Abelardo Mata, known to his family and friends as “Lalo” , entered the kingdom of Heaven on January 15, 2021 at the age of 97. Mr. Mata was born in Grand Falls, TX on August 6, 1923 to Lorenzo and Ercilia Mata. A lifelong resident of Lubbock, Mr. Mata retired from his job with the City of Lubbock Water Department after working 36 years. Mr. Mata was an active member of St. Joseph Catholic Church, a communion minister, and a Cursillista. His Legacy includes being president of Iglesia en Marcha prayer group and Vocal de Ultreya for St. Joseph Catholic Church.
A member of the Greatest Generation, Mr. Mata was a WWII Veteran. He joined the United States Army in 1943 after seeing his older brother, Canuto Mata, volunteer for the army as well. Both brothers were sent to Europe. Mr. Mata served his country in the US Army from 1943 to 1946. Assigned to the 740th Tank Battalion, Tech Corporal Mata served 18 months of heavy combat in France, Belgium, Holland, and Germany. Mr. Mata was involved in three major campaigns, the Ardennes Battle of the Bulge, the Battle of the Rhineland, and the Battle of Central Europe. Mr. Mata was awarded the Good Conduct Medal, WWII Victory Medal, EAME (Europe, African, Middle Eastern) Campaign Medal, with three Bronze Stars for his heroism and devotion to duty.
After retirement, Mr. Mata had more time to devote to his family. Mr. Mata had an abundance of love for his sons, daughters, and grandchildren who he considered gifts from God and Heaven. Mr. Mata always spoke with pride when talking about his family. Mr. Mata was always available for his family, ready to provide and care for anyone that needed help or assistance. The love for his family was beyond measure and will transcend this world and the next.
Mr. Mata is survived by close family members Ercelia Mata Cantu and Emily Garcia, 20 grandchildren, 49 great-grandchildren, 25 great-great grandchildren and his fur baby Mickey. Mr. Mata leaves behind his companion Mercedes Hernandez of 10 years.
Mr. Mata was preceded in death by his wife Elvira Mata, son Abelardo, Jr., daughter Mary Helen Huerta, son Thomas Mata, daughter Irene Mata Wilson, and son Juan Mata, Sr. Visitation will be held at Guajardo Funeral Chapels on Wednesday, January 20, 2021 from 3-9pm, and again on Thursday, January 21, 2021 from 9am-9pm with the Holy Rosary to be recited beginning at 7:00pm. A graveside service will be celebrated on Friday, January 22, 2021 in Peaceful Gardens Cemetery beginning at 10:00am.
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