Mother of boy who called Notre Dame play dies

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- The mother of a boy granted a dying wish to call a football play for Notre Dame died eight months after her son.

Cathy Mazurkiewicz died Wednesday at 46 at her parents' home in Bodfish, Calif., of melanoma, said her daughter, Katrin Seymour. Montana, 10, died of inoperable brain cancer.

"Me and my sister were with her," Seymour said. "She took a few soft breaths, gave a smile, then she was gone."

Cathy Mazurkiewicz, the mother of six children, knew her health was failing when her son died but kept it quiet.

"When she was taking care of Montana she hardly had time to focus on her own illness," said Seymour, who lives in Alhambra, Calif., east of Los Angeles.

Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis visited Montana Mazurkiewicz in Mishawaka, outside South Bend, last September before Notre Dame played Washington. Weis asked if there was something he could do, and he agreed to let Montana call the first play against Washington. Montana called "pass right."

Weis called for a pass right on the first play of the game even though the Irish started on their 1-yard line. Tight end Anthony Fasano caught the pass and leaped over a defender for a 13-yard gain.

Montana never got to see the play, though. He had died the day before.

Cathy Mazurkiewicz said after the game that she couldn't believe Weis called the play after the Irish started with their backs to the goal line.

"It was an amazing play. Montana would have been very pleased. I was very pleased," she said. "I was just so overwhelmed. I couldn't watch much more."

Mazurkiewicz moved near Seymour shortly after Montana died.

Seymour said Mazurkiewicz was as big a fan of Notre Dame as Montana was.

"In fact, she had two tattoos," she said.

Seymour said her mother's death came almost as a relief.

"She struggled for a long time with pain and disability," she said. "It was a blessing to see she was at peace."

A memorial service is planned for June 3, Seymour said.