Mary Patricia Wiechard Matzen, 85, passed away in the arms of her family on Friday, April 22, 2022.
A Funeral Service in honor of Mary will be held Thursday, April 28, 2022, at 2 p.m., Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 120 N Montana Ave, in Miles City. A reception and celebration of Mary’s life will follow at the Riley Center.
Mary was born October 4, 1936, in Glendive, Montana to William J. and Marie M. (Melaney) Wiechard. She graduated from Dawson County High School in 1954. After high school Mary attended the nursing program at Miles Community College, a program she would return to and complete in 1971.
Mary met Ted Matzen on a blind date on April 1st, 1955. They were married a few months later on December 31st, 1955. Mary and Ted had four children, Connie (1956), Lora (1957), Ted (1961) and Bill (1964). They divorced in 1981.
Mary and Ted traveled many miles with their family; they enjoyed fishing and camping that transitioned from tents to campers. They frequently traveled to California to visit family and see Mary’s favorite, the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. Mary and a favorite brother-in-law, John Philipsheck, walked across the Golden Gate Bridge in 1968.
Mary’s focus in life was helping others; this motivated her to work as a nurse’s aide at Holy Rosary Hospital for 10 years and to return to Miles Community College in 1969 to complete her Nursing Degree. Ten years later she completed a satellite program in Miles City offered by MSU Bozeman for her bachelor’s degree in Nursing. She worked at the Veteran’s Administration Hospital in Miles City until her retirement in 1994.
Mary enjoyed a lengthy retirement with her family and her many friends. She spent summers with her family in Montana and her winters in Florence, Arizona, her “happy place.” She enjoyed traveling to tropical destinations, including a trip to Hawaii with her daughter Lora and son-in-law George and many cruises with her friends. She loved living life to the fullest and was known for her infectious laugh. She was well loved by her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and great great grandchildren, whom she adored.
Mary is survived by her children Connie (Tom) McDonald, Lora (George) Wise, Ted (Irene) Matzen and Bill (Jackie) Matzen; grandchildren, Stefanie (Jason) Ans, Heather Watterson, Shelsea (Zack) Treiber, Teddi (Christian) Beringer, Katelyn Matzen and John Matzen; great grandchildren, Isaiah (Maddy) Ans, Micah Ans, Abby Ans, Ashlynn Watterson, Madilynn Treiber; and great great granddaughter, Ellanor Ans. Mary leaves behind many cherished friends including her best friend and chosen “sister” Char Mackley.