Jonathan Ray Mattlin of Boca Raton passed away Sunday, January 17, 2021 after a long illness. His courageous battle of more than 10 years against Multiple Sclerosis and Alzheimer’s Disease was a tribute to his inner strength and character, and he will be dearly missed.
Jon was born on May 23, 1958 in Oak Park Illinois, the fourth of five sons born to Fred (d.1989) and Marie (nee Anders) Mattlin (d.2006). Jon’s early years were marked by a childhood episode of rheumatic fever, which landed him in the hospital for several months at age 6. Even then his character and personality shone through, as he bounced back quickly and resumed his place in a chaotic but hard-working and loving family.
Jon displayed early on a love for life and a zest for living that became a trademark. He graduated from Hinsdale South High School in Darien, Illinois in June, 1976, and immediately took a job at the school as a groundskeeper (Why? “Because that’s where the girls were…” he would answer). He was thoroughly in his element most when striping football fields or baseball fields or operating snow plows. He took on side jobs involving tow truck operations on local highways to help make ends meet, but also because he just loved big trucks.
Jon met the love of his life, Janet (nee Bunge) in 1982. Their love was evident from the start, and they married in November, 1983. Their oldest son Spencer was born in 1986, and brother Alex followed in 1987. Shortly thereafter, the family seized an opportunity to relocate to South Florida, which turned out to be a permanent and positive family move. Jon worked at Boca West in several different roles before joining the City of Parkland in 1990. He quickly assumed the role of Director of Public Works and Parks, and remained in that role for 17 years. Jon excelled with the city, relishing the opportunity to work with others to maintain all facets of the community appearance. He was recognized by the Parkland city fathers in 2001 for his contributions to the city, a proud moment of recognition that brought him much-deserved honor.
Along the way, Jon also became a volunteer firefighter for the city, achieving the rank of Captain, again shining in his own way of reaching out and helping others. He was active in these community roles until about 2007, when he was first diagnosed with MS.
While it is heartbreaking that a life so full was cut off so early, it is also obvious that Jon maximized his time on this earth. He enjoyed big pickup trucks, motorcycles, heavy metal rock music, Captain Morgan’s and Marlboro Lights. He also dearly loved his wife and sons, and doted on them his whole life. His Christmas decorations are legendary, and his wardrobe of Osh-Kosh overalls, dress shirts, Ray-Bans and Mont Blanc pens are permanently etched in the memories of all those fortunate enough to have shared his world. To say Jon was an original is a gross understatement. He was unique, bawdy, fun-loving, deeply faithful to his God and his family, as sensitive and sentimental as he was outrageous and over-the-top. We take comfort that he is heaven now, knocking down the walls and replanting the landscape around his heavenly mansion.
Jon is survived by his wife Janet and sons Spencer Cameron and Alexander August, brothers Marc (Frances) and Steve (Betsy) of Missouri, and brother Tim (Sherry) of Georgia, sister-in-law Victoria Nicholson of Illinois, as well as multiple nieces and nephews between Florida, Georgia, and Illinois. Jon was predeceased by his brother Fred in 2015.
A Life Celebration service for Jon will be held at 11:00 AM on Saturday, February 6th at Glick Family Funeral Home in Boca Raton.
For those interested in donations, the family requests donations to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, South Florida Chapter at: www.nationalmssociety.org/Chapters/FLS , or the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America at: www.alzfdn.org/
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