J. Ed “Van” Van Matre was born May 7, 1937, to John and Marjorie Van Matre in the rural community of Downey, Calif. During his time in the Navy, he served in combat during the Vietnam War with the 3rd Marine Division, a.k.a. the “Walking Dead Division” due to the high rate of KIA & WIA, traveled to all of the continents, and was able to sing with “Barbershop Quartets” all over Europe. After retiring from the Navy in 1977, Van worked for Encinitas Mortuary as an embalmer and funeral director until his retirement in 2002. After moving to the KRV in 2005, Van became an active member of the F&GHC, St. Sherrian’s Episcopal Church, and Elks Lodge #2358.
Van would want you to remember that he was so very blessed to be able to pursue his two great passions in life: chasing the “northern lights” and gazing at the stars.
I choose not to mourn the loss I feel, but will celebrate our more than 50 years of marriage, friendship and adventures together. I invite you to celebrate Van with me.
Van went home December 13, 2017, while a patient at Cedars Sinai Medical Center, Los Angeles, Calif. Van is survived by his wife of 50-plus years, Sherry, of Wofford Heights, Calif., and cousin, Martha Tallent of Reedville, Va.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests a donation be made to: Elks Lodge #2358 (Christmas Fund) P.O. Box 58, Wofford Heights, CA, 93285, or St. Sherrian’s Episcopal Church P.O. Box 1837, Kernville, CA, 93238.
A funeral service for Van will be held at St. Sherrian’s Episcopal Church, 251 Big Blue Road, Kernville, CA, 93238, 11:00 am, January 13, 2018.