Frank Mattivi Sr., 99, Excelsior Springs, Mo., our grandfather, went to be with the Lord Our Savior and our grandmother, Lorena June Clevenger, on February 2, 2018.
Our 99 year young grandfather had lived a long life, we are very proud to call him our grandfather, our hero, and our mentor for the things he has done, and taught us, and for our freedom, our country.
Our grandfather married our grandmother, June, on March 29, 1946. This union was blessed with four children, James who precedes his parents in death; John, Nancy and Frank. Out of these children our grandfather has eight grandchildren, Debbie, Shaun, Staci, Travis, Joe, James, Jennifer and Erin; 12 great grandchildren, Richard, Megan, Amanda, Sean, Trevor, Elissa, Tyler, Jessica, Hailey, Cade, Cody, Cameron; 12 great-great grandchildren, Macie, Madison, Cooper, Lucas, Jace, Dominic, Bryant, Slater, Rylee, Ryan, Reagan, and a new baby due in March.
Our grandfather signed up for the Civilian Conservation Corp (CCC) in 1938. He served in Idaho, Minnesota, and Iowa. On January 16, 1941 our grandfather went to Des Moines, Iowa, and enlisted in the 34th Division of the Iowa National Guard. It wasn’t long before he was sent to Camp Claiborne, Louisiana for basic training. After going overseas grandpa volunteered to join a new American commando outfit that was being formed. Grandpa was assigned to D Company, 1st Ranger Battalion known as Darby Rangers, which were trained by British Commanders in Scotland. This group was one of the original first 500 United States Army Rangers. Our grandfather was handpicked by Col. William Darby. Our grandfather was among the best of the best of elite military outfits in the world. He participated in the North African Campaign (NAC). Rangers spearheaded the landing at Arzew, Algeria (they invaded Algeria on his birthday), and moved into Tunisia for a successful mission at Sened Station and El Guettar. After those campaigns were concluded Darby’s Rangers were expanded from one battalion to three. Grandpa transferred to the 1st Battalion Company F, serving as Cadre to the new volunteers. Grandpa was awarded the following medals as a result of his service: Good Conduct medal, 1st Ranger Presidential Unit Citation, Combat Infantry Badge, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with 5 Bronze Stars (Algeria-French-Morocco, Tunisia, Sicily, Naples-Foggia, Anzio), American Defense Service Medal, 6 Overseas bars, Service Stripes and P.O.W. Medal. Grandpa mustered out of the Army in 1945, he then joined the Army Reserves in 1945 and was honorably discharged September 1, 1948.
Our grandfather was an Army First Sergeant during W.W.II. He was inducted in The Ranger Hall of Fame on July 12, 2012, which is a very special 1st class group. His induction in the Hall of Fame was for outstanding leadership, heroism and service. He saved numerous Rangers, with complete disregard for his own life by dropping a grenade in an enemy tank. In Venafro he was wounded in action, refusing treatment being afraid he wouldn’t return to his unit. Our grandfather was a P.O.W. captured in 1944, spending 16 months in a Stalag P.O.W. camp.
Our grandfather returned to civilian life where he raised his family and worked his farm.
Grandpa worked at Leeds Plant, manufacturer of Chevrolets until a strike in 1951. He then manufactured tanks for semi’s until 1951. Grandpa was employed at Ford Motor Co., manufacturing B-525 Bomber wings from 1951 to 1957, when Ford started manufacturing vehicles he remained with the company. In 1963 he was promoted to Foreman, retiring in 1979 after 35 years.
Grandpa was a member of W.W.II Ranger Assoc., life member of The Excelsior Springs VFW, member of American Legion and of the US Army Ranger Association. In his spare time he had his body shop, restoring Mustangs. He also did odd jobs around Excelsior Springs, including adding on to the Mill Inn with his son, Frankie. He helped auctioneer and loved his guns.
Visitation will be held from 10 to 11:30 a.m., Thursday, February 8, 2018 at Excelsior Springs United Methodist Church with services immediately following, burial with full military honors at Hillcrest Cemetery, Excelsior Springs, Mo.
Arrangements in the care of Bross & Spidle Funeral Home, Excelsior Springs.
Our Sincere Condolences
Our families deepest sympathies. Frank was a lifelong dear friend, our thoughts and prayers are with you.
Kelli Barnes Decker
Our condolences to the family. Honored to have known such a great man.
Was very sorry to hear of Frank’s passing. He was a great soldier and a good friend. His legacy will live on. I know of no one who didn’t like him and respect his service to our country. I will sorely miss him.
We are so sorry for your loss. What an exemplary life he had. Our prayers are with your family.
Karen & Kim Branson
I never knew your grandfather – but I live in the country he did so much to protect, and sacrificed so much to safeguard. Surely, he’s enjoying the parade they are throwing for him in Valhalla right now.