July 17, 1924 - December 14, 2023
December 29, 2023 | 9:30 A.M. to 10:30 A.M.
- St. John Neumann Catholic Church St. Charles
- December 29, 2023 | 10:30 A.M.
- St. John Neumann Catholic Church St. Charles
Patricia Ann (Adams) Matz, age 99, passed away on Dec. 14th, 2023 in her hometown of 53 years, St. Charles, IL, leaving behind a legacy of independence, intelligence, courage, and loving commitment to family.
Patricia Ann Adams was born in Chicago, IL on July 17, 1924, as an only child to her parents Lillian (Leonard) Adams, an aspiring actress, and Willard Carleton Adams, a mining engineer. Patricia’s parents moved from Chicago to Birmingham, AL in 1927, where they held many large parties, as Lillian loved entertaining. “Patsy” enjoyed life from an early age. Late into the evening, Lillian would let Patsy stay and watch the festivities from the stairs. When Lillian told the four-year-old it was time to go to bed, little Patsy strenuously objected, exclaiming “What?! And leave all this?!” She always enjoyed a party-and didn’t want to leave.
Unfortunately, the Great Depression brought an end to the “Glory Days” for her family, and Patricia was sent to live in Wethersfield, CT with her cousins and aunts for a year. Making the best of a difficult situation, she enjoyed her time with extended family, and formed an interest in her Adams family heritage, which included relatives who fought in the Revolutionary War.
When Patricia was 17, the family moved to Evansville, IN where she earned her BS in Chemistry from Evansville University in 1946–a pioneering move when few women entered the science field. She was also the editor of the school newspaper and authored many witty articles. On graduation, she entered the food technology field, where she met her husband Samuel Matz, and went on to work at the US Army’s Quartermaster Food & Container Institute in Chicago, where she proudly received a Commendation from the US Army for process improvement.
After starting a family in 1955, Patricia dedicated herself to creating a home filled with creativity, imagination, and a love of learning, encouraging her children to think for themselves and pursue their individual interests. She always made new friends as the family moved from Chicago to Liverpool, NY, to Brookfield, WI, and finally to St. Charles, IL, in 1970. As a Cub Scout Den Mother, she was a practiced hand at Pinewood Derbies; as a mother of four school-aged kids, she demonstrated remarkable patience by willingly assisting with last-minute paper typing, diorama-crafting, and handmade Halloween costumes. Patricia encouraged self-reliance and exploration, giving her kids the freedom to traverse the neighborhood with friends and ride bikes until dark (“I probably should have worried… But I didn’t”), and read whatever they wanted until they passed out with a book in their hand (no bedtime, as long as you were reading!). She looked forward to summer road trips as a solo parent, loading up the station wagon with kids, donuts, and comic books, and an adventurous spirit willing to stop off wherever looked interesting. She supported their artistic adventures, and rarely missed a concert, play, or Fox Valley Raiders competition. And when it came time for her kids to fly the nest, she encouraged them to take risks, even if it meant going to another country.
Later in life, Patricia worked at General Mills in St. Charles as a food technician, and many sample muffins and Cheerios made their way to eager grandkids. Patricia enjoyed her well-earned retirement after age 70 thoroughly, visiting her children and grandchildren; crossing her fingers for the Packers and Cubs; lunching at The Little Traveler; helping her homebound neighbors; gardening with love; curating her century-old Christmas village; cruising to Norway and Alaska with her cousin Ruth; and spending time in the Adirondack mountains, where she found great solace and serenity.
Above all, family was the cornerstone of Patricia’s life, and her open-door policy was a testament to her generosity of spirit. She was always there to encourage, support, and extend a helping hand without judgment or criticism, instead leading by her example of kindness, ethics, and a healthy dose of good humor.
Patricia is survived by her four children: Victoria Adams and husband Spyros Efthimiades; Don Matz and his wife Cheryl (Kissell); Steve Matz and his wife Jill (Freeman); and Terry Matz and her husband Ken Keller. She also leaves behind 15 treasured grandchildren: Don and Cheryl Matz’ daughters Danielle, Michelle, Catie, Sarah, Mollie, Christina, Gracie and Margaret; and Steve and Jill Matz’ children Betsy, Maria, Margaret, Tom, Peter, John and Bridget. Patricia was also blessed with 25 great-grandchildren.
Patricia will be remembered as an example of resilience, humor, and joy in life. She will be missed, but her loving heart and compassionate nature will forever be a source of strength and inspiration.
A Funeral Mass will be held at St. John Neumann church in St. Charles on Dec. 29th, commencing with visitation at 9:30 AM, followed by the Funeral Mass at 10:30 AM. She will be interred in Wethersfield Village Cemetery in CT.