Mark Stephen Matuszewski of DeKalb, Illinois, died on November 28, 2019. He was born in Bay City, Michigan, in 1962, attended St. Hyacinth school through the eighth grade, and graduated from Bay City Central High School. He was an Eagle Scout and played on his high school tennis team. He learned to play tennis with his dad, Ted. Their tradition was that the loser carried the rackets home.
Mark earned a bachelor's degree in psychology from Alma College, where he met his wife, Linda (Parmeter). They married in 1989. Mark earned a master's degree and a PhD in clinical psychology from Miami University of Ohio, and spent more than 25 years working in the mental health field. After an internship at the VA Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio he worked for Mental Health Recovery Services of Warren & Clinton Counties,serving as a therapist, and directing the Greenwood Center in Springboro, Ohio. After their move to Dekalb, Illinois, Mark began work in college counseling, serving as a Staff Psychologist and Practicum Coordinator in the Counseling and Consultation Services department at Northern Illinois University. His professional legacy is one of the great stories of his life, as he helped countless clients find their path forward through difficult times. He was a beloved colleague, mentor, and leader to those he worked with. He put his heart and soul into his work, and was especially passionate about his group therapy work, and his role as Practicum Coordinator. Many souls will be helped in the future, as Mark’s ripple spreads out through the work of the colleagues, practicum and intern students Mark supervised and inspired.
Mark was an adventurous eater, and loved to cook. He took great joy in making a dish to take to a carry-in or wellness lunch in the office, and loved giving restaurant recommendations to students who were new to DeKalb. He loved making omelettes for his mom, Betty, and Bay City food favorites included his mom’s Scotcheroos and creamed cucumbers, lake perch from Oasis, and toast made from Spatz’s bread. His no-knead breadand linguine with clam sauce were among the favorites at home, and he loved co-hosting brunches after the NIU Homecoming 5K. Mark also loved challenging his sister-in-law, Jenny, to expand her palette and often gently coerced her to try new foods such as guacamole or scallops and lentils. On a trip to France, Mark thoroughly enjoyed keeping a record of the cheeses he and Linda ate, and savoring a daily pain au chocolat.
Travel was another adventure that gave Mark joy. Highlights included the cross-country road trip with his high school friends right after graduation; trips to the Smokies and Washington, D.C., with Ted and Betty; a trip to Poland with Linda, Betty, and his Aunt Carol; and trips to Great Britain and France with Linda. He loved the outdoors, and other trips included camping, backpacking, climbing, biking, and hiking in state and national parks around the country. A mountain-biking trip with brothers Jim and Paul, and friend Craig, and adventures with friend Amy were specially cherished. As part of his love for the outdoors, Mark took two volunteer service trips to work on the Appalachian Trail and worked for the Morton Arboretum for a summer. His work maintaining trails and planting trees will positively impact many future generations.
Running was another passion of Mark's. He was inspired to take it up by his friend Craig, and in turn, inspired many other friends and family membersto do the same. He completed marathons in Cincinnati, Chicago, and Virginia, and countless half-marathons, 10K, and 5K races. One special event was the Heart Mini Marathon where his nephew Travis ran his first race, and another was running alongside his sister-in-law, Lesa, in the Reggae Run. He loved supporting running partners, and his friend Cathy recalls many great philosophical conversations on training runs. It brought him great joy to shop for shoes and watches, create training plans, chart routes, and track his training runs. He also loved playing walleyball and volleyball with fellow graduate students and the extended Guthman family, and will be missed by Bob and all his other Fall Male Bonding buddies.
Mark also treasured time with family. He and Linda started a tradition of taking walks together at Alma, and this tradition continued throughout their marriage, as they walked and talked and explored local and state parks and neighborhood streets and alleys. A beanbag basketball game of “PIG” with Leah, Morgan, and Nolan was a constant feature of any trip to Bay City.On trips to Three Rivers, he loved talking with his in-laws, and nieces and nephews. He was a good listener, and had a deeply personal relationship with so many. His nephew Justin will cherish all the help and advice from him over the years. Cigar smoking was another passion for Mark, and many loved ones will miss the special, one-on-one, in-depth conversations with him in various outdoor smoking lounges. His brother-in-law, Patrick, will miss bringing him a special cigar to share on each trip. He was a great hugger, and never failed to let us know he loved us.
Mark was preceded in death by his father, Theodore (Ted)Matuszewski, and his sister, Catherine Matuszewski. He is survived by his wife Linda Matuszewski of DeKalb, Illinois; mother Betty Matuszewski and brother Jim (Patti) Matuszewski of Bay City, Michigan;brother Paul (Daleane) Matuszewski, nieces and nephew Leah (Stefan) Kulack, Morgan Matuszewski, and Nolan Matuszewski of Saginaw, Michigan;and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, a great-nephew, and in-laws.
A funeral service will take place at 12:00PM, noon, on Saturday, December 14, 2019 at Ambrose Funeral Home in Bay City, Michigan, with Pastor Joseph Atchinson officiating. Mark’s family will receive visitors prior to the service from 10:00AM to 12:00PM. A celebration of life service will be held on Saturday, January 11, 2020 at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship in Dekalb, Illinois at a time to be determined. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to a charity of the donor’s choice. www.ambrosefuneralchapel.com
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