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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Donald R. Matrone, 78, of Battle Creek, Michigan


Donald R. Matrone, 78, of Battle Creek, Michigan, died at Battle Creek Health System on Sunday, June 27, 2010.

Don was born on July 4, 1931, to Theodore and Mary (Evanco) Winnie in Olean, New York and later adopted by his stepfather.

He began working early in life and competed academically in high school to attain good grades and represented his class as an officer, in basketball and in school plays. Don served in the U.S. Air Force and in 1951, came to Battle Creek, where he was stationed with the AC & W Squadron at Ft. Custer. After being honorably discharged as a staff sergeant in 1954, he made Battle Creek his home.

In 1958, Don graduated from Western Michigan University with a Bachelors in Business Administration. He was employed by the Kellogg Company 1958-1964, joined John ter Avest Agency 1964-66 and retired in 1991, as Marketing Training Manager for Clark Equipment Company, where he was employed 25 years.

After retirement, he operated D.J. Advertising & Marketing and A2Z Ad Specialties, selling promotional and marketing materials.

Don married Jean L. Agnew on September 29, 1951 at the First Presbyterian Church in Battle Creek, MI.

He was preceded in death by Jean, his wife of over 50 years on July 14, 2002; his daughter, Martha L. (Matrone) Altenburg and granddaughter, Amy Helen Altenburg on May 11, 1985; his mother; brothers, George and John; and sisters, Mary Lou and Elizabeth.

Surviving are his son-in-law, John Altenburg and his family; a brother, Nick and sisters, Carol Spearen and Pat VanGorder all of Port Allegany, PA and sisters, Anne Perking of Pinehurst, NC, and Jeanne Howlett of Emporium, PA. Also surviving are his close friend, Polly M. Sanchez De Leon and his best friend, Ted Sovern.


Don spent most of his life promoting Battle Creek and was an active member of numerous boards and organizations. He loved his community and served as a Battle Creek City Commissioner 1969-1972. Don was an officer and board member of the Battle Creek Jaycees, a board member for Battle Creek Unlimited, Cereal City Development Corporation, Junior Achievement and Big Brother/ Big Sisters. He served on the board and as an Ambassador for the Battle Creek Area Chamber of Commerce.

Don was a member of the Study Council for Battle Creek Township Needs and active with the Battle Creek Community Foundation, where he created a scholarship fund in honor of his daughter, Martha. He was an active member of Chapel Hill United Methodist Church.

Friends will be received 4:00 - 7:00 p.m. Wednesday at the Farley-Estes & Dowdle Funeral Home. Services to celebrate Don's life will be officiated by Rev. Dr. James M. Gysel at the funeral home 11:00 a.m. Thursday, July 1, 2010. Interment will follow at Memorial Park Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Martha Matrone Altenburg Scholarship Fund through the Battle Creek Community Foundation, Junior Achievement or the Humane Society. Personal messages for the family may be placed at www.farleyestesdowdle.com.

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