Brother Matsch '54 Passes Away

Lee A. Matsch '54, lost his battle with pancreatic cancer on July 21, 2009. Lee was born in Chicago on Feb. 21, 1935, the son of Leander and Agnes Matsch. His growing up years were spent in Park Ridge, IL. As a high school student at Maine Township HS, Lee played basketball and as a senior was named MVP and a member of the West Suburban All Star team. Lee's engineering studies began at Iowa State University and continued at the University of Arizona where he was inducted into the Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honorary before graduating with Distinction with a BSME degree in engineering. Following graduation and his marriage to Diane Noon, the newly weds moved to Pittsburgh, PA and a job with Westinghouse Electric Corp. Soon thereafter Lee fulfilled his ROTC commitment of 6 months active duty with the Army Signal Corp, during which time his daughter Sally was born. Two years thereafter a second daughter Pam was born. After completing his MSME degree at the U.of Pittsburgh in 1961, Lee joined the Garrett Corp. (now Honeywell Intl) in Phoenix. While at Garrett, Lee earned a PhD in Engineering Science from ASU and welcomed the birth of his son, Gary. In 1970 the family moved to CA where Lee joined the Ampex Corp. Research Labs and co-authored an engineering book, Fluid Film Lubrication. One year later the family found itself in Opelika, AL where Lee served as Eng. Mgr. at the Ampex Corp. tape plant until the family returned to AZ and the Garrett Corp. Five years later, Lee continued at Garrett Corp./AlliedSignal/Honeywell, advancing through the management ranks until he retired from his position of VP of Engineering, Aerospace Sector. Along the way Lee accumulated many honors including the U of AZ Alumni Assoc. Centennial Achievement Award, the ASU Distinguished Achievement Award for Leadership and Excellence in Engineering and became a Fellow in the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. He served on Industrial Advisory Councils for the Engineering colleges at the U of A, ASU, NAU, BYU and Carnegie-Mellon University and chaired the International Gas Turbine Institute of ASME. Following his retirement from Allied-Signal Lee consulted with several companies, including the U of Texas Center of Electro-Mechanics, Honeywell Intl, Johnson & Johnson, Parametric Technology Corp. and most recently Pratt Whitney as a member of their Technology Advisory Council. Lee's biggest joy after retirement was being able to spend time with his children and grandchildren. Joined by family and friends, Lee and Diane celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary in June 2007. Lee was preceded in death by his father, Leander, and his grandson, Harrison Reed Bernsten. He is survived by his wife of 52 years, Diane, his daughters Sally (Jim) Bernsten and Pam (Jeff) Levine and his son, Gary (Eloisa), his grandsons August Bernsten, Joe Levine, Charlie and Weston Matsch and his granddaughters Camille and Simone Bernsten. Also surviving Lee are his mother, Agnes Matsch, his sister Marjorie (Ed) Thomas and his brother Eugene Matsch. A celebration of Lee’s life will be held at Mesa Country Club, 660 W. Fairway Dr, Mesa, AZ at 1 p.m. on Sat. August 1. In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made to the Lee Matsch Pancreatic Cancer Research Fund at the T-Gen Foundation. 400 E. Van Buren St. Ste 850 Phoenix, AZ 85004. Online donations can be made at