NORMAN — Funeral service for Francisca Guardiola Mata, 82, of Lawton, were 1:30 p.m. Wednesday in the Becker-Rabon Funeral Home chapel, with Father Joseph R. Ross, pastor of Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Lawton, officiating.
Mrs. Francisca Guardiola Mata passed away at home Sunday, Sept. 8, 2013.
A private family burial were in the Post Cemetery at Fort Sill under the direction of the Becker-Rabon Funeral Home.
Mrs. Mata, a longtime Lawton resident, was born in Julimez, Mexico, to Fortunato and Angela Guardiola. In 1948, she married Alberto Gomez Mata in El Paso, Texas, and began her new life’s journey and career as a military wife and mother. With occasional extended family supports, she began to work as a seamstress, but with her husband’s three tours to Korea, she gave it up to care for her young children.
With Alberto’s Asian and European duty tours, she served as a prime family head — one who grew with each new challenge and proportioned resolutions that were empowering for herself and children. The duty orders provided little to no information or guidance. Luckily, other passengers provided some useful but sketchy information.
From El Paso, Mrs. Mata and family followed her husband to Munich, Germany, with four sons and an infant daughter. With minimal information or formal assistance, she got her children from El Paso Airport to Rhein Main to their Munich Perlacher Forest three-year duty housing assignment — through her perseverance and the goodness of one Army house wife to another.
Again, upon arrival in Munich, here she was saddled with readjusting herself and the family to “Military Kaserne and Quarters within Cold War Milieu and Context” as well as larger German society. Once adjusted to Munich, her family was sent to Ft. Chaffee, Ark., with the possibility of being detailed to Ft. Hood, Bliss or Houston. At Ft. Chaffee, she delivered her daughter.
For her, in terms of extended family ties to her elderly maternal and paternal grandparents, Ft. Chaffee was as difficult in terms of distance to them — as again her spouse’s field and training assignments took precedence. Also, many men were being called up for various national alerts, Korea and now a place called Vietnam.
She possessed a keen intellect, a strong communal and work ethic, a sense of personal and familial responsibility and warm regard and respect for others. It was evident in her day-to-day interactions at work as well as with her friends. Although she and her spouse only completed middle school education, they valued and prized education. She worked with her children before entering primary school and was as supportive as she could be during their elementary school years.
All six completed their bachelor’s degrees, and both daughters completed more than 30 years of professional service — one as a licensed occupational therapist and the other as a senior special education teacher in three states. Two obtained their juris doctorates and are practicing lawyers, and a third son has a philosophy doctorate. She always reminded her sons and daughters of their humble beginnings and their need to keep it simple, keep their feet on the ground and be constantly committed to the common good.
She is survived by four sons, Alberto G. Mata Jr., Antonio G. Mata, Armando G. Mata and Arturo G. Mata and his wife Sheryl of Lawton; two daughters, Marta G. Torres of Norman and Lydia G. Easton and husband Phillip of Coppell, Texas; grandchildren Rachel and her husband Larry Bush, Amber and her husband Jason Speer, Alex Phillip Easton, Michael Albert Easton, Christina Torres, Jon Torres and Marilyn Mata; and five great-grandchildren Melissa, Devon, Trinity Crystal and Victoria.
An online guest book and sympathy cards are available at beckerfuneral.com.
Norman Transcript, Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013