Bennie Matusek '52 September 1, 2023 2:49 PM updated: September 1, 2023 2:58 PM
Bennie Joe Matusek
January 24, 1930 - July 29, 2023
Bennie Joe Matusek was born on January 24, 1930, to Anton Louis and Mary Kubena Matusek on the family farm and ranch where he grew up in Hungerford, Texas. He was the 7th of 8 children. On the farm, he learned the value of hard work and discipline.
Bennie was the first person in his family to go to college. He attended Texas A&M College, and from that point on, there was maroon blood in the family. With little money for school, he would sweep the floor of Sbisa Dining Hall for a meal. On the weekends, Bennie would hitchhike to/from the farm in Hungerford to fill up on his Mom’s home cooking. She would send him back to A&M with a jar full of bacon to tide him over. Bennie graduated in 1952 with a degree in Agricultural Education.
After graduation, Bennie enlisted in the Army as a private, was honorably discharged two years later as a 2nd Lieutenant, but continued for the next several years in the Army Reserve as a 1st Lieutenant.
Bennie began his professional career in 1954 at Shell Chemical in Deer Park, starting as a lab assistant, and later specializing in Industrial Hygiene where he tested refinery air samples, attended fireman training school, and taught safety classes to refinery workers. Bennie retired in 1991 at 61 years of age, after 37 years of employment.
Bennie was proud of his Czech heritage. He loved all things Czech – the work ethic, the people, the food, and the music. Bennie and Barbara and their kids could often be found at Czech festivals and SPJST dancehalls. Bennie was a 75-year member of SPJST.
Bennie met his wife of 62 years, Barbara, at the Bill Mraz Dance Hall in Houston. They traveled to Czechoslovakia several times where they visited his distant cousins.
Bennie and Barbara have 5 children, 7 grandchildren, and 4 great grandchildren. Above all else, Bennie’s greatest love was to have his kids all together visiting, laughing, eating, and debating politics.
Bennie loved music and encouraged all of his children to play a stringed instrument. All five children and several grandchildren play instruments in band and orchestra, thereby carrying on his family’s musical legacy.
Bennie volunteered in the community in many ways. He was a charter member of St. Hyacinth Catholic Church which was established in 1965. The church was a big part of Bennie’s life and he served as a Eucharistic Minister, was a member of the Men’s Club, and served in many other capacities. Bennie served on the Deer Park High School Orchestra Booster Club as President and Committee Leader. All three of Bennie’s sons achieved Eagle Scout. Bennie volunteered in the scout troop, helping with meetings, campouts, and Eagle projects. He hiked Philmont twice, the second time when he was 61. Bennie served on the City of Deer Park Planning & Zoning Commission for 18 years and the Shell Adopt-a-School Committee for 7 years.
Bennie’s acting career spanned 2 movies which were filmed in Houston. He played a Lieutenant in Terms of Endearment, and he was also in Tin Cup as part of the golf crowd.
Bennie is survived by his loving wife of 62 years, Barbara Dill Matusek of Deer Park; daughter Donna Pruitt and husband Kyle of Katy, TX, daughter Teri Broussard and husband Dane of Wylie, TX, son Bennie Matusek and wife Lucy of Pearland, TX, son Ed Matusek of Spartanburg, SC, son John Matusek and wife Danielle of Deer Park, TX; grandchildren Ashley Rice and husband Justin, Matthew Barton, Adam Broussard and wife Anna, Crispin Matusek, Hayley Matusek, Addison Matusek, Nathan Matusek; great grandchildren Henry, Lexi, Philip, and Stephen Rice.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to The Parkinson’s Foundation (www.parkinson.org) or to the charity of your choice.
On Tuesday, August 8, 2023, visitation will be held at 9:00 AM, followed by a funeral mass at 10:00 AM, at St Hyacinth Catholic Church, 2921 Center St, Deer Park, TX 77536. The graveside service will be Tuesday, August 8, 2023 at 11:30 AM at Grand View Funeral Home Bethany Cemetery, 8501 Spencer Highway, Pasadena, TX 77505.
Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.grandviewfunerals.com for the Matusek family.
IN THE CARE OF
Grand View Funeral Home & Memorial Park/Bethany Cemetery