Vanessa Tate Matocha
Vanessa Tate Matocha passed away peacefully on Thursday, June 29, 2023, after her battle with cancer.
She was born in Amarillo, Tx to Patricia Dean and Glenn Franklin Ort on January 23, 1959, in Amarillo, Tx.
She graduated from Austin Sidney Lanier High School in Austin, on May 30 th , 1977; and received a
Bachelor of Arts from the University of Texas at Austin on May 23 rd , 1981. She married David James
Matocha on January 12 th , 2013, at Saint Mary Cathedral in Austin.
Vanessa loved her Catholic faith, having converted in high school, and it showed in Vanessa’s desire to
serve her Lord as both a Eucharistic Minster and Lector. She also served as Chair of the Pastoral Council
while at the Cathedral.
Vanessa and David loved being alumni of the University of Texas and made a point of kissing when the
Longhorns scored during football games. David proposed to Vanessa on the steps of the UT Tower.
Their burnt orange and white wedding cake had the words to “The Eyes of Texas” on it.
Vanessa taught Honors English at Del Valle High School, Del Valle, Tx after graduating from college. She
was adamant her kids were going to learn, and that attitude brought her admiration and respect from
her students. It was common for former students to keep in touch with Vanessa after graduating. She
later left public-school teaching to start her own company, Smart Safety Solutions, where she taught
CPR and other related classes.
While living in Austin, Vanessa was active in the Northeast Walnut Creek Neighborhood Association for
many years; having served a President on several occasions. She was respected and loved by many in
the neighborhood for her efforts, especially with City of Austin zoning issues.
Vanessa shared a love of music, especially classical, with her mother. A favorite musical piece they
shared was Chopin’s Etude in E Major, Op 10, No 3. “Tristesse”. She got her values of integrity, a strong
work ethic, honor, and willingness to help others from her mother; whom Vanessa helped care for in her
mom’s later years.
Vanessa dealt with the repercussions of breast cancer for several years before her body finally gave up
the fight. She handled her medical issues with dignity, style, grace, and determination. Her resolve was
an inspiration to many.
To those that knew Vanessa, they would tell you her family and friends were her greatest treasure. If
you were fortunate to have Vanessa for a friend, you knew you had a friend loyal to you through good
Vanessa was predeceased by her mother Patricia Dean Tate, her father Glenn Franklin Ort, and her sister
Pamalia Annette Strickland.
She is survived by her husband, David; stepson Dustin and daughter-in-law Ashley Matocha; nephew Les
Strickland and wife Sheryl; nephew Michael Strickland; niece Melissa Pace and her three children, Colten
Pace and wife Amanda, Caleb Pace, and Catherine Pace.
Services for Vanessa Tate Matocha, 64, of Temple will be at 11 am, July 6 th , at Saint Mary Catholic Church
Temple, Tx with the Very Rev. Timothy Nolt presiding. Burial will follow and be at Saint Monica Catholic
Church Cemetery in Cameron, Tx with graveside ceremony at 1pm.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the non-profit Swan Song – Austin who provides the gift of
music to individuals at the end of their life https://swansongs.org/how-to-help/donate/.
A rosary will be prayed at Saint Mary Catholic Church, Temple on July 6 th at 10am with Deacon Barney
Arrangements are being handled by Broecker Funeral of Salado.