Maria Natividad Mata, age 88, passed away on Friday, May 18, 2018, at the Family Tree Assisted Living Facility in West Point, Utah. She was born on Feb. 6, 1930, in Grand Junction, Colorado, to Jose Faustine and Maria Ramona Sandoval.
Maria grew up in Grand Junction and Montrose, Colorado. After World War II, she met and fell in love with Antonio Mata. In 1952 while heading to California for a new job with Kaiser Steel, they stopped in Tooele, Utah, to visit friends. Being a war veteran, Antonio was immediately hired at Tooele Army Depot and Tooele became their home. Maria was also employed by the depot performing various warehouse duties, which included being a forklift operator.
Upon retirement in 1972, Maria and Antonio returned to Montrose and Maria lived there until 2004. Maria then moved to Sun City, Arizona, until 2006. She then moved to her home in Clinton, Utah.
Maria enjoyed a full life having worked at fulfilling jobs after retirement, which included being a bus monitor in Montrose, Colorado, and teacher’s aide in Clinton, Utah. Through her hard work in everything she touched, Maria was consistently recognized for her outstanding achievements. She was a devout Christian and faithfully dedicated to the Catholic religion and to her family. She served the community as Lay Minister Lector of St. Mary Catholic Church in the Diocese of Pueblo.
Preceding Maria in death was her husband Antonio in 2002; sons Rudy in 2009 and Joseph Dean in 2006; and daughters Gloria Antionette in 1965 and Betty Ann Clementine in 1956. Her faith kept her strong to overcome the pain in losing these members of her family.
Maria is survived by her brothers Gene Mata and Alex Sandoval; daughter-in-laws Anita Mata and Tina Mata; son Anthony in Bullhead City, Arizona; son John and his wife Ruth in Rio Rancho, New Mexico; son Richard and his wife Laurie in Clearfield, Utah; and daughter Esther Richison in Greer, South Carolina.
Maria was a loving mother dedicated to her children. She was also blessed with 19 grandchildren and 27 great-grandchildren. Her hobbies included camping, fishing and enjoying the great outdoors. She dearly missed her pet dogs Fefe and Liberty on their passing.
Funeral Mass was held at St. Marguerite Catholic Church, 15 S. 7th St., Tooele, Utah, on Tuesday, May 22 at 12 p.m. A visitation was held prior at Tate Mortuary, 110 S. Main St., Tooele, from 10-11:30 a.m. Burial will follow at Tooele City Cemetery.