In Memory


Obituary for Col E. Terry Mattke, USMC (Ret.)

Colonel E. Terry Mattke, USMC (Ret.), 73, of Virginia Beach, VA, passed away peacefully April 18, 2018, surrounded by family after a long battle with Parkinson’s disease.
Born October 11, 1944, in New Hampton, IA, he was the son of the late Cleo and Margaret Mattke.
Left to cherish his memory: his beloved wife of 38 years, Patricia A. Mattke; two daughters, Dawn Baker of NC; Jennifer Ouellet of CA; two sons, Scott Harders of OH and Gregory Harders of AZ; a sister, Cheryl Mattke of KS; ten grandchildren; and a great-grandchild; and many nieces and nephews.
Terry graduated from Princeton University in 1966 and joined the Marine Corps. After flight school, he flew the F-4 Phantom and transitioned to the AV-8A Harrier. Terry was the first Marine Harrier Pilot with the British Royal Air Force. He graduated from the Armed Forces Staff College and The Industrial College of the Armed Forces.
Terry was a visionary strategic thinker working behind the scenes on projects such as Cheap Night/Real Night that became DOD night attack capability, newly designed F408 Harrier engine that was necessary to upgrade to the night attack/radar variant, and the now revolutionary 5th generation F35 three variant strategy.
Terry’s last duty station was The White House where he served as military aide to then Vice-President George H.W. Bush for 4 years. After 23 years of service, Terry retired as a Colonel in September of 1989.
Terry was a passionate, driven, focused man who wanted nothing less than for our nation to achieve its full potential. Humble by nature, compassionate at his core, Terry worked tirelessly to help so many throughout his life achieve their God given potential. A man few really understood but so many admired. He had a deep and lasting love for his wife and children.
In retirement, Terry was a member of the Princeton Club of Hampton Roads and The Badfellas. Terry enjoyed boating, travel and golf with his buddies at the Cavalier Golf & Yacht Club.
A memorial mass will be celebrated at 2 p.m. Friday, May 11, 2018, at Star of the Sea Catholic Church by the Rev. Fr. Esteban DeLeon. Following the mass, a reception will be held from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Cavalier Golf and Yacht Club. Terry will later be honored with an interment service at Arlington National Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Parkinson’s Foundation at 800-473-4636 or Hollomon-Brown Funeral Home, Great Neck Chapel assisting the family. Condolences may be offered to the family at

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08/06/18 01:55 PM #8    

Trish Merritt (Lear)

What a good guy. What a good life he lived. I remember going over to Terry's house--it's like he lived around the corner, and I swear I can remember the house. So proud of you, Terry. Life well lived.

08/06/18 03:15 PM #9    

David Zieg

A privilege to be in the same class of 62 with such an accomplished individual. Terry, rest in peace.

08/07/18 05:07 PM #10    

Diane Storck (Kippen)

Terry was an outstanding young man who accomplished much in his life. He was destined to do great things, and it was easy to see that in grade school.  Thank you, Terry.

08/07/18 06:59 PM #11    

Babs Waring (Cravey)

Spent more time with Terry in grade/jr high but it was a privilege to know him and a sad loss. He was a great guy in school and from his obituary continued through life.

08/08/18 11:18 PM #12    

Anita Eagle (Frevert)

To: Terry’s wife Tricia, his sister Cheryl, and his children.

All of us in the NKCHS Class of 1962 join you in grieving the loss of Terry—everyone knew Terry and he knew everyone even though e had more than 700 in our class.  Terry was a known leader and academics came easy to him—more than three-quarters of the NKCHS faculty held masters’ degrees and challenged us with the rigorous curricula that schools strive for today.  No one doubted that Terry would excel at Princeton and thereafter.  As the memorials here and those on the Princeton/Class of 1966 website described, Terry was admired and liked by everyone.  He was friendly--seemed glad to see you as he passed by in the crowded NKCHS halls—clever and reservedly funny.  His obituary lists Terry’s accomplishments and we’re not surprised—he was goal-focused and surrounded by people who recognized and nurtured his skills and talents—including his loved ones.  You have my deepest sympathy and prayers. 

Sincerely, Anita Eagle Frevert, Ed.D.,


Publications which include quotes from or about Col. E. Terry Mattke (as found on the internet):


Terry & Tricia Mattke

Lt Col E. Terry Mattke in Harrier cockpit


08/09/18 11:01 AM #13    

Brenda Ricketts (Skaggs)

Semper Fi Colonel. 

08/15/18 03:51 PM #14    

Carl (Rusty) Stout

I knew Terry well in high school but completly loss track of him after graduation. WOW what an impressive life he led!  I am proud to have known him but am so sorry all of us had to see him go. God biess you Terry and your family.

08/22/18 10:16 AM #15    

Larry Schmidt

Terry and I were close friends in high school, and he was very influential in my decision to change colleges and go back East to school.  Subsequently, he was very influential in my decision to enter the United States Marine Corps upon graduation from graduate school.  I was best man at his wedding when he was going through flight school in Pensacola at which he introduced me to the joys of riding like a banshee out of hell on a Honda 350 motorcycle (I survived, but I was lucky as I knew nothing about riding motor bikes, much less at 80 mph).  But that was Terry.  Our paths didn’t cross in the Marine Corps until we were both assigned to duty in Washington, DC.  Terry was a true friend, fearless, and derived great joy out of life.  We will miss him.  As I write this I know he is soaring among the clouds in a beautiful blue sunlit sky.

08/24/18 09:53 AM #16    

Jim Andrews

Terry Mattke, Ken Mast, Scott Serrill, Larry Denning, Bob Bennell, Richard Steinheider, Bob Beebe, Larry Schmidt and I all grew up in the same neighborhood. If I forgot someone, mark it up as old age. Terry lived about one block from me. I moved to the house in the neighborhodd when I was 8 years old. I started the fourth grade and know many of the guys since Miss Browning's class in grade school. We all were friends at one time in our lives but never enemies. I knew Terry well and saw him frquently . I did not know how smart he was until I took Physics. If I did not understand a problem, I would go up to Terry's house and he would help me. He always knew the answer. All of these past friends were great people and I really do not think they had a devious thought toward anyone. I kept up with the life of Terry through Larry Schmidt, a great Marine and friend. I could tell some wild stories about Terry, but will not. Everyone should have had a buddy growing up like Terry. Jim Andrews

08/25/18 08:44 PM #17    

Jim Shanks

Well I was part of the neighborhood also living about 3 blocks from both Terry and Jim.  Terry was part of our

oddo's baseball team for 6 years and I share many memories. RIP

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