Dr. George Lionel Mizner passed away peacefully on September 14, 2022, at the age of 92. He was born Georg Lionel Deutch on May 14, 1930 in Vienna, Austria, the eldest son of Erwin Deutsch and Elisabeth (Liesl) Mizner.
The family fled Austria on May 8th 1938. Though they were secular Jews, and fully assimilated, George’s mother, Liesl, recognized the danger. Nazis came to the house, and simply took items of value – including the 7-year-old George’s piggy bank. Liesl spent the next year getting the family to safety. Eventually, George, his mother, and younger brother made their way to England, where they spent the remainder of the war. George’s father joined the French Resistance.
In 1945 with the cessation of the war in Europe, the United States accepted Liesl’s application to immigrate. When their father decided to remain in France, Liesl, George and John changed their last name from Deutsch to Mizner.
George got scholarships to attend Stuyvesant High School, Antioch College and Rochester Medical School, doing both a pediatric residency at Yale and then a psychiatric residency back at Rochester. He met Joanne Osborne at the end of college, and they married in 1954. After residency, with Joanne and their two small daughters in tow, he served two years in the US Air Force in Bitburg, Germany.
The family returned to the States in 1963, and chose Colorado as their new home. The Rocky Mountains reminded George of the Austrian Alps, with access to the skiing, backpacking, hunting, fishing and camping that he so loved.
George became a Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Colorado School of Medicine in Denver, and the Director of the Outpatient Clinic at the Colorado Psychiatric Hospital. Later he became Medical Director for Brady Psychiatric Hospital in Colorado Springs. He also served as President of the Colorado Psychiatric Society and assembly representative to the American Psychiatric Association.
George and Joanne retired to Vail in the early 90’s. Not long after, George began getting symptoms from the lung disease that would eventually cause his death. But, if any of you were on the slopes between 2000 and 2010, and saw a man zooming down the mountain with a liquid oxygen tank on his back – that was George.
In 2011, Joanne died after a long, but graceful, decline from Alzheimer’s disease. Six years later, George married Carolyn Smith. Together, they pursued the joys of travel, friends, grandchildren, and each other’s company.
George is survived by his wife Carolyn, his daughters, Gail and Susan Mizner, son-in-law Michael Kendrick, and his three grandchildren, Matt Kendrick, Zach Kendrick, and Jonathan Palash-Mizner.