John Matis

John W. Matis

Monday December 16, 1935 - Tuesday January 28, 2020
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Matis, John W., 84, of Maplewood, passed away peacefully on January 28, 2020, surrounded by his family. Born in Newark, he lived in Maplewood for the past 53 years. John earned his Master’s Degree in Education from Newark State Teachers College. He worked for 33 years with the City of Elizabeth School District teaching math at Alexander Hamilton Junior High School, retiring in 1992.

John was an avid photographer and was a member of Morris Photo Color Club. He loved spending time outdoors, taking afternoon rides, and visiting nature parks with his camera in hand. He shared his pictures with family and friends, gifting annual calendars featuring some of his favorite photos.

Besides his love of being outdoors, John loved traveling, especially visiting Cape Cod in the summer with family. He was an excellent cook and was known for his homemade meatballs, chocolate mousse and baked goods that he shared with many. If he wasn’t cooking you could find him at the Park Wood Diner where he was a regular.

John had a passion for live theatre and music and shared this with his family and friends. He frequented the Paper Mill Playhouse, Broadway/NYC, and other local theatres including his grandchildren’s school productions. Where there was a show, he was in the audience. He was also an avid Mets fan.

John worshipped at St. Joseph Church in Maplewood through the years and regularly attended mass at St. Barnabas Medical Center Chapel in Livingston.

John is predeceased by his wife Florence P. (nee Meehan) Matis in 2001. He is survived by his daughters, Valerie Matis and Theresa Ockershausen and his son and daughter-in-law, Steven and Heather Matis; his sister and brother-in-law, Linda and Samuel Terravecchia; and his grandchildren, Logan and Autumn Ockershausen and Alexandra (Lexi) Matis; as well as extended family and close friends.

Visitation will be 4PM to 8PM on Monday, February 3, 2020 and 8:30AM to 9:30AM on Tuesday, February 4, 2020 at Bradley Smith & Smith Funeral Home, 415 Morris Ave., Springfield. A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered 10:30AM on Tuesday, February 4, 2020 at St. Joseph Church, 767 Prospect St., Maplewood. Burial will follow at Gate of Heaven Cemetery, East Hanover. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to The Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge, 32 Pleasant Plains Rd., Basking Ridge, NJ 07920. For online condolences, please visit
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Monday February 3, 2020 | 4:00pm - 8:00pm
    Monday February 3, 2020 4:00pm - 8:00pm
    Bradley Smith & Smith Funeral Home
    415 Morris Avenue
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Second Visitation

    Tuesday February 4, 2020 | 8:45am - 9:45am
    Tuesday February 4, 2020 8:45am - 9:45am
    Bradley Smith & Smith Funeral Home
    415 Morris Avenue
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Service

    Tuesday February 4, 2020 | 10:30am
    Tuesday February 4, 2020 10:30am
    St. Joseph Church
    767 Prospect Ave.
    MAPLEWOOD, NJ 07040
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Rev. James Worth
  • Interment

    Gate of Heaven Cemetery
    225 Ridgedale Ave.
    EAST HANOVER, NJ 07936
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Irene Szakielo

Posted at 01:11pm
I worked with John as a fellow math teacher for many years at Alexander Hamilton Middle School and remember him fondly. We shared lessons, went to math conferences together and enjoyed sharing ideas and generally supporting each other and our colleagues. I remember John doing the New York Times crossword puzzle, he was very good at it. During the holidays when we had treats in the library for the teachers John usually brought in his homemade Kailua cake or lace cookies that were so delicious! He had a great sense of humor, was always smiling and always a gentleman.
He was very proud of his loving wife, Flos, and his children. They broke the mold when God made John, may he Rest In Peace.
Irene Szakielo

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