Eleanor's Story

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Eleanor M. (Mrs. Clarence) Matzen, 94, of DeWitt, Iowa, died Saturday evening, May 27, 2017, at Genesis Medical Center-DeWitt.
Eleanor Mae Anna Matzen was born November 12, 1922, on her parents farm south of Calamus to the late Chris and Agnes (Griebel) Grau. She was their youngest child. Eleanor began her education at the age of 4, as she wanted to go along with her brothers and sister. She attended both the country Stone School and Porth School south of Calamus through the 8th grade. Eleanor graduated from Calamus High School in 1939 at the age of 16. She received a teaching certificate from Mt. St. Clare College and taught several years in various country schools including Big Rock, Grand Mound and Calamus.
She met Clarence Matzen at a dance at Fairyland in 1941. They married on July 7, 1942, in her parent's home when Clarence was home on furlough from serving in World War II. Eleanor lived with her parents until he was discharged in December of 1945. They then farmed and raised their family south of Calamus where Eleanor also helped with chores and crops. She loved driving tractors and life on the farm. The couple retired and moved to DeWitt in August of 1990, where she resided until her recent stay at West Wing Place. Clarence preceded Eleanor in death on August 2, 2009, following 67 years of marriage.
Eleanor was a lifetime member of Immanuel Lutheran Church, Grand Mound. Her activities included Ladies Aid, 4-H leader, bowling leagues, several card clubs, Bunco and Bingo at West Wing. Most of all, Eleanor loved spending time with her family.
Those left to honor her memory include her son, Ronnie (Lois) Matzen of DeWitt and daughter, Nancy (Bruce) Johansen of Coralville; four grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren; a sister June Petersen and sisters-in-law, Marcella Grau, Irene Krambeck and Jeannette Stoltenberg; numerous nieces and nephews.
In addition to her husband, Eleanor was preceded in death by a great-granddaughter, Sadie Hope Johansen; an infant sister and brothers, Ralph and Verne Grau.
The family will receive relatives and friends at Schultz Funeral Home, DeWitt from 4:00 until 7:00 p.m. Wednesday, May 31, 2017. A Service of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, June 1, 2017, at Immanuel Lutheran Church, Grand Mound with the Rev. Steve Anderson officiating. Burial will follow at Evergreen Cemetery, Grand Mound.

Pallbearers will be grandchildren, Richard Matzen, Terry Matzen, Jennifer Davenport and Chris Johansen and great-grandchildren, Andrew Matzen, Alex Matzen, Tanner Johansen and Olivia Davenport. Honorary pallbearers will be great-grandchildren, Marisa Matzen, Tyler Matzen, Gavin Johansen and Cooper Davenport.
Condolences may be expressed and a photo tribute viewed at www.schultzfuneralhomes.com.
Special thanks to Alvin and Lois Block for their friendship and care over the years.
Published on May 28, 2017
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