Clarence De Mattei

Jul 10th, 1930 - Mar 1st, 2018

Visitation:

Mitchell-Hughes Funeral Home

Wed, Mar. 7th, 2018 4 pm - 8 pm

Service:

St. Joseph Catholic Church

Thu, Mar. 8th, 2018 10 am

Burial:

Rose Hill Cemetery

Thu, Mar. 8th, 2018

Clarence De Mattei

Clarence De Mattei, 87, passed away Thursday, March 1, 2018, at 3:42 am at Heartland Regional Medical Center.

Clarence was born in his home in Benton, Illinois, on July 10, 1930, to Aldo Giuseppe Angelo (Joe) and Ernestine (Lovati) De Mattei from Cuggiono, Milano, Italy.

He graduated from Benton High School in 1948 and enlisted in the Navy. He returned and earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from Southern Illinois University in 1952.  His passions were woodworking, craftsmanship, drafting, construction, and athletics, and he had a positive impact on hundreds of students, athletes, and colleagues.  He married his high school sweetheart and love of his life, Mary Jean O’Hara De Mattei, in 1954.  He was blessed with six children, eight grandchildren, and great-grandbaby soon to be born.  Clarence relished every minute that he spent with his family.

Clarence was preceded in death by his wife, Mary Jean, after 63 years of marriage. Also, preceded by his parents, sister Theresa (De Mattei) and her husband William Barminski, sister Josephine (De Mattei) and her husband Richard Nash, brother Aldo De Mattei, brother William “Chick” De Mattei and his wife Vera (Austin), and one nephew Tommy Barminiski.

He is survived by many beloved family members including: son J.J. and his wife, Teresa, of Centralia, son Clay and his wife, Lety, of Marion, son Mike and his wife, Ronda, of Marion, daughter Gina Crippen and her husband, Larry of Mooresville, North Carolina, son John of Berthoud, Colorado, and daughter Jenna Fletcher and her husband, John, of Marion. Grandchildren are Brad and (Britni) De Mattei of Manchester, Missouri, Bryan and (Kellee)

De Mattei of Marion, Emily De Mattei of Marion, Brody De Mattei of St. Louis, Missouri, Kevin Crippen of Kannapolis, North Carolina, Clay and (McKenzie) Crippen of Athens, Georgia, Caroline Fletcher of Marion, and David Fletcher of Marion. He is also survived by several nieces and nephews.

Clarence was a faithful member of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Marion 63 years and frequented the 8am service at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church in Herrin. He was of member of the Knights of Columbus # 8210, a blood donor for the American Red Cross for many years, and a member of the Illinois Retired Teacher’s Association (IRTA).  Clarence was a member and volunteer at the Williamson County Historical Museum in Marion.  He created several historical displays for the museum with the Southern Illinois Coal artifacts being one of the most extensive projects.  Clarence helped restore the Williamson County Jail and was instrumental with its enlistment on the National Register of Historic Places for its original architecture and has helped other historic properties be listed too.  He was a life time member of the Local Carpenter’s Union (LCU) and the United Brotherhood of Carpenter’s (UBC), and he has been a member at the Old Marion Country Club for 48 years where he and his family spent many hours picnicking, swimming, fishing, and hunting.  Clarence’s informal card playing group called the “Raccoon Club” enjoyed the Marion Country Club too.

Clarence or Clay or “Coach” as many call him, was a teacher, coach, and Athletic Director for Marion Unit 2 for 35 years. He was a Marion Wildcat fan and watched, listened to, and read about Marion Athletics for 65 years.  As a football coach he helped build a winning dynasty at Marion High School.  The members of his undefeated team of 1963 were still in contact with him today.  In his role as Athletic Director, he was instrumental in establishing new sports at Marion High School and helped lead the way for girls’ sports in the 60s and 70s.  In the classroom, he provided his students with skills that they would be able to use for life.  Clarence, Clay, or Coach, he was a legend for Marion Wildcat Athletics.  His efforts did not stop at church, home, and work, he used his skills to help community efforts. He was always generous to people who seemed to be “down on their luck.”

Clarence enjoyed teaching, coaching, building houses, woodworking jobs, repairs, sports, yard work, and many collections. For 63 years, he and his wife worked side-by-side to fulfill their dreams.  Besides raising six children and eight grandchildren, together they built or remodeled all of their children’s homes, and spent ten years restoring and preserving their historic Stotlar-De Mattei Home in Marion.  Clarence attended his children’s and grandchildren’s athletic events and other extra-curricular events without fail.  If there was not a local athletic event on a certain day, it was sure that he was watching it on television or listening on the radio.

Clarence’s wife, children, grandchildren, and many beloved family, friends, and former students and athletes made his life fulfilling. He will be cherished and his legacy as a Christian, husband, father, grandfather, friend, and coach will live on.

The funeral mass will be Thursday, March 8, 2018 at 10 am at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Marion with Monsignor Thomas Flach officiating. Burial will follow in Rose Hill Cemetery.  Military rites will be presented by members of the Marion VFW Post #1301, American Legion Post #147 and the Navy Flag Detail Unit.  Visitation will be Wednesday evening from 4 pm – 8 pm at Mitchell-Hughes Funeral Home.

