Mr. Leon G. Matte
decorated veteran of WWII
; age 91
LOWELL, MA -- Mr. Leon G. Matte, age 91, a longtime resident of the Pawtucketville section of Lowell, died Sunday, January 20, 2013, at a local healthcare facility. He was the husband of Rita Y. (Martineau) (Durand) Matte and the late Laura (Pintal) Matte.
Born in Lowell, MA on September 16, 1921 he was a son of the late Edmond and Amanda (Cantin) Matte.
Leon was a highly decorated U.S. Army
veteran of World War II having entered in 1942. He was a Staff Sergeant in the 134th Infantry Company of the Army's 34th Division. His unit landed on the coast of France at Omaha Beach in 1944 with the objective of capturing the town of Saint-Lo. Leon's assignment was to watch where his unit's mortar shells were falling and communicate back to them. While in France he had been struck by German shells, sending shrapnel into his arms and legs, fusing his fingers together and on a separate incident being shot by a gunner lodging a bullet in his back. His honorable discharge came in 1945 having received the European African Middle Eastern Theatre Ribbon with Three Bronze Stars
, Three Purple Heart
s, the Good Conduct Ribbon and the Combat Infantry Badge.
After returning home from the war, he began working as a delivery man for Sunbeam Breads for over 30 years and later was employed as a clerk for the United States Postal Service in Dracut.
He was a parishioner of the former Ste Jeanne d'Arc Church and more recently of Ste. Marguerite D'Youville Parish in Dracut. He was a longtime well respected member of the Saint Vincent de Paul Society, having served for 63 years in the former Ste. Jeanne d'Arc Conference and more recently St. Rita Conference. He was a Past President of the Particular Council of Society of St. Vincent de Paul Lowell District, a Past President and longtime board member of the Boston Archdiocesan Council of Society of St. Vincent de Paul, where the conference room is named after him at their office in Stoughton.
Leon was also a former Chairman of the American Red Cross Blood Bank and the founder of the former Ste Jeanne d'Arc Chapter.
Leon will always be remembered for his love of golf and skiing, spending his winters in Florida and the willingness to help those in need.
Surviving him in addition to his wife Rita, are a daughter, Elaine C. Matte of FL; four stepsons, Robert R. Durand and his wife Jackie of Lowell, Ronald P. Durand and his companion Nancy of Lowell, Kenneth M. Durand and his wife Michelle of Jaffrey, NH and Paul G. Durand and his wife Coleen of Nashua, NH; a step daughter, Denise M. Durand of Dracut; thirteen step grandchildren; eleven step great-grandchildren; a very special friend, Connie G. Leclair of FL; two sisters-in- law, Simone Rousseau of FL and Therese Pintal of Lowell; also several nieces, nephews and dear friends.
He was also the brother of the late Roger, Paul and Raymond Matte.
MATTE -- Mr. Leon G. Matte. It being his request, there will be no visiting hours. Relatives and friends are invited to attend his funeral mass on Friday morning at 9 o'clock in Ste. Marguerite D'Youville Parish, 1340 Lakeview Avenue, Dracut. Burial with military honors will follow in St. Joseph Cemetery, Chelmsford. Those wishing may make a memorial donation to St. Vincent de Paul Society, St. Rita Conference, P.O. Box 914., Lowell, MA 01853. Arrangements by the ROLAND W. MARTIN FUNERAL HOME, 308 Pawtucket St., Lowell. For online condolences or directions, please visit www.martinfuneralhome.net