Gale B. Matelic

Gale B. Matelic passed away Saturday, February 23, 2013 at home. He was born October 8, 1939 to John and Clara (Sedlich) Matelic. He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Tony and Helen Matelic; parents, John and Clara Matelic; and an older brother, Frank Matelic.

Gale was a career Army Officer. He began his military career in 1957 as an Illinois National Guardsman until he enlisted for active duty in the United States Army. He served in Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Okinawa, Philippines, Panama, and state side. He was seriously wounded in action and spent 14 months in the hospital.

He was awarded the following Decorations, Medals, Badges, and Citations: Two Bronze medals w/v device; Two Purple hearts; Meritorious service medal (2 OLC); Army commendation medal (1 OLC); Presidential unit citation, Meritorious unit commendation, National defense service medal; Vietnam service medal; Vietnam campaign medal w/60 device; Vietnamese cross of gallantry w/palm; Combat infantryman badge; Parachute badge; Expert Infantry badge; Vietnam jump wings; Thailand jump wings; Philippine jump wings; Armed Forces reserve medal; Army service ribbon; and Overseas service ribbon. He also received a special commendation from a private Chinese Army in Vietnam.

He is survived by his wife, Judy (Baker) Matelic and step-children, Wes (Laurie) Taylor and Terri Taylor. His grandchildren are: Ryan Taylor, Kassie (Kaleb) Johnson, Caitlin (Luke) Cash, Ben Burroughs, Payton Taylor, and great grandson Aiden Taylor all of West Frankfort.

Gale graduated from Frankfort Community High School, Class of 1958. He earned his Bachelor's degree in Political Science and Business from Chaminade College while stationed in Oahu, Hawaii.

Gale was a lifelong member of St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, Knights of Columbus, Moose Lodge, lifetime member of VFW Post 5764, member of Disabled Veterans (DAV), served as West Frankfort Merit Board Secretary for 10 years, on the Board of Directors for Bend of the Rivers, Relay for Life, numerous fishing and bass clubs, and other civic organizations.

Military rites will be accorded by the American Legion Post 1961 of Orient, Zeigler Post 177, VFW Post 5764 of West Frankfort and Marion National Honor Guard on Saturday, March 2, 2013 at 3 p.m. in the St. John's Catholic Cemetery – West Frankfort, Illinois.

Union Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Online condolences of sympathy may be made at

Published in Daily American News from Feb. 25 to Mar. 2, 2013