Dr. James Matthew Volkel passed away Saturday, Jan. 24, 2015 at the age of 61. He was born June 16, 1953 in Evanston, Illinois to the late James S. and Patricia A. (Rowan) Volkel. Matt was united in marriage to Tracy Bell in 2003.
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Matt graduated from Forest Hills High School in 1971. He then went on to receive his Bachelor's and Master's degree's at Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana. He graduated from medical school at the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington. He then practiced emergency medicine at Battle Creek Health Systems for 25 years, retiring in 2007.
He married Linda Whittle Newblom in 1972 and in 1977, their daughter Sara Kate was born. Matt and Linda divorced in 1980, but remained close and raised Sara jointly. In 2003, he married his longtime love Tracy Bell and they spent the past 11 years together.
Matt was a very kind man with a big heart. He was an advocate for abused women and children and those who could not stand up for themselves. He was well respected by his colleagues and friends and always had a joke and a smile for whomever crossed his path.
Matt is survived by his wife, Tracy Volkel; daughter, Sara (Mike) Volkel-Redd; siblings, Kathy (Scott) Stoll, Sue (Thomas) Lenny, Betsy (Carl) Maness and Ann (David) Palmer; mother-in-law, Judy Ginsberg; twelve nieces and nephews and six great nieces and nephews as well as countless friends and colleagues. The family will greet friends on Saturday, Jan. 31, from 12 – 1:00 p.m. at the Langeland Family Funeral Homes, Westside Chapel, 3926 S. 9th Street, Kalamazoo, Michigan, 49009, where a memorial service will follow at 1:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorials in Matt's name may be directed to Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, www2.jdrf.org.
Langeland Family Funeral Homes - Westside Chapel
3926 South 9th Street
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle from Jan. 29 to Jan. 30, 2015