Marcella Ann Matthews
Funeral Service Details
Friday, March 24, 2023
Hilgenfeld Mortuary Chapel
Marcella Ann Matthews (affectionately known as “Marci”) was born June 29, 1939 and passed away February 3, 2023 at the age of 83 in Orange, CA. Marci was born in Pennsylvania and moved to Los Angeles, California at the age of 2 with her father David Byron Matthews “Barney” and her mother Marie Evelyn Colby-Matthews. The family moved to Hollywood,California because Marie was "star struck". She even had Marci audition to be in the role that Shirley Temple would get. Although she didn’t get the part, Marci was destined to be the director and actress of her own life. She was an only child but her social world was wide and welcoming. She would never lack having friends.
In 1955 Marci married Raymundo H. Morales. They had two children; Raymond Byron and Maria Lorraine. The family lived in Hollywood, CA. Several years had passed and Marci became a single mother. She took on various jobs. She worked at several companies including the Chevrolet dealership, Boys Markets Headquarters, and the Ralph M. Parsons Company. She was also a teacher’s aide at Richland Continuation High School and taught classes at Cal State Fullerton in The Course In Miracles. Marci served as an ordained minister where she performed marriages, baptisms and funeral services for many friends and family. She also loved to sing, dance, act and perform in front of live audiences. She played Claire Belcher in "Steel Magnolias", Peppermint Patty in "You're A Good Man Charlie Brown" and performed some improv as well.
In the late 70’s she found love again and married Jerry Alvarez on November 4, 1978. They lived in Temple City, CA for many years. Together Marci and Jerry became a blended family. Marci embraced Jerry’s 3 children, and enjoyed her lifelong relationships with them. Jerry also welcomed Marci’s 2 children. Marci’s blended family includes 10 grandchildren, 17 great grandchildren, and one goddaughter.
Over the past 4 decades, Marci used to ride the bus from Los Angeles to Bakersfield, CA and then connect with the train that went to Fresno, CA. Her family picked her up at the Fresno station and then drove another 45 minutes back to their home in Coarsegold, CA. This was a 5 hour trek but she loved visiting her daughter, grandchildren, son-in -law, and his parents.
She enjoyed the relaxing vibe and beauty of Coarsegold. With its nearby mountains, lakes, and trees she immersed herself in nature. She especially loved walking down to the riverfront on their property. There she could enjoy basking in the sun and listening to the peaceful sounds of the river. She especially loved taking walks with her grandchildren along the river banks and dipping into the refreshing cool water. Her grandchildren adored her youthful energy and fondly nicknamed her “Choo Choo”grandma, as she traveled by train. Marci also loved to travel and went with her family to Italy and another time to Costa Rica to visit her granddaughter who was living there.
Marci is preceded in death by her father Barney Matthews and mother Marie, her two husbands, Raymundo and Jerry, her step-father Lee Countryman, step-brother Lee Jr. and her Coarsegold in-laws Walter and Vivian Rybaczyk.
She is survived by her son Raymond Byron and his wife Sherry, and their two daughters Taylor and Brooke. She is also survived by her daughter Maria Lorraine (nicknamed Lorrie) and her husband Curt Rybaczyk, their children Jessie and Keith, Keith’s wife Tristan, and their son Kashby.
She is also survived by Curt's sister Laurie and her husband Jim, Jerry’s three daughters Sonja, Stephanie, and Stacey, two granddaughters Damara and Jessica. Marci is also survived by 2 cousins: Richard Colby and his wife Linda and Ed Matthews and his wife Jenn.
Marci was blessed with a big extended family. Marci embodied the joy of living. She had a colorful wardrobe that matched her personality. She was kind-hearted, cheerful, fun, and inclusive of others. She shared her sparkle and enthusiasm with everyone she met. She made a difference in many people’s lives. Her vim, vigor, and vitality will continue to live on in the hearts and lives of her family and friends. She was a loving daughter, wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, and friend. She will be missed very much.