Memorials may be made to the Mary Jean and Clarence De Mattei Elite 8 Marion Unit 2 Foundation Scholarship or the Williamson County Historical Museum in Marion. Envelopes will be available at the church or by mail to Mitchell-Hughes Funeral Home, 800 North Market Street, Marion, Illinois  62959.

 

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31 Guestbook Messages

  • Guest: Ron “Pokey” Miller

    From: Naples, Florida

    Date: March 2, 2018

    Thank you Coach for your commitment to Marion and our students. I was blessed to have been a Wildcat. I have also coached now for 36 years. I learned from some of the best ever. You are in that group. Thank you and RIP Good and Faithful Servant.

  • Guest: Ron Frye

    From: Godfrey, Illinois

    Date: March 2, 2018

    Many life lesson learned while drawing floor plans and talking. A Good Man.

  • Guest: Cristina Lovati

    From: Cuggiono, Illinois

    Date: March 2, 2018

    Ciao Clarence from your beloved Cugion!!! It was always a pleasure speaking with you at the phone in old italian language… a language we don’t speak anymore… it was your own language! You were alyways inviting us… thank you! We’ll always remember you, you and Mary Jean had been a geat example to follow, a meeting of your souls!!! Reading this presentation you had a great life and you spent it for your family (we know) but also for other people… everyone miss you!!!
    A great huge and kiss to all of yuor daughters and sons and to all the members of their family!!! Cristina with Enzo, Lety, Sam, Enrico with Angela, Nicoletta with Ermanno and twins Benedetta and Carola

  • Guest: Franco Monica Veronica Giannina

    From: Cuggiono Italia, Illinois

    Date: March 3, 2018

    Clarence, a week before you left, you called us, your voice was loud and clear, we had fun, I was very happy to hear you cheerful with the usual strength.
    You gave great strength to all the people you met during your life.
    THANK YOU!!!
    A big hug to all your children and grandchildren.
    Ciao from Cuggiono!
    Giannina, Franco with Monica and Veronica

  • Guest: Fred and Rita Monroe

    From: Marion, Illinois

    Date: March 3, 2018

    This great man will truly be missed.

  • Guest: Nicoletta

    From: Cuggiono, Illinois

    Date: March 3, 2018

    Dear Clarence,even if I ve met you Just once,your Life has been a Grest exemple!
    I ‘ve often spoken to my students about your history and how you have re_met your beloved Land of roots. Thanks!
    A piece of our Cugion in Merica. Thanks. A reciprocal pray. Thanks!
    Keeping you and your big family in my Heart.
    Arrivederci!
    Nicoletta

  • Guest: David Arnold

    From: Marion, Illinois

    Date: March 3, 2018

    Our sympathies to the DeMattei family.

  • Guest: Kathy and Mike Lober

    From: Marion, Illinois

    Date: March 3, 2018

    We are so sorry for your families loss. He was a great man. Our condolences.

  • Guest: Ron Morrison

    From: Santa Fe, New Mexico

    Date: March 3, 2018

    Will miss you coach. Glad we had lunch together and a private tour of your home. All memories from football have, over the years, become pleasant memories. May you be reunited with the love of your life.

  • Guest: Christina Katubig Schellhardt

    From: St. Louis, Missouri

    Date: March 3, 2018

    Sending our love and saying many prayers for your family at this time. Much love.

  • Guest: Nancy Lawrance

    From: Richmond, Texas

    Date: March 3, 2018

    So sorry for your loss, Gina, and to the rest of your family as well. Your dad was always very nice to me.

  • Guest: Ray Hancock

    From: Marion, Illinois

    Date: March 3, 2018

    Clearance DeMattei and Mary Jean are our long-time
    friends and colleagues. They always exemplified high character, a strong work ethic, and impeccable professional ethics, leaders with a great sense of humor and a humanitarian perspective. They are a team again on the long road to immortality. . Ray and Ruth.

  • Guest: Renee and Bruce

    From: Marion, Illinois

    Date: March 3, 2018

    Sorry to here of Coach passing. Our paths crossed many times as we covered sports for the newspaper. Prayers for the families as you go through this difficult time.

  • Guest: David Lee

    From: Fairview Heights , Illinois

    Date: March 3, 2018

    I learned so much from Clay. He always treated me, a minor person with respect. So easy to talk to and always in a good mood. Clay hosted the Old South Seven Athletic Directors at his lake cabin. Times were so enjoyable, thanks to Clay, back in those times. Last saw Clay at a Marion basketball game, watching his grandson. Great family man. Taken so many great stories to his resting place, R.I.P. Clay.

  • Guest: Christina Bearden-White

    From: Levelland, Texas

    Date: March 3, 2018

    I’m so sorry to hear of Clarence’s passing.

  • Guest: Mark & Carole (Crisp) Schwarm

    From: Paducah , Kentucky

    Date: March 3, 2018

    What a true privilege it has been to know him and the entire DeMattei family. Our prayers are with you.

  • Guest: Keith Baldinger

    From: Springfield, Missouri

    Date: March 3, 2018

    Sincerest condolences and heartfelt prayers to the entire Demattei family. Coach’s legacy and upstanding character will live on and never be forgotten.

