Eleanor Matsis Obituary

Person's Name: 
Eleanor Matsis

Eleanor Matsis passed away in the Cook County North Shore Care Center on November 19, 2013.

She first came up to Cook County in the early 1950’s after getting a summer job at Gunflint Lodge as a dishwasher. With her bachelor’s from Smith College and her master’s from Iowa State University, Eleanor was somewhat over qualified for the position. It was, however, a good fit for all concerned. Eleanor (or Mat as she quickly became) would be a member of the Grand Marais Community for the rest of her life. Life on the Gunflint Trail allowed Eleanor to come to love the surrounding woods. She hiked, canoed, and snowmobiled throughout the area.

There was another love in her life. Eleanor was a born teacher. If you wanted to learn, she would teach you. She had high standards and you would rise up to them. Late in life, she said, “All my students were the best.” This love of teaching led her first to Cook County High School and then to West High School and North High School in Minneapolis. Eventually she would be given The Presidential Award for Excellence in Science and Mathematics Teaching at the White House in 1988.

While living in the Twin Cities, Eleanor joined St. Luke’s Episcopal Church of Minneapolis. With typical dedication and hours of work, she quickly became a valued member of the congregation. Among other things, she kept the boiler running which was no simple chore. Eleanor would become the Senior Warden at St. Luke’s.

As part of a busy life, Eleanor travelled all over the world. First on her own and then with her great friend, Faye Domke, there were few places that didn’t attract her. And always she stopped to visit the overseas military graves of our troops from World War II.

A memorial service for Eleanor will be held at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Minneapolis on December 5th, 2013, at 3:30 p.m. The church is located at 46th and Colfax in Minneapolis. During the coming summer, another service will be held in Grand Marais. Memorials for Eleanor should be sent to the Chik-Wauk Museum and Nature Center, Grand Marais, Minnesota.