Jack Matney was born in Templeton on Feb. 14, 1941 and died in Porterville on Friday, Nov. 8, 2013, at the age of 72. Jack was the son of Ellsworth and Mary Matney and grew up on the Union Oil McKittrick Pumping Station near McKittrick. Jack went to Olig Elementary School switching to the new McKittrick School in the fifth grade.
He graduated from Taft Union High School in 1958, going on to Taft College the next year. It was there that he met Ed Morishige, from Hawaii, who became an everlasting and dear friend, Jack was best man at Edís marriage to Lupe.
He entered the United States Army in 1962, and spent most of his Army time at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma. He loved football and was able to play on the base football team. Due to injuries, he was not able to play in high school. While in the Army, Jack received the sharpshooting expert rifle award and a good conduct medal.
When Jack left the Army, he started his career in the Kern County oil fields, beginning with Marathon Oil Co., then on to Getty Oil and Texaco. He started working at a young age, working on Temblor Ranch, the Union Oil service station in McKittrick, and any kind of work that was available.
Jack lived a full and busy life, enjoying his family and sports. He played baseball at Taft High and especially enjoyed playing fast-pitch softball when it was a major activity on the westside. Many Taft and Bakersfield residents will remember Jack through his connection with sports. His teammates on the Toppers and Taft Sporting Goods fast-pitch teams, and those who played against them, will remember him as a dedicated player and coach. He watched his nieces and nephews playing in Little League and Taft High, and was a 100 percent Bakersfield College football fan for as long as he could make it into the stadium.
Jack was preceded in death by his Mom and Dad, Ellsworth and Mary Matney.
He leaves behind his sister Martha Twisselman and her husband Carl, his brother Kenneth Matney and his wife Susie, and brother Howard Matney and his wife June. He also leaves behind many nieces and nephews and great nieces and nephews, who were a big part of his life. His very special friends, Ed and Lupe Morishige, and their family, will be remembered by Jackís family for their kindness and friendship to him. Jack spent the last 5 years of his life with his dear friend and caretaker, Shirley Jones.
Jack never married and did not have any children, but he had a big family with whom he was very close and it gave him great pleasure to be with them. He was a person who loved being with, and talking to, people and he leaves many good friends behind to remember the good times that they had with Jack. Anyone who knew Jack has a story to tell about their time with him.
Jack will be laid to rest next to his loving parents.
A visitation will be held from 10 a.m. to noon at Wheeler-Smith Mortuary Chapel, 2890 South Higuera, in San Luis Obispo, on Friday, Nov. 22, 2013. A graveside service, with Military Honors will be at 12:30 p.m. at San Luis Cemetery in San Luis Obispo.For the complete article see the 11-19-2013 issue.
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