Anna Dresen Mattes, age 87, of Ottawa, passed away Friday, January 4, 2019 with her loving family by her side in the comfort of her home.
Anna was the first born daughter of immigrant parents, Herman and Gertrude (Collinet) Dresen, who were married at St. Cornelius Church in Dulken, Germany. They came to America on their honeymoon, February 10, 1931, hoping to build a better life. Anna arrived later that year of 1931. She was born fifteen minutes before midnight on her mother’s first Thanksgiving in America, November 25, 1931.
Anna was always grateful to have grown up in small-town U.S.A., Ottawa, Illinois safe and secure from nightly air raids and bombings. Who knows if she would have survived otherwise? She was ten years old when Pearl Harbor occurred. Anna attended St. Columba Grade School. She graduated in 1945 from grade school and graduated in 1949 from Ottawa Catholic High School. That was the last class of all girls at Ottawa Catholic.
Anna and Don Mattes were married May 21st, 1955. They had two sons, Ken and Paul.
Anna cheerfully lent time and talent to wherever she saw a need. She was a member of St. Columba Parish, past lector and, choir member, song leader and organist; was past secretary of the Altar and Rosary Society; member of Junior Catholic Daughters, past chair of Junior CDA and counselor. She was Teacher Aide and Chair of the Picture Ladies Program, also a Recycled Uniform Program at St Columba School. Anna was a certified La Leche League Leader, when her children were toddlers, helping mothers to breast feed their babies; Founder of C.U.R.E.,( Citizens United to Restore the Environment) on the first Earth Day in 1970, C.U.R.E. recycled, glass, aluminum and Christmas trees. Anna was a founding member and past president of Ottawa Garden Club, and was a Master Gardener since 1998. She received State of Illinois Outstanding Master Gardener Award in 2005. Not having had the opportunity to go to college right out of high school, she went while in her eighty’s.
She is survived by her husband, Don; a son Ken Mattes of Ottawa; granddaughters, Mary Lynn Dydo of Chicago, Alyssa Rae Mattes of Beverly Hills, CA, Ariel Marie Giovinco of Boca Raton, FL and Mekenzie Nicole Mattes a student at St. Norbert’s College, De Pere, WI.
She was preceded in death by her parents, a son, Paul Mattes, and a sister, Loney Dresen Murphy.
Pallbearers will be her four granddaughters; and Roger Hooper, Steven Meyer, Alan Mattes and Michael Murphy. Honorary pallbearers will be Wally Kistinfeger, Larry Carstens and Raymond Mattes
Mass of Christian burial will be at St. Columba Church, 11:00 A.M. Saturday, January 12th with the Rev. David M. Kipfer officiating. Interment will follow in St. Columba Cemetery. Visitation will be from 4:00 to 7:00 P.M. Funeral Home with Prayers at 3:45 P.M Friday, January 11th at Gladfelter-Roetker Funeral Home.
In lieu of flowers memorials may be directed to Marquette Academy where Don and Anna met, played in the band, and sang in the glee club; the City of Ottawa Tree Board, where she volunteered for three terms; or Ottawa Garden Club, where she was a founding member.