Joseph W. “Smuggy” Matthess, age 66 of Marengo, died Sunday, April 12, 2015 at the Belle Plaine Nursing and Rehab Center. Funeral Service: 10:00 A.M. Thursday, April 16, 2015, at the Marengo American Legion Hall, Marengo with Fr. Bob Striegel officiating. Burial will be in the Marengo Cemetery with military honors. Visitation: 2 to 7 P.M. Wednesday, April 15, 2015, Kloster Funeral Home, Marengo. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the family for final expenses.
He is survived by his wife Irene; his children, Becky, Shelly, Jenny, Theresa, Chris, J.R., and Jaime; 22 grandchildren, Matthew, Alysha, Logan, Lizzy, Tony, Nicole, Joseph III, Jordan, J.D., Levi, Lea, Jazzy, Chandler, Rayce, Owen, Blayze, Brynnlee, Jakob, Davon, Zander, Darion, and King; 8 great-grandchildren; and his siblings, Betty, Mary, Barry, Lonnie, Paul (Linda), Don (Mary), and Ron (Tara). He was preceded in death by his parents, his son Joe Jr., sisters Pat Isaacs, and Debra Mikels, a brother Mike, and a stillborn granddaughter, Lydia.
Joseph William Matthess was born August 28, 1948 in Iowa City, Iowa, the son of Maynard Orville Matthess and Dorothy Cecilia Cox Matthess. He received his education in the Oxford and Iowa City schools. Smuggy proudly served in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1965 -1970, with three tours of duty in Vietnam. He married Irene Christine Rider on June 4, 1983 in Marengo.
Smuggy was an over-the road-truck driver for 35 years until his health prevented him from continuing. He then owned and operated JCI Car Care in Ladora, and for a time owned “Smuggy’s Café” in Stanwood. He enjoyed going dancing, stock car racing and old cars. Smuggy was happiest when he was doing for others. He liked to organize and run benefit auctions for many worthy causes, and was great at playing “Santa Claus”.
He was a 52-year member of the American Legion, currently a member of the Oxford post, and held the position of mayor of Ladora for 4 ½ years.