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James Matzke Sr.

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James Matzke Sr., 84, of Alamogordo, passed away Sunday, March 22, 2009, at his residence. 
He was born Nov. 25, 1924, in Marion, N.D., to John and Ethel (Kaiser) Matzke. He was raised on a farm in North Dakota, remembering the Dust Bowl storm and Great Depression days.
He had only completed the fifth grade in school when he was needed on the farm. He married Helen Jean Schweitzer in 1944 and she assisted him with reading and writing. Together they had five children.
James was a World War II veteran. He served as a Navy quartermaster aboard a flight training aircraft carrier. He retired from Local 150 operating engineers as a master mechanic. He worked on construction projects such as the Garrison Dam, Indiana Toll Road, Interstate 94 and ground work for Bethleham Steel Burns Harbor Plant.
Jim enjoyed hunting, fishing, RV travel, winters on South Padre Island and morning coffee with Oscar and his many friends at Lowe's.
He grew wine grapes on land he purchased in La Porte County, Ind., which won ribbons at Indiana and Michigan state fairs.
James was a member of the National Rifle Association and a lifetime member of the VFW.
Never once did I see my mother and father argue. No matter how tough life got he never missed getting Mother a birthday or anniversary gift. My father once said, "The only problem with women is they don't live long enough." I will always remember that.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Helen Matzke, in 1998; his parents and one brother.
He is survived by one daughter, Linda Polk, of La Porte, Ind.; four sons, James Matzke Jr. and John B. Matzke, both of Alamogordo, Harold Matzke, of Michigan City, Ind., and Robert L. Matzke, of La Porte; 12 grandchildren; several great-grandchildren; three brothers and four sisters.
Grave side services will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, March 28, 2009, at Monte Vista Cemetery with the Rev. Bart Montgomery officiating. Family will greet friends from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Friday, March 27, 2009, at Alamogordo Funeral Home.
The Matzke family has entrusted their loved one to the care of Alamogordo Funeral Home to direct the funeral services.

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Published in Alamogordo Daily News from Mar. 24 to Apr. 7, 2009
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