Charles A. Mattei |
July 7, 1928
April 18, 2014
Four holes-in-one. A leader in the oil industry. 2014 Distinguished Alumni-us of Texas A&M University. A man devoted to his family.
Born in Austin, TX, raised in San Antonio and passed away in The Woodlands, where he has lived for the past [17 years], Charlie Mattei, for all of his 85 years, exemplified a life well lived.
He grew up in San Antonio, TX on Donaldson Avenue and with his younger brother, Joe (pre-deceased), he attended Thomas Jefferson High School where he enjoyed both sports and academics, was a member of the National Honor Society and Student Body President. After graduating in 1945, while still 16 years old, Charlie headed for Texas A&M at College Station. In 1949, he received a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering.
He began his career with the Gulf Oil Corporation in Houston. There he also met and married his beloved wife, Bettie Borden Mattei. On April 29th of 2014, they would have celebrated their 64th Wedding Anniversary.
Gulf Oil transferred him to Beaumont, TX and he became District Manager in 1958. More transfers followed including New Orleans, LA, St. Louis, MO, Tulsa, OK, Houston TX (twice) and Atlanta, GA. As an industry spokesman, he appeared in an interview with Dan Rather on 60 Minutes. In 1985, he retired as Vice President for the Southeast Region after 36 years of service.
Charlie then joined CITGO Petroleum Corporation as Vice-President and also Chairman/CEO of both Cit-Con Oil Company and Catco Oil Company, subsidiaries, until his second retirement in 1996.
An enthusiastic Aggie and active supporter of Texas A&M, Charlie served as President of both the Beaumont and Tulsa A&M Clubs and President of both the 12th Man Foundation and the Sul Ross Group. He also served on the Vision 2020 Task Force, the Corps Development Council, the Corps of Cadets Association, The Texas A&M President's Board of Visitors and President's Council of Advisors.
In 2009, he was selected by the Houston A&M Club as Outstanding Houston Aggie. He supported the Corps with several Sul Ross and Rudder scholarships, individually, with the Class of '49, and with the Sul Ross Group. Along with his wife, Bettie, they permanently funded the installation of concrete plaques showing the intramural championship awards won by Corps outfits since the 1930's, located in front of Duncan Dining Center at A&M, College Station. In March 2011, he was inducted into the Corps of Cadets Hall of Honor. On March 5, 2014, a committee from Texas A&M presented him with its highest honor, 2014 Distinguished Alumnus.
Charlie's civic activities included past General Chairman of the Babe Zaharias Open of the LPGA tour in Beaumont, TX, and past President of Rotary, Boy Scouts Century Club and 10 years on the Labor Day MDA Telethon with Jerry Lewis. He served 7 years as a volunteer on the Principal's Advisory Committee at Galatas Elementary School in The Woodlands.
Charlie and Bettie both loved to travel. On business and for pleasure he traveled the world, visiting every continent except Antarctica. Some of his favorite trips included a safari in Tanzania and Kenya, visiting pyramids and riding camels in Egypt, meeting distant French relatives in Corsica, and traveling overnight in a sleeper berth on the Orient Express. He also loved golf and played at many courses in his travels, including in Taiwan, Ireland and Scotland. Stateside, Charlie had 4 holes-in-one, his most recent being in 2000 on the tough No. 2 hole at the Palmer General Course of the Woodlands Country Club when he was almost 73 years old!
Charlie is survived by his wife, Bettie, of The Woodlands, daughter, Gail Lowell (David), sons, Jim Mattei (Carol) and Bob Mattei (Debbie) and 7 grandchildren: Michelle, Jennifer, Gregory, Victoria, Emily, Robby and Joseph. He is pre-deceased by his oldest son, Charles B. Mattei. Many extended family, business associates, friends, and neighbors will remember this wonderful man and "a life well-lived".
A private funeral, conducted by Fr. David Konderla of St. Mary's Catholic Center at Texas A&M, was held in the chapel at Forest Park, The Woodlands, on April 21, 2014.
Published in Houston Chronicle on Apr. 27, 2014