Our beloved father, grandfather and great-grandfather departed this life on August 10, 2022, at the age of 91. Jack Hansen Matkin was born on October 23, 1930, to John Wilkes Matkin and Verna Marie Hansen in Hyde Park, Utah. He grew up on a small dairy farm in the beautiful Cache Valley with ten half-siblings and never wanted for love and attention in his home. Jack
was a family man at heart. He met the beautiful love of his life, Suzanne Narkaus, at a BYU summer program. In one of the quickest and best decisions of his life, Jack proposed to Suzanne on their first date. After a whirlwind three-month courtship, they were married in the Salt Lake City Temple on August 20, 1957. Jack and Suzanne shared 27 cherished years together before Suzanne’s untimely passing in 1985. Jack is survived by his five children: Natasha (Garry), Blythe (Blaine), Erika (Tom), Chantal (Barr) and Justin (Diana); 13 grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren. Jack is honored and revered by them all. As a devoted husband and father, he led a life focused on the things that matter most and was a constant example of
kindness, good humor, hard work, service, and faith. His testimony of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was firm until the end, and he was proud to have served a mission in post-war France and Belgium.
Jack’s education and career took him around the world, a little unusual for a farm boy born during the Great Depression. He began his formal education at Utah Agricultural College (now Utah State University) in 1948 through ROTC, majoring in French and minoring in vocal performance. He fulfilled his post-graduation military commitment in the US Air Force in Colorado Springs supporting the air defense command. As a young husband and father, Jack attended the Thunderbird School of Global Management in Phoenix, which led to a three-year work assignment beginning in 1960 with H. J. Heinz in Valencia, Venezuela. With a desire for a second overseas adventure, Jack and Suzanne moved to Lausanne, Switzerland, where Jack studied at the International Institute for Management Development and then completed his MBA at the Harvard Business School. Jack had a varied career as a businessman working for several large corporations in the US before founding Rainbow Knit, his small textile manufacturing business in North Carolina. After Suzanne’s passing, he moved to Las Vegas with his youngest child to be closer to family. During the final years of his career, he taught at the UNLV Hotel School and then jump-started the Nevada Department of Prisons work program for inmates. After retirement Jack joined the Peace Corps, traveling to Ketchkamay, Hungary, to consult for fledgling businesses trying to find their footing in recently opened Cold War Europe. Jack’s final years living abroad were in Kunming and Jinan, China, where he spent three years teaching business classes to Chinese university students.
Jack was the definition of a renaissance man. As an avid traveler he visited 76 countries and all seven continents. He had a brilliant mind and was a gifted linguist who spoke both fluent French and Spanish. Jack’s gifts for singing, playing the piano, and dancing were evident during his childhood. He delighted in performing at local events in his hometown of Hyde Park. As a young man, Jack was often cast in the lead role in university, Air Force and community musicals, light operas, and more serious classical vocal concerts. He was a much sought-after tenor soloist his entire life. Jack enjoyed few things more than sharing his vocal talent, even performing for the Sunday service at Sunrise Senior Living in Sandy, Utah, a few weeks prior to his passing. Jack was a life-long learner and avid reader, passionate about the natural world, a real baseball fan (Yankees all the way), an enthusiastic subscriber to the MET Opera, an expert bread baker and a creative cook. He had a singular eye for beauty that led him to collect unique pieces of art from his travels around the world. But most of all Jack was generous and big-hearted, especially to family, friends, and those in need. He lived by the scripture: “when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.” (Mosiah 2:17) Jack’s legacy of love and for rich life experiences will continue to radiate through the generations.
Jack’s children would like to express a sincere thanks to Sunrise of Sandy, Solstice Hospice and especially to Shaun Boyle, the skilled and much-loved hospice nurse. Their compassionate and expert care of Jack during his final weeks will never be forgotten.
The family will hold a private memorial service. In lieu of flowers, if you would like to make a donation in Jack’s honor he supported The Smile Train for many years. The Smile Train is a nonprofit organization providing corrective surgery for children born with cleft lips and palates.
Life Story Info
Sending love and sympathy to your family in the passing of Jack. God bless amazing Jack! Thank you so much for introducing me to this man of many talents. I loved singing with him. His voice gave me tears. Thank with you for sharing your exclusive Matkin - Dolan peach jam. I know you have to travel around the to get the best peaches. Thank you Dolan family for also showing me what it is like to truly care for your family members at all phases of their lives. The kindness and care of Jack demonstrated by Chantal and Barr made me take note and commit to improve my relationship with my parents. There is one more angel in heaven. Love Lisa.
Uncle Jack! Ever the inspiration to friends and family. Grandma Matkin was so proud of him, I'll bet she was one of the first to greet him in Heaven. When he used to email, he would keep in touch with us. He faithfully read our mission emails and responded back. We loved reading about his recent trips. He was such an interesting, talented person and he passed those traits on to his posterity. And that voice! I'm so glad some of that has been preserved on YouTube. We love you, Uncle Jack. Love, John and Paula Howell