Eugene “Gene” Matteson died peacefully at age 89, May 15, 2023 after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. Gene was born in Joliet, Illinois on September 12, 1933 to the late Frank and Pauline (Hurd) Matteson. After graduating from Grand Junction High School, he attended the University of Colorado and joined the Air Force in 1953. He was commissioned a Second Lieutenant and earned his Navigator Wings in 1954. Gene married Norma Passmore in Harlingen, Texas in 1956. He proudly served in the Air Force for 20 years and retired as a Major in 1973. Having served during the Cold War and Vietnam War, he was awarded several medals including the Bronze Star, Air Medal, Presidential Unit Citation with oak leaf cluster, and Outstanding Unit Award with Valor and oak leaf cluster. Their daughter Sharon was born in Harlingen where Gene served as a navigation instructor, and their daughters Karen and Linda were born in West Germany where he was stationed at Wiesbaden Air Base. During Gene’s military career, the family also lived in the Philippines, North Carolina, Mississippi, and Texas.
After serving in the military, Gene earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from McMurry University and a master’s degree in Human Relations from Abilene Christian University. He worked for several years as a real estate broker and Certified Property Manager in Abilene, TX and Boulder, CO. With an ardent desire to return to Grand Junction, he founded Grand Valley Management in 1981, and for over four decades he and Norma were deeply involved in real estate investment, sales, rentals, and property management.
Gene was a member of the Grand Junction Lodge No. 173. He was a member of the First Christian Church in Grand Junction where he served in numerous positions. Gene had a great love of music, from playing the clarinet early in life to singing in several choirs throughout his life. For many years Gene was a member of the Western Colorado Chorale and The Schumann Singers. He always delighted in taking part in the community performances and was particularly proud of the Western Colorado Chorale performance at Carnegie Hall.
He was preceded in death by his parents and grandson PFC Bryson Heald. He is survived by his wife, Norma; sister, Judy Dalton; daughters, Sharon Armstrong, Karen Margrave (David), and Linda Rosson (Barry); four grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
A full Military Honors service will be held for Gene at 10:00 a.m., Thursday, June 15, at the Grand Junction Veterans Memorial Cemetery, 2830 Riverside Parkway. A Celebration of Life service will be held at 1:00 p.m. at the First Christian Church, 1326 North 1st Street. There will be a rehearsal at the church at noon if anyone wants to join to sing the Hallelujah Chorus. Please let Sharon Armstrong know at email@example.com or at 970-234-5557 if you will sing so she can have the music and seat for you in the chorus. The family invites you to join them for any or all parts of the day’s activities to honor and celebrate Gene’s long and wonderful life.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a memorial contribution in Gene’s name to HopeWest Hospice, 2754 Compass Drive, Grand Junction, CO 81506, or to the First Christian Church, 1326 North 1st Street, Grand Junction, CO 81501.