saw Jan there, I often joked that we had the best office location in Tacoma, being directly above a state liquor store. Jan and I talked often during those years. From the outset I was struck by his kindness and selflessness. In what must have been hundreds of conversations, I never once heard him say an unkind word about anyone. After several years, I moved to a new location and for the last 35 years my contact with Jan was sporadic. Each time I saw him, he always had a smile and a kind word to say. He was a true gentleman, a fine lawyer, and though it is often hard to tell these days, he left the world a better place than he found it.

tom west
tom west
1 day ago

I have been practicing law now for over 45 years, and although we soon forget the cases , as lawyers we remember our opponents, fondly or not. Jan was one of the good memories and not because I won the case. He was really smart, considerate, and had command of the facts. He was also persistent in pursuing a just result for his client. We resolved the case out of court. I havent seen him for years, but have had phone conversations about things related to our practices on a # of occasions, and he was always helpful. Although we weren’t friends, he was the kind of guy you wouldn’t mind being called his friend. I am sorry for his passing. From the photos it looks like he really enjoyed his family. Although this is a tough time for them, I bet they will have wonderful memories.

Evelyn Popa
Evelyn Popa
21 hours ago

Jan (and Pam) are two of the most lovely people I have ever met and I miss knowing that he is no longer in this world. We need more men like Jan—forthright always and upright, too. Rest in peace now Mr. Mauritz until we meet again. And Pam, you are always in my heart and remain ever in my prayers.
Much love, Evelyn

Barbara Jo Jo Sylvester
Barbara Jo Jo Sylvester
14 hours ago

I enjoyed knowing and working with Jan as a fellow Board member for our children’s school, and fellow attorney, although our practice areas were not the same. Always the gentleman with a happy spirit, he was also a hard worker, with the best interests of his family at heart. He was the type of person and lawyer I have strived to be. It is an honor to have been known as his colleague and friend. My condolences to Pam and the girls, and I hope it gives you comfort to know we will all see Jan again one day.