Elaine Louise Matschke

February 15, 1929 - March 4, 2021
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ELAINE LOUISE MATSCHKE (Nee’ Olson), “Nono” – born February 15, 1929, in Chicago, IL, to Oscar A. Olson and Belle (“Marie”) Maxie Olson.  Passed away peacefully in her sleep on March 4, 2021, in Port Charlotte, FL, a few weeks after her 92nd birthday.  Much beloved daughter, sister, wife, mother, aunt, grandmother, great-grandmother, mentor and friend to many, and a very devoted and proud patriot of the United States of America.  Predeceased by her parents as well as by two sisters, Zilla Samuelson of CA and Betty Goetz Durst of Chicago.  Also predeceased by her husband of 62 years, Arthur L. Matschke; her eldest son, Kurt Louis, of Poplar Grove, IL; daughter-in-law Marilyn Kreusser Matschke of Newtown, CT; and daughter-in-law Kathleen Matschke of Belvidere, IL.   Survived by her daughter, housemate, and best friend, Ami L. Matschke of Port Charlotte, FL; as well as by son Gregg L. Matschke of Wesley Chapel, FL; son Rick A. Matschke of Townshend, VT; daughter Dawn Olson of Ft. Myers, FL; daughter Gwen M. Matschke (Kopley) of Waterbury, CT; son Jeff O. Matschke of Belvidere, IL; son and daughter-in-law Brett A. and Sara Nailen-Matschke of Trumbull, CT; 15 grandchildren and their families; 4 great-grandchildren; one neice and her family; and 5 nephews and their families.  Lovingly remembered also by her good friends Sterrett and Jeannie; by former children-in-law Nancy Wakeman-Matschke (Terrell) of Macon, GA and Richard Marchionda of Marion, NY; and by her wonderful Port Charlotte neighbors.  Sorely missed by her littlest friends, Teeka, Luna, Sorcha, and Tug.


Her family will announce a life celebration event in her native Chicago, IL in the warmer months of this year.


Our mom and grandmother was first and foremost all about her family.  Even in her final hours, and despite her sudden health condition having taken her voice away, her most important messages to all of us were about loving and being there for one another.  To honor her in these pages, we share with you here a transcript of some of the messages from her 90th Birthday Memory Jar.  In celebration of Elaine’s 90th, her granddaughter, Katie Matschke-McLaughlin, had suggested that we all write our favorite memory of her, and place it into a jar for her to keep and reflect on all the love surrounding her as she celebrated this milestone birthday.  What we did not expect, many months later, as we prepared our thoughts to memorialize her here in this page, was that Mom would have written us a response and placed it back into the jar with all of our notes, which you will see here below as well.


Finally, if you would like to add your reflections on your time with Elaine in the spaces below, we welcome you to do so.


Excerpts from Mom’s 90th Birthday Memory Jar, unidentified by author here to respect the privacy of all:


