Cathy Matus, 69

Oct. 13, 1947 - March 21, 2017
Cathy Matus, Oct. 13, 1947 - March 21, 2017

Cathy Matus, who grew up walking to the beach in Port Jefferson and rediscovered her love of the beach and nature in Amagansett died at home in Amagansett on March 21. She was 69 and had had cancer for many years.

Before she became a registered nurse, Mrs. Matus reared two children with her husband, Michael Matus, whom she had known since sixth grade. They had married in Vermont and moved to Caldwell, N.J., after his graduation from college. In Caldwell, she volunteered with the West Essex First Aid Squad, the Police Athletic League, the Girl Scouts, and other athletic groups for children. After her children were adolescents, Mrs. Matus earned a degree as a registered nurse at the Clara Maass Memorial Hospital School of Nursing in Belleville, N.J., and worked in the neonatal intensive care unit at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Paterson, N.J. Her husband said she “provided essential and compassionate support to those who struggled to live.”

Before she and her husband moved part time to Amagansett, in 1995, Mrs. Matus went to New York University, earning a bachelor of science degree in nursing, summa cum laude. Because of her illness, however, she and her husband retired to Amagansett. The trips to Memorial Sloan Kettering that cancer necessitated made it possible for her to enjoy meals at impressive city restaurants with her son, her husband said. She also enjoyed reading and attending concerts at Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall, as well as going to the Museum of Modern Art and the Frick Collection.

Cathy De Wall Matus was born in Glen Cove on Oct. 13, 1947, one of the two daughters of William C. De Wall and the former Catherine Maile. Her son, Mike Matus of Fairfield, N.J., a daughter, Lisa Lisowski of Kingston, Mass., and five grandchildren survive, as does a sister, Flora Garsten of Shoreham.

Mr. Matus said his wife “was most tranquil in the serenity of calm water, sea grass, and cormorants while pursuing her favorite sport: clamming.” He “was the happy beneficiary of her never coming home with an empty basket,” he said. As a trained nurse, he said she “gave her heart to those in need,” caring for her favorite aunt, Flora Maile, and his favorite aunt, Nina Vanaria, as well as her parents. She had a dachshund she loved for 18 years and a turtle, which will turn 21 soon.

Mrs. Matus was a deacon of the Amagansett Presbyterian Church, where a funeral service was held on March 29, the Rev. Steven E. Howarth presiding. She was cremated and her ashes will be spread after a memorial service sometime this summer.