Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Eric Kenneth Matusewic

RIDGECREST, Calif. - Eric Kenneth Matusewic has passed away unexpectedly at the age of 40.

Eric was born on May 2, 1982, in Burlington, Vermont, to Michael Matusewic and Catherine Liberty. He spent most of his childhood in Hurley, Wisconsin, and graduated from Hurley High School in 2001 where he excelled in football, wrestling, tennis and was homecoming king his senior year.

He entered the U.S. Navy in May 2006 as an aviation electronics technician. During Operation Enduring Freedom, he served on two aircraft carrier deployments. When not at sea he was stationed at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, Washington, and then transferred to Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake in Ridgecrest, California. During his time as a sailor, he received many decorations and awards. After being honorably discharged from the Navy in 2014 with 8 years of service, he continued working at China Lake as an EA-18G Growler avionics technician lead.

While stationed in California, he met his wife, Danielle. They married in 2014 had two children, Erin and Eli.

Eric's greatest joy was spending time with his children whom he adored. He also enjoyed hanging out with and making elaborate seafood dinners for his many friends in Ridgecrest. He valued his visits to the Midwest to be with family, especially hunting and fishing with his dad. He had a great sense of humor and a quick wit and was always the life of any social gathering.

Eric was preceded in death by his son, Jack; paternal grandmother, Lorraine Kehlenbeck and her husband, Bob; paternal grandfather, Axel Matusewic; and maternal stepgrandfather, Gary Pratt.

He is survived by his wife, Danielle, children, Erin, 8, and Eli, 5; father, Michael (Tamara) of Hurley; mother, Cathy (John) of Rochester, Minnesota; brother, Michael (Jaci) of Hurley; maternal grandmother, Dorothy Pratt of Essex Junction, Vermont; maternal grandfather, Kenneth Liberty (Gail) of Hudson, Florida; father- and mother-in-law, Matt and Dawn Whitlatch of Grand Rapids, Michigan; brother-in-law, Patrick (Stefannie) of Lawton, Michigan; and several other in-laws, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and dear friends.

Eric will be deeply missed by all who loved him.

There will be two celebrations of life held, one at the Heritage Inn in Ridgecrest on Dec. 10, from noon to 4 p.m., and the other in Hurley on May 6, 2023.