John 'Neighbor Johnny' Matern, 76, passed away March 2, 2009. Survived by his wife of 51 years, Charlotte Matern; children, Katherine (Richie) Johnson of Pueblo, Barbara (Douglas) Zahller of Pueblo and Karen (Glen) Stever of Pueblo West; sisters, Mary Ann (Allan) Linder of Pueblo, Agnes King of Pueblo and Constance (Lloyd) Klein of Albuquerque, N.M.; and five grandchildren. Preceded in death by his sisters, Rosa Pearl and Catherine Matern. John was born May 31, 1932, in La Junta, Colo., to Lee and Anna Matern. He served in the U.S. Army during the Korean War. He retired as an engineer for the Colorado Department of Highways and was known as a handyman to many. Funeral Mass, 10:30 a.m. Friday, March 6, 2009, at Christ the King Church, 1708 Horseshoe Dr., with Msgr. Tom Adrians, VG as celebrant. Interment, 10 a.m. Saturday at Fairview Cemetery in La Junta. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Ben Franklin Elementary in 'Neighbor Johnny's' memory, through Montgomery & Steward Funeral Directors, 1317 N. Main St., Pueblo, Colo. 81003. Online condolences,

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  1. I found John’s obituary today while researching Matern family information. John was one of my first contacts of Colorado Cousins. It was always a pleasure to talk with him at family reunions.
    My prayers and thoughts are with you.

  2. Dearest Family,
    My memory of John Matern is as “Brother John”. You see, his sister Agnes King, is one of my most dear volunteers at Sangre de Crsito Hospice. Over the last few lears, Agnes attended many “after dark” activities which were only made possible because “Brother John” was her chaufeer! He always took a quiet wait in his truck, waiting until she was finished. I remember his little smile as he suddenly appeared when all was done. Agnes always wrapped a couple of cookies in a napkin for “Brother John”. Many of us knew that there was a special bond between the two, because she referred to him in conversation many times. The afternoon, just a few hours before he passed away, I stopped by his room at Hospice House. The family had taken a break and there was Agnes, doing what I love her for…taking care of a patients needs. This one, however was personal. I saw such sweet strength in her demeanor that day. She had a crumpled piece of paper in her hand with phone numbers and she was making the important calls to family at this critical time.
    I asked her if she was ok? She replied with a faint smile, “Yes, I am doing what I do.” I had no doubt that Brother John was in good hands with his sister who loved him so much and I also knew that he was preparing for heaven.”
    May God be your source of peace and comfort in the difficult days ahead.
    With Sincere Love and Sympathy,

    Deede Lowry
    Volunteer Coordinator
    Sangre de Cristo Hospice & Pallitaive Care

  3. Uncle Johnny,

    I met Uncle Johnny in Rocky Ford in 1976 when he was taking my father-in law on a fishing trip. That is the way Uncle Johnny was, let me help or how can I help. He was an wonderful friend and family. He loved his coffee and cookies. I will miss his Sunday morning visits and help. He has surely donned his “Wings”. God Speed Uncle Johnny. Thanks for being there for Merry and I.

  4. My first memory of John was when I moved next door to him and Charlotte, into the eye sore of the house next to them (it had been vacant for a while). After introducing myself and saying “give me a year to clean it up”, he replied “we’ll see, I’ve heard that before”. The challenge was on!!!

    Through the years, John would always have to sign off on all of my jobs that I did to my house. It wasn’t right unless it passed John’s test. He was like a father to me and he shared his wisdom and talent through the years of hard knocks. We shared a few drops of sweat as he helped me with my fix up jobs too.

    I will miss him walking over and saying “what’s up chief?”, our early morning trips to share breakfast and thoughts together, and our times shared sitting on my front porch in the evenings watching the sun set. Having him as my neighbor, it truly made my house a home.

    The day John left us was a beautiful and hot day. It’s fitting, I believe, that God made it that way for him. The sunset was beautiful and I know he welcomed John. God bless you buddy!

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