Agatha “Gay” Beryl Matchett, age 96, passed away peacefully at her home on Matchett Road on Thursday morning, May 27th, 2021, shortly after learning about the birth of her 20th great-grandchild!
Agatha was born on July 31, 1924, at the old Charlevoix Hospital, the daughter of the late Ralph and Nellie (Moore) Ranney and the youngest of 5 siblings. She grew up on the Ranney Farm on Ranney Road near East Jordan and attended the Ranney School (K-8).
She attended East Jordan High School (walking 2 miles to the bus stop), graduating in 1942, and then attended the Grand Rapids School of Cosmetology.
On January 15, 1944, Agatha married Sanford “Sandy” Wheeler Matchett at her parent’s home in East Jordan. They “honeymooned” at the farm house on Matchett Road that they then shared for 57 years of marriage before Sandy passed away in 2001.
Agatha worked side by side with Sandy on the Matchett Farm on Matchett Rd, raising cattle, turkeys & sheep. She helped in every aspect of farm work in addition to taking care of the house and kids. She continued her involvement in the Matchett Sheep Farm to her last days, always keeping up with which fields were planted with what crops, how many lambs had been born so far, what new machinery had been purchased, how much hay still needed to be baled, and so much more. It was her way to connect with the legacy of the Matchett Farm that she and Sandy worked together for so long. She and Sandy were longtime members of Charlevoix County Farm Bureau.
Agatha was an active member of Barnard United Methodist Church, joining shortly after she and Sandy were married. She participated in Sunday School, Women’s Group, set-up/organized countless meals and receptions for baptisms, funerals, weddings, coffee hours and many other celebrations and was passionate about church missionary projects.
Agatha loved her vegetable and flower gardens. In later years she could tell family and friends which flowers would be in bloom, and when the rhubarb & asparagus was ready to pick. She also left us many embroidered pillowcases & tablecloths, mostly with flower patterns.
In later years Agatha enjoyed playing games, whether it was dominos with her domino group or Uno with her grandkids, great-grandkids or caregivers.
Agatha’s hobby was her family! She loved and cared for each one of her children, 9 grandchildren, 20 great-grandchildren and all of their spouses.
She made sure to have the John Deere cookie jar filled, plus popsicles, ice cream, and applesauce available. She was somehow able to make each one feel loved and special. And, most importantly, she prayed for each of them.
Agatha was an inspiration to all she came in contact with--family, friends, & caregivers—demonstrating her love of Christ by serving and inspiring others.
Agatha was preceded in death by her husband Sandy; her parents; infant daughter, Barbara; siblings and their spouses, Fred (Eloise) Ranney, Gordon (Jean) Ranney, Francis “Fran” (George) Shook, Beatrice “Bea” (Gerald) Boss; and Sandy’s sisters and their spouses, Margaret (Vern) Hurd and Ruth (Lee) Shapton.
Agatha is survived by her children Melvin (Judy) Matchett of Elk Rapids, Joyce (Steve) Tchozeski of Belding, and Tim (Linda) Matchett of Charlevoix; grandchildren Tasha (Ed) Stielstra, Marie (Scott) Wheaton, Tennille (Josh) Dhaseleer, Brian (Laura) Matchett, Julie (Nick) Niederquell, Isaac (Brianna) Matchett, Mia (Scott) Rhudy, Noah Matchett and LilyAnn Matchett; and 20 great-grandchildren, ages 1 week to 16 years!
The family would like to thank the many caregivers that allowed Agatha to remain in her home the past few years. Special thanks to Linda Matchett for coordinating and doing much of the care giving.
A celebration of Agatha’s life will be held on Friday, June 4th, 2021, at 2 p.m. at Barnard United Methodist Church (15978 Klooster Rd, Charlevoix, MI), followed by a time of fellowship before walking to the Barnard Cemetery at 4:30 p.m.--led by Agatha’s great-grandchildren. Pastors Craig Pahl and David Behling will officiate. If additional seating is needed, or if you feel more comfortable, the Celebration of Life Service will be broadcast to the church parking lot on 92.3 FM. Visitation will take place Thursday evening, June 3rd, from 6-8 p.m. at Mortenson Funeral Home in Charlevoix.
Per Agatha’s wishes, consider memorial donations to Barnard United Methodist Church, c/o Barnard UMC Treasurer, 01362 Matchett Rd, Charlevoix, MI 49720; or Advisa Care Hospice, 220 W. Garfield, Charlevoix, MI 49720.
Arrangements are in the care of the Winchester Chapel of Mortensen Funeral Homes. Sign her online guestbook www.mortensenfuneralhomes.com