  • So happy to be here for your 90th birthday party!! I love you, you are an inspiration to all! …We had fun taking the kids trick or treating!  You weren’t brave enough to make a fool of yourself like me.  Fun times back in the day!
  • My favorite memory? There are too many to choose an all-time fav!  Skiing at Butternut in that bright yellow jacket.  Our Florida trip in two-tone “paleface”.  Our midwest trip, getting lost in every parking lot or driveway we encountered!  Driving to visit —— once with you and we were lost but you told me to wait whilst you “freshened your face”!  Our telephone chats — marathons!  My learning how to make fudge attempts that I conceded defeat on!  Our pet tales and the love we’ve shared with and for each other’s.  And your continued love and care through my good times and my bad.  You’ve always been there for me, Mom, and I both thank you and love you for it!  BEST MOM EVER!
  • I remember the brown height chair in the kitchen near the front hall … and driving my Cheerios and bread crusts through my milk, making trails, but creating a little track and making car noises “in a bliss” of imagination! I knew the kids thought I was having a funny time, but to me it was the best realization of driving a ‘vette I could think of (then)!  Thanks for letting me play.  Love you…
  • Writing this without my glasses so maybe you can call me when you need it deciphered. I’m so sorry I put you on the porch on [street name] and locked the door so Gwen and I could eat all the chocolate chip cookie dough before you could put it into the oven.    Well, I’m not.  But it’s one of my favorite memories of you, standing out there and trying not to alert the neighbors to your predicament, and TRYING to convince us you were mad enough that we should let you in.:)  Love…
  • Nono, you’ve always been such a pleasure, and though we haven’t been able to visit one another very often, each visit we have had has been so valuable. I remember our most recent visit most vividly, and I remember the wholesome feeling I got when you told me how proud you were of me, as this was something my mom used to tell me as well.  Thank you for all your positivity, and happy ninety years of life!  Love…
  • I remember when you were with us for [great-grandchild’s] first boat ride on Lake —— in Macon, GA. Good times!!  Love…
  • “Control your temper?” How many hundreds of times you have told me this.  I still struggle.:)  [And…] “No man is an island…”. My earliest memories of you involve that thought, that entreaty to me.  And still today I struggle with that thought and making it real.
  • Nono, you must know many people from every moment of your life, and although I’m just another person in a sea of faces, I’ve known you my entire life. I have many great memories from times that I’ve visited your house for Thanksgiving, or from when you’ve come to watch one of our violin concerts.  One of the memories that sticks in my mind is rolling around on that black stool and messing with every dial and knob that I could reach.  Somehow you managed to never get mad at me and still always turned on the lights in the black and white street painting for me while I played with the Matchbox cars from the cabinet next to the washing machine.  Thank you for being such a wonderful grandmother.  Love…
  • You are a joyous, determined, generous, devoted, daring, and wondrous woman! Thank you for sharing that with me.  Much love…
  • I have two favorite memories! One is when we went to Irene’s farm with the litter of Golden puppies!  We played with them all in the lawn and you got Dudley!  My other favorite is driving around in NY, and you told us all to look at the “spriggle”…. None of us had any idea that you had named a tree with a small tuft of leaves [sticking out of the top of it] a “spriggle”.  : ). Love you…
  • [A child’s drawing of two stars and two hearts, for her great-grandmother’s 90th memory jar], and “Happy Birthday. I love you.”
  • Some of my favorite memories with you is when you would come to Michigan to [babysit] us! You always gave me the BEST head massages when you’d wash my hair.  I’ll never forget when I told you I could give you directions to [a local grocery store], and we had to drive in the biggest circle to get there.  I feel like you took us somewhere exciting every day!  Putt-putt golf, bowling, the fair, Kensington Park….  Happy 90 Years Loved!
  • Nono, I think my earliest clear memory of you is going to visit you with my dad when you lived near a lake. We’d take [the dog] up in the green pickup, and throw sticks into the water for him to go and retrieve.  The reason that this is, to me, a special memory of you, is that we’d then come back to the house and you’d feed me muenster cheese!  Still one of my favorites to this day.  I think you also gave me my blue quilt with trains and cars in the living room of the same house…
  • You gave me hope that my golden years will be great. You are one of the most loving individuals I’ve ever met.  Always putting others first and reminding everyone of upcoming birthdays.  Long into your 80’s you had a skip in your step that made you seem 30 years younger.  You always greet everyone with a smile from ear to ear, with your big rosy cheeks.  You bring joy to everyone you meet and even though we are not related by blood, I will always consider you my grandmother.  I wish you the best day on your 90th birthday and can’t wait to see you for many more to come.  Love…

And here is Elaine’s, Mom’s, Nono’s response, which she left in the jar for us to find:


As I was trying to pack my belongings into a significantly lesser mountain [in preparation for her move in 2019 from Connecticut to Florida] I opened this Memory Jar, thinking that I could use a smaller container.  Then I made the mistake of reading each precious message and came away thinking, “How much love can a jar hold?

And I carefully placed them back again, with the lid on tight, so not even a drop can escape.  How precious is this reminder of all who made my beautiful 90th Birthday so very, very special.

I thank you and love all of you!





Please, if you would like, leave any additional messages here, and thank you for being a part of her wonderful life.

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Timeline for Elaine Louise Matschke

Born: February 15, 1929
Died: March 4, 2021

Condolences for Elaine Louise Matschke

Farley Funeral Homes and Crematory

Our sincere condolences.

The staff of Farley Funeral Homes and Crematory.


Susan Stauffacher posted on 3/11/21

Elaine was a faithful church member and helped with all our Rummage sales and tag sales. As chair of the Mission Committee, she orchestrated the "Field of Flags" in front of the church. She was head of the team that worked at our local food pantry for many years. She always had a willing heart and a happy smile. She loved reading Reader's Digest. She loved her family and is now with them in another form. I love her and her Spirit :)


Amie Hulet posted on 3/10/21

My thoughts are with each and everyone of your for the loss of such a special woman. Although I only met her a few times when I was little visiting with Katie and Alex, I have never forgotten what a sweet, sweet Nono she was. I know she will be missed dearly. Hugs to all of you. I hope her sweetness continues in each of you! ❤️ Amie


Chris Carlson posted on 3/10/21

My most sincere condolences to all of Elaine’s family and friends. I was fortunate to have met her a few years ago, after corresponding via email for a while. Elaine was my birth mother’s sister and I learned so much from her about her growing up years and about my birth mother. I’m forever grateful for all the information and love she gave me. She was a very special “Aunt” to me and a special lady to all who knew her. She will be missed.


Rich Goetz posted on 3/10/21

I want to send my condolences to my cousins and their families. I didn’t know my aunt very well as they moved out of the area when I was young. It wasn’t until some 18 later when she and Ami came to my mothers (her sisters) funeral. Then it was another 32 years before we met again. It was so nice to see her and have lunch. She was a great lady and someone who’s life truly needs to be celebrated.


Ami Matschke posted on 3/10/21

Mom, you're in my thoughts every day. Today? I'm asking " hey mom, where'd you tuck the coffee filters?!" I miss you, I miss our routine. I miss my friend. Don't forget to visit once in a while....til then, I'll keep the plants watered, promise! Love you much, Ami