  • Guest: Gina Murphy

    From: Champaign , Illinois

    Date: March 4, 2018

    Rest In Peace Mr. DeMattei. You were a positive force in many young lives.

  • Guest: Cheche Castellano

    From: Marion, Illinois

    Date: March 4, 2018

    What a wonderful man! That smile of his was infectious! My heartfelt prayers to the family for your loss at this time.

  • Guest: Sushil and Neelam Tibrewala

    From: Carbondale , Illinois

    Date: March 4, 2018

    Sorry to hear about your loss.
    Our condolences to the family.
    Sushil and Neelam Tibrewala

  • Guest: Linda Leivo

    From: La Jolla, , California

    Date: March 5, 2018

    Thoughts and sympathies with you all. Very full life.

  • Guest: Marcia Elliott

    From: Marion, Illinois

    Date: March 5, 2018

    Clarence was a great man!!! My live and sympathy to the entire family.

  • Guest: Scott DeMattei

    From: Zanesville, Ohio

    Date: March 5, 2018

    So sorry to hear about your father passing and so soon after losing your mother. They were both great people and made huge positive impact on your lives and on the lives of many others. I really appreciate the many times your dad allowed us the use of his cottage, while we were visiting. We will have your family in our thoughts and prayers.

    Unfortunately, I will not be able to get to Illinois to attended the services. My wife just had surgery last Friday and is still recovering. May god be with you.
    Love,
    Scott & Marilyn DeMattei

  • Guest: Lella Lovati

    From: Cuggiono, Illinois

    Date: March 5, 2018

    Ciao Clarence, it was nice to meet you! You have dedicated your life to your family and your students.
    You had a special bond with us all and with Cugion even if you have only been there once.
    We will never forget the day we spent together in Milano. You were very happy:you and Mary Jean!
    We remember you ordered “risotto giallo” at the restaurant, commenting then that it was just like what your mother prepared. The bond with your origins was always very strong!!!
    A big hub to all your children and grandchildren.
    Rosa,Lella ed Emilio

  • Guest: Lella Lovati

    From: Cuggiono, Illinois

    Date: March 5, 2018

    Ciao Clarence, it was nice to meet you! You have dedicated your life to your family and your students.
    You had a special bond with us all and with Cugion even if you have only been there once.
    We will never forget the day we spent together in Milano. You were very happy:you and Mary Jean!
    We remember you ordered “risotto giallo” at the restaurant, commenting then that it was just like what your mother prepared. The bond with your origins was always very strong!!!
    A big hug to all your children and grandchildren.
    Rosa,Lella ed Emilio

  • Guest: Enrico “Chico” Castellano

    From: Marion , Illinois

    Date: March 5, 2018

    Mr. DeMattei had a major impact on my life. He and his family taught me so much and helped shape me into the person I am today and I’m sure so many others. I owe them all so much. We will all miss you and thank you from the bottom of my heart and thank you for all of your hard work and dedication to Marion Unit 2 schools, Marion athletics and our community. RIP

  • Guest: James and Carol McNary

    From: O'Fallon, Illinois

    Date: March 6, 2018

    Heart felt condolences to the entire family of Clay. A pleasure to have known him and to have taught some of his kids. This world will miss a man of his considerable attributes. God Bless.

  • Guest: Bill Hill (class of 1966)

    From: Moberly, Missouri

    Date: March 6, 2018

    There is so much I can say about this man but space here does not allow. Suffice to say that I thought about “coach” from time-to-time through the years and his impact upon a 16 year old boy – one of his many football players (1965-66). One of his many attributes was that he was a leader. That, in my humble opinion, is a difficult label to affix to a person, but easily attached to his persona. I will never forget one halftime when we were not playing up to his standard he simply addressed us by saying that he didn’t chew a__. We chewed our own a__. I don’t know if he knew he was borrowing Shakespeare who stated, “It is not in the stars that we are underlings but in ourselves”. He didn’t need to call out our faults, our actions were testimony enough. I’ll never forget this lesson and this man.

  • Guest: Terry and Debby DeMattei

    From: Clayton, North Carolina

    Date: March 6, 2018

    So sorry to hear of Uncle Clay’s passing. He was a great man as well as a loving husband and father. We will keep all of you in our thoughts and prayers.

  • Guest: Louise Bratzel

    From: Marion, Illinois

    Date: March 7, 2018

    So sorry to hear of Mr. DeMattei’s passing. Thoughts and prayers are with you.

  • Guest: Paul Lunsford MHS 74

    From: Carterville, Illinois

    Date: March 10, 2018

    Thanks for My values in life. Faith, Family, Friends.

    Thanks for my career, it began in your classroom.
    I learned multi-tasking from the best. Full-Time Teacher , Full-Time Athletic Director, Carpenter / Builder.

    You and Mary Jean welcomed me to your family sharing meals at your table when I was alone.

    I will always love your family as I love my own.

    Scratch Missy on the head, give Whiffer a nod and Hug and Kiss Mary Jean.

    God Speed Ckarence and God bless your soul!