OBITUARY: Jane Matz, 87, Longtime Resident And Discover Burien Volunteer

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OBITUARY: Jane Matz, 87, Longtime Resident And Discover Burien Volunteer
July 11, 2011 4:00 pm
July 11, 2011 6:00 pm
June 13, 2011
Jane Matz Celebration of Life at The Mark
(206) 241-6275
Google Map
918 SW 152nd Street, Burien, WA, 98166, United States

Longtime Burien resident and Discover Burien volunteer Jane Knight Hendricks Matz, 87, passed peacefully away on Monday, June 6th, 2011, surrounded by her loving family, who followed a tradition of farewells and childhood storytelling at her bedside.

“She was diagnosed with bladder cancer when she and I worked together at Discover Burien,” said former DB Executive Director Patty Sader. “In true Jane fashion, she accepted the diagnosis with grace and dignity, and vowed that cancer would not rule her life or define who she was. My life is richer for having had her in it!”

“She was such an incredible person,” added DB Event Manager Debra George. “We’d all just love to live our lives like she did. She had so many stories, and it was such a pleasure when she’d come to our Friday night group and share them with us. I just wish I could be half the person she was.”

Former Executive Director Steve Gilbert said “Jane was such a vivacious person. She had a sparkle in her eye every single time we got together. We’d leave each other little notes in the office, and those were fun. She was such a dynamic person – she couldn’t have been taller than 4’10” yet she had more love of life in that tiny little body than nearly anybody I’ve met. She’s one of those people that makes you feel like you’re a better person just because you knew her. I always got such positive energy from her. I miss that woman so much, I really do.”

Former Discover Burien Executive Director Steve Gilbert with Jane Matz in March, 2010.

There will be a ‘Celebration of Life Party’ for Jane from 4 p.m. – 6 p.m. on Monday, July 11th at The Mark Restaurant. “Come and bring all your favorite stories to celebrate,” reads the event page.

Here’s more from a tribute on Jane’s Facebook Page:

Jane, a resident of Seahurst and Burien for over 60 years, was born and raised in Ohio, graduating from Mineral Ridge High School in 1941 and was Gamma Sigma at Youngstown State University followed by Kansas City Flight School. On graduation from flight school she packed up and moved to the west coast to become one of the first U.S. stewardesses.

Jane loved flying and gave up her career only when she met and married the love of her life, pilot, John Patrick Hendricks (Pat). Pat’s family had roots in Burien since the 1930’s and the couple settled in Burien in 1951 when they started their own family.

While maintaining a residence in Burien, Pat’s adventurous flying engagements moved the family around from California to Alaska until his untimely death in an Idaho plane crash in 1960. Jane and her three children continued to travel for some time until landing permanently back in Burien.

Through the travails and dark days of losing Pat and raising her young children alone, Jane maintained an uncommonly strong love of people, travel and life. Wherever she landed throughout the world, she made friends.

She then met and married pilot, George E. Matz, and they were happily married sharing their love of flying and traveling to far flung corners of the country. In 1996 George passed on and Jane continued her interest in aviation supporting the Museum of Flight, Aviation High School and the education and growth of her grandchildren.

Jane’s presence was always evident having worked for the Burien Chamber of Commerce, Bells of Burien and most recently, as a volunteer of Discover Burien where she was awarded Volunteer of the Year the last several years running. She is recalled by area residents and business owners as a happy-go-lucky, life-loving personality who lived a vibrant and colorful life.

On the west coast, she is survived by her daughter, Kathy Christensen and husband Steve, son Michael Blessworth and wife Nancy, daughter, Kim Hendricks and grandchildren, Nick Christensen and wife Rebecca, Erika, Dane and Brando Christensen, Monet Hendricks and nephews Steve and Cliff Hetherington. In the eastern U.S. she is survived by her sister, Edith Burge and husband Bruce and nieces and nephews including Sandy, Holly, Linda, Julie, Bruce, Nancy, Mark and many in the next generations of Burge Country plus sister-in-law Audrey Knight (beloved Gabe Knight, deceased), niece Gale, nephew Johnny and their next generation.

Jane is also survived by lifelong, uncountable friends who became as family in her heart as she was in theirs.

As Jane sails into her next life, she is thanked for all the contributions and joy she brought to this one. Dancing the skies on laughter-silvered wings she graced our lives. She will be missed.

Jane Knight Hendricks Matz
Through Alaska to Seattle I came,
And met a Grand Dame.
She was mighty though small in statue;
To friends and family loyal and true.
Her love for us was unconditional,
Even when she wondered if we were being rational.
The stars became brighter on June 6th 2011,
The night the Angels came and lifted her to heaven.
Mary Jane Matz from Ohio,
You will always be my HERO!!

– Patty Lynch Ehnle Ramirez

In lieu of flowers, please contribute to The Jane Hendricks Matz Scholarship Fund through Aviation High School at 615 South 200th Street, Des Moines, WA 98198 (206)-716-0006.