Welcome to the memorial page for

Joseph Sanders Matz

June 6, 1927 ~ September 20, 2017 (age 90)

Joseph Sanders Matz, age 90, of Harlingen, Texas, entered into eternal rest on Wednesday, September 20, 2017, after a brief illness.

He was a lifelong resident of Southwest Virginia; however, he made Harlingen, Texas, his second home in 2005.

Joseph was born on June 6, 1927, in Bland County, Virginia to Louis and Bertha Matz.  He was a Corporal in the armed forces during the Korean War and proudly participated in many local veteran activities both in Virginia and Texas.

After returning from Korea, he returned to his job at the Radford Army Ammunition Plant located in Radford, Virginia, where he completed 38 years of dedicated service.  He married Lorine Davis in 1964 and they made their home in Bland County, Virginia, with their daughter, Joanne.  Joseph retired in 1989 and eagerly pursued his love of farming in Bland County, Virginia.  He was a member of the Davis United Methodist Church. He previously served on the Bland County Rescue Squad board of directors, and was a former member of the Little Creek Volunteer Fire department and Bland County American Legion.

Joseph Matz was preceded in death by his parents, Louis and Bertha Matz, his beloved wife of 40 years, Lorine D. Matz, who he lovingly referred to as “Sugar”.  He was also preceded in death by his brothers, Richard Matz (Mildred) of Virginia, Louis Matz, of West Virginia, Haymaker French of North Carolina, and sister Agnes Terry of Virginia.

He is survived by his daughter, Joanne Benavides of Harlingen, Texas and his two grandchildren, Ryan and Allyson Benavides of Austin, Texas.  They were the center of his life and he never missed a ballgame, track meet, graduation, or special event.

He is also survived by his brother Dan French, NC, and several brother and sister in laws, as well as many nieces and nephews.  The special people in his life are too numerous to name; but clearly, he loved each of them with all his heart. 

Joseph Matz was fondly known as “Paw Paw Joe” to many in the Harlingen area.  He was a surrogate Grandpa to many and he loved each of them as if they were his own grandchildren.  His love of McDonald’s coffee and donuts became a distinctive trademark to those who knew and loved him. Although he was a farmer, he was never a pet lover, until five beagles entered his life and captured his heart. Leon, Gunter, Bridget, Nix and Cleo loved and depended on him.  He was an exceptional man who will be greatly missed by many. 

Per his request, a graveside service for family and friends will be held in Virginia at a later date with Interment of ashes in the West End Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you please make a donation to a charity of your choice.

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