Robert passed away peacefully in his sleep Saturday evening April 23rd, 2016. He was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota on June 22, 1923 to Raymond and Lillian Mattern. He was preceded in Death by his loving wife of 52 years, Joan Mattern. Bob and Joan were married May 12, 1945 in Chicago, Illinois. He is survived by his daughters Martha Urlaub of Spring, Texas and Marilee Page of Austin, Texas. Two grandchildren Kristin Haggard of Spring, Texas and Kylene Page of Arlington, Virginia and three wonderful great granddaughters Meghan, Kaitlin and Payton Haggard.
Following an active childhood, he attended the University of Minnesota where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in 1944. Bob enlisted in the United States Navy and he went to Navy Training in Great Lakes, Illinois. He had Navy Electronics Training in Chicago, Illinois for 32 weeks, 12 weeks at Texas A & M University, College Station, Texas and served as a Radio Technician 2nd Class. He served during WWll on the USS Ticonderoga (CV- 14). Bob served from July 1, 1944 to March 2, 1946. Bob returned to the University of Minnesota where he earned his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering in 1952.
Bob began a long and illustrious career with Shell Oil Company in 1952. He traveled with his family throughout the United States where he excelled at assisting new start-ups for Shell. Bob and Joan had developed many lifelong friendships with many of the Shell family. Following his many years he ended his career June 1983 as the Environmental Manager at the Shell Chemical Refinery in Deer Park Texas. After retiring from Shell he took on the mantel of Plant Manager at Gulf Coast Waste Disposal Authority in Pasadena Texas from 1984 to 1989.
After retirement, Bob was a dedicated American Red Cross volunteer for more than 19 years. He was chairman of the Clear Lake disaster team volunteers and was always available to help victims of a disaster. He traveled with his wife, Joan, to disasters in other states, including Puerto Rico. He was also the lead instructor to train other volunteers in Red Cross classes. He was awarded American Red Cross awards for his commitment to help needy disaster victims. He was loved by all and a gentle, sweet caring man.
Bob has long supported education for everyone and in particular the University of Minnesota and here is a quote from the University;
"Bob is a 1944 B.S. and 1952 Ph.D graduate of Chemical Engineering Materials Services School and decided to create the Robert V. Mattern Fellowship in 2005 to assist the department with Campaign FIRST, an initiative aimed at keeping the Department first in reputation and ranking for generations to come. Additionally, Bob enjoys supporting students and currently supports several undergraduates in the CEMS department through the Joan Mattern Scholarship which he created in 2001 in honor of his late wife Joan Mattern."
Following the passing of his beloved wife, Joan, Bob joined Taylor Lake Christian Church of Seabrook, Texas. Bob was a vital part of TLCC; he was a Sunday School teacher, an Elder, the chairman of Evangelism, served in the Men's Fellowship and attended worship even when his health was failing. Bob would say that the fellowship of the church family had become an important part of his life. He also loved his many years singing in the Church Choir. He was a great example to us all.
There will be a full honors Naval memorial service at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia this coming fall as both Bob and Joan are interred there.
A Memorial Service and Celebration of Life in his honor will be held at Taylor Lake Christian Church, 1730 Old Kirby Road in Seabrook, Texas on Saturday May 21st, 2016 at 11:00am. Madella Williams and Wayne Ivy will be the Officiants. Interested parties are welcome to call the church for more information 281-474-2709.