Tommy Matkin was escorted into the hands of his gracious Heavenly Father on June 7 surrounded by loving family. Tommy is survived by his wife of 55 years, Lurana "Dutch" Matkin. He was the father of four children, Thomas Matkin (Sandy) of Pueblo, CO, David Matkin (deceased), Anna Matkin of Rio Rancho, and Diane Pearson (George) of Omaha, Nebraska. He was the loving grandfather of seven grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his brothers Harvey, Lee, RL, and Harold, his sister Judith, and is survived by his two sisters Shirley Huston and Adrian Matkin.
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Tommy was born on July 29, 1938 in El Paso, Texas. He grew up on Stahmann Farms where his very first job was being a ganserro (goose herder) at age eight. This job is where he found his love for the Spanish language, which he enjoyed speaking his entire life. He graduated from Gadsden High School in 1958 where he enjoyed FFA. He began his career as a lineman with El Paso Electric where he was a pole climber. In 1964 he left private industry and joined ranks with the civil service at WSMR. His work life at WSMR encompassed many great opportunities and growth. One of his favorite jobs was assisting in the landing of The Challenger at WSMR. He retired in 1993 after a fulfilling career in telecommunications. His "retirement" didn't last long as he did contract work all around the world changing military bases to fiber optics. He and Dutch spent their retirement years traveling the globe. His greatest joy was spending time with Dutch and their children and grandchildren.
His very full life included many hobbies and interests. Tommy was a very active member of the Dona Ana County Sheriff’s Posse in the 1970’s, where he served as president for one year. His favorite memory of his time in the posse was rounding up cattle following a truck accident. Finding a lost teenager was also a very fond memory of those years. Following his years in the Sheriff’s Posse he enjoyed restoring classic cars and was involved in the Southern New Mexico Street Rod Association for many years. His most beloved car was his 1947 Mercury sedan. During his retirement, he and Dutch spent many years traveling with Three Crosses Travelers RV Club. These trips were often enriched by the addition of their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. He was the master car driving instructor for the family and it all started on these great camping adventures. They will all laugh and tell you that they had to learn to drive backwards before they could go forward. The constant joy throughout his entire life was serving in the local church. Tommy served in many capacities at First Presbyterian Church where he maintained very deep friendships with people of all generations. His love for the Lord shone through in all that he did.
A Visitation is scheduled for Monday, June 10 from 5-7 PM in the Getz Funeral Home Chapel.
Services for Tommy will be held at First Presbyterian Church on Tuesday, June 11 at 10:00 AM, burial will follow at Missionary Ridge Cemetery in Mesquite, NM.