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Leonard L Matz, PhD

May 3, 1938 April 10, 2018
Leonard L Matz, PhD
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Obituary for Leonard L Matz, PhD

Leonard Lee Matz, PhD, age 79 of Arbor Vitae, Wisconsin, formerly of Appleton, New York, passed away peacefully at his home on Tuesday, April 10, 2018. Leonard is survived by his wife of 52 years, Marilyn J. Matz (Jones), his daughter, Michelle M. (Matz) Wartak and husband Martin of Cambridge, Massachusetts, three brothers, Dennis M. Matz and wife Ann of Waukesha, Wisconsin, Eric K. Matz and wife Elizabeth of Boulder Junction, Wisconsin, and Hunt, Texas, and Timothy P. Matz and wife Ellen of Alvin, Texas, and sister-in-law, Ann Worthing Matz of Saint Germain, Wisconsin. He is also survived by 11 nieces and nephews, as well as several grand nieces and nephews.
Leonard was preceded in death by his parents, Leonard Peter and Ruby Ann (Wiese) Matz, of Lac du Flambeau, Wisconsin, his brother, Peter J. Matz of Saint Germain, Wisconsin, his daughter, Meredith L. Matz of Marlborough, Massachusetts, and his nephew, Nicholas Matz of Portales, New Mexico.
Leonard was born on May 3, 1938, in Dubuque, Iowa, the first of five sons of Leonard P. and Ruby A. Matz. The family moved from Dubuque to Savanna Illinois, where Leonard became a member of the National Honor Society, the football, basketball and track teams, played French horn in the band and was the Boys’ State Delegate. In 1956, his senior year, the family moved to Rockford, Illinois, where he graduated from Rockford East High School.
During the summers, Leonard and his brothers attended Camp Strongheart for Boys in Lake Tomahawk, Wisconsin, where their father worked. Leonard worked in the kitchen and later became a senior counselor, supervising canoe trips. Later the family built a cabin on Lake Tippecanoe. After Leonard was married and had a family, they spent many summer days there. Two years ago, Leonard and Marilyn realized their dream and retired to the Northwoods.
Leonard was an accomplished pianist, but he decided to pursue his love of science in college, earning his Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemistry from Beloit College, Beloit, Wisconsin, in 1960. He received the Merck Index Award for excellence. He earned his Master of Science Degree in Bacteriology from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, in 1963, investigating fungal infections. Leonard next traveled to Ann Arbor, earning his Doctor of Philosophy Degree in Microbiology from the University of Michigan in 1966. He studied the chemical ultrastructure of bacterial spore membranes. At the University of Michigan, he met Marilyn, and they were married in 1965. Leonard soon began Post-Doctoral Fellowships at the University of Wisconsin and Harvard University, continuing his study of cell walls and membranes. After he completed his fellowships, he accepted a faculty appointment in the Microbiology Department at the University at Buffalo where he continued doing research and teaching medical and graduate students. Soon after moving to Buffalo, two daughters, Michelle, and then Meredith, were added to the family.
Leonard spent two years as a visiting scientist in the Netherlands at the Agricultural University, and the entire family enjoyed their time there. He authored numerous scientific publications and presented his research nationally and internationally. Leonard concluded his research career with Computational Chemistry studies. His professional affiliations included membership in the American Chemical Society, the American Society for Microbiology, and the New York Academy of Sciences.
Leonard loved working in the laboratory and spending time with his family, but he also had a special place in his heart for the family pets: his childhood Collie, King, and his family’s two West Highland White Terriers, Duffy and McKeever, and their Scottish Terrier, Caesar. He was an avid bike rider and an exceptional fly fisherman who enjoyed hiking, traveling, and listening to Classical music. Photography, canoeing, and bird watching were some of his favorite hobbies.
Although poor health limited his activities in recent years, his family is blessed with wonderful memories of the countless ways he touched and enriched their lives.

Leonard was a lifelong Lutheran, and his funeral service, officiated by Reverend Jonathan D. Cluppert, Pastor, is planned for Saturday, April 21 at 11 AM at Peace Lutheran Church, 10868 Old 51 North, Arbor Vitae, Wisconsin. Visitation will be prior to the service from 10 to 11 AM. A private family burial service will be held at Sunset Memorial Gardens Cemetery, Arbor Vitae, Wisconsin, at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Peace Lutheran Church (10868 Old 51 North, Arbor Vitae, Wisconsin, 54568) or to the American Heart Association (https://donatenow.heart.org).
Nimsgern Funeral and Cremation Services of Woodruff, is assisting the family with funeral arrangements. Online condolences may be left at www.nimsgernfuneral.com.

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Previous Events

Visitation

Saturday

21

Apr

10:00 AM 4/21/2018 10:00:00 AM - 11:00 AM 4/21/2018 11:00:00 AM
Peace Lutheran Church

10868 Old 51 North
Arbor Vitae, WI 54568

Peace Lutheran Church
10868 Old 51 North Arbor Vitae 54568 WI
United States

Memorial Service

Saturday

21

Apr

11:00 AM 4/21/2018 11:00:00 AM
Peace Lutheran Church

10868 Old 51 North
Arbor Vitae, WI 54568

Peace Lutheran Church
10868 Old 51 North Arbor Vitae 54568 WI
United States
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