Priscilla J. Matt, formerly of Ames, Iowa, died Wednesday, November 8, at home in Aurora, Colorado. She was 91.
Priscilla Joan Paulson was born on February 27, 1932, to William Paulson and Ida Dorothy (Bell) Paulson in Brooklyn, New York. As her parents were both professional musicians, Priscilla was a child of the entertainment scene, even doing crossword puzzles and playing cribbage backstage with Frank Sinatra. At the age of 15, she joined the Center Theater Ice Shows and then the Ice Capades, traveling and skating with them until 1952.
She graduated from Forest Hills High School in Queens in 1950 and later moved to Ames to work for WOI-TV. It was there she met the love of her life, Richard “Dick” Matt, and the two were married at St. Cecilia Catholic Church on November 10, 1956. As a young mother, Priscilla ran an in-home daycare and later worked as a secretary at St. Cecilia. She was also an accountant at Ames Stationers and Universal Harvesters. Priscilla began her career at Iowa State University in the Admissions Office, where her cheerful smile was the first thing many students saw as they arrived on campus. She then moved on to the Office of Intellectual Property and Technology, retiring in 1993. She completed coursework at the university and loved cheering on her Cyclones.
She was an active member of St. Cecilia Catholic Church, taking on several leadership roles in lay ministry, including time as president, secretary, and treasurer of the local Catholic Daughters of the Americas. Priscilla also devoted countless volunteer hours to community organizations and was inducted into the Iowa Volunteer Hall of Fame in 1998, joining Dick as the first husband-wife pair to receive the honor.
Priscilla is survived by her children, Richard Matt, Jr. (Victoria McCullough-Matt) of Grayslake, Illinois; Monica Argotsinger (Ron) of Aurora, Colorado; John Matt (Traci) of Shawnee, Kansas; and Cecilia Henrich (Tom) of Anthem, Arizona; sister-in-law Joan Matt of Houston, Texas; brother-in-law and sister-in-law Tom and Janet Matt of Boone, Iowa; as well as 13 grandchildren, 21 great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her parents; husband; brother and sister-in-law, William and Gladys Paulson; brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law Joe and Joanne Baldus; Jack and Joyce Gibbs; Jim and Judy Matt; William Matt; and Stephen Matt.
A funeral mass at St. Cecilia Catholic Church, along with a graveside service at Sacred Heart Cemetery in Boone, Iowa, will be held at a later date. Memorial donations may be directed to the general fund at St. Cecilia Catholic Church, 2900 Hoover Ave., Ames, Iowa 50010.