Ronald Mataconis, 1937-2014

Our profound condolences to Doug Mataconis on the loss of his father.


Ronald Mataconis, Doug’s father, passed this weekend.  From his obituary in the New Jersey Star-Ledger:

Ronald Mataconis, 76, passed away on Jan. 11, 2014, at home.


Born and raised in Scranton, Pa., he resided there until moving to Piscataway in 1966. Mr. Mataconis proudly served an enlistment in the United States Air Force during peacetime. He was previously and primarily employed with Penick Corporation in Newark, N.J. Ronald also previously worked at Rickels in Menlo Park, N.J., and most recently worked at Lowes in Piscataway. He was a communicant of Our Lady of Fatima Church in Piscataway. Mr. Mataconis was predeceased by his loving wife, Jeanmarie, who passed away in 2004, and by his brother, Thomas Mataconis. Surviving are his son, Douglas Mataconis of Warrenton, Va.; his sister, Mary Ann Zabatto of Edison, N.J.; his brother, Fr. Richard Mataconis, SDB, of Rome, Italy, and several nieces and nephews.

Doug’s still in New Jersey taking care of his father’s affairs. Visitation is later today and services are tomorrow.

We at OTB offer our profound condolences to him in this time of loss. Losing a parent, while inevitable if we live long enough, is never easy and Doug has now lost both of his. Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family.

FILED UNDER: Obituaries, OTB History, , ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Rick Almeida says:

    Doug, I am so very sorry for your loss. You and your family are in my thoughts.

  2. Mikey says:

    My condolences to Doug and his family.

  3. beth says:

    My deepest condolences to Doug and his family.

  4. michael reynolds says:


    Very sorry to hear that this pain has come your way.

  5. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Doug, so very sorry for your loss.

  6. James Pearce says:

    Deepest sympathies.

  7. Moosebreath says:

    Sorry to hear of your loss, Doug.

  8. PD Shaw says:

    I also offer my condolences to Doug and his family.

  9. rodney dill says:

    I’m so sorry to hear of your loss.

  10. Pinky says:

    I’m so sorry. You and your family will be in my prayers.

  11. Franklin says:

    I actually had a little foreboding with the lack of posts from our prolific Doug. He has my full condolences, I know what it’s like to have lost both parents a little too early. May his father rest in peace.

  12. Tony W says:

    Doug, may your father know peace now. My most sincere condolences to you and your family.

  13. RGardner says:

    Doug, my deepest sympathies.

  14. john personna says:

    I am sorry, Doug. Take care.

  15. inhumans99 says:

    My deepest sympathies Doug, and you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

  16. gVOR08 says:

    Saddened to hear this news. You have my deepest sympathy.

  17. Ron Beasley says:

    Thinking of you Doug.

  18. wr says:

    Very sorry to hear about your loss. It’s always too soon…

  19. Liberal Capitalist says:


  20. CSK says:

    Deepest sympathies, Doug. I’m sure you were a wonderful son to him.

  21. HarvardLaw92 says:

    Peace and healing to you and your family during this most difficult of times, Doug.

  22. David in KC says:

    My deepest sympathies to you and yours, Doug.

  23. al-Ameda says:

    Far too soon.
    My sympathies are with you and your family, Doug.

  24. legion says:

    Damn, man. My deepest condolences to you and yours.

  25. Tillman says:

    My deepest condolences. The death of a parent is never easy.

  26. Scott says:

    My deepest prayers and sympathies for you and your family.

  27. C. Clavin says:

    My parents, while still alive, are nearing that time.
    I like to tell my self I’m prepared…but can’t believe you ever really can be.
    My thoughts are with you and yours.

  28. Al says:

    You have my condolences, Doug.

  29. Rob in CT says:

    Damn, sorry to hear it. Condolences to Doug.

    My own father is getting up there (88), and had a very scary incident recently (he’s now ok, for 88).

    @C. Clavin:

    I’m not prepared. It’s not so much losing dad. I love him and will miss him. But my mother will be devastated, and it’s her I’ll need to help. That’s what worries me.

  30. rudderpedals says:

    You’re in my thoughts, Doug. Email me if you need something done in Fla.

  31. CB says:

    Condolences, Doug.

  32. Matt says:

    @Rob in CT: You can never really be prepared for this kind of thing. You can try but it’ll still hurt even with a few years notice.

    Hope Doug is doing as well as possible.

  33. grumpy realist says:

    Rest in Peace. My condolences, Doug. It’s never easy.

    Death be not proud, though some have called thee
    Mighty and dreadfull, for, thou art not soe,
    For, those, whom thou think’st, thou dost overthrow,
    Die not, poore death, nor yet canst thou kill mee.
    From rest and sleepe, which but thy pictures bee,
    Much pleasure, then from thee, much more must flow,
    And soonest our best men with thee doe goe,
    Rest of their bones, and soules deliverie.
    Thou art slave to Fate, Chance, kings, and desperate men,
    And dost with poyson, warre, and sicknesse dwell,
    And poppie, or charmes can make us sleepe as well,
    And better then thy stroake; why swell’st thou then?
    One short sleepe past, wee wake eternally,
    And death shall be no more; death, thou shalt die

    –John Donne

  34. dazedandconfused says:

    Very sad for your loss, Doug. May peace be upon you and your family through this time.

  35. grumpy realist says:

    @Rob in CT: I remember talking to a close friend the day my mother died, and as I put down the phone, thinking to myself: “my father doesn’t want to live much longer.” Sure enough, four months later, he died as well.

    1983 was a bad year for me.

  36. Andre Kenji says:

    I just hope that everything is fine with Doug. I also hope that the spirit of his father is doing well in Heaven.

  37. Gromitt Gunn says:

    My condolences. I lost my father about 18 months ago, so I can empathize. Take the time you need to take, on your schedule, not anyone elses.

  38. Woody says:

    Mr Mataconis, I’m very sorry for your loss.

  39. becca says:

    My sincere condolences, Doug.

  40. Franklin says:

    @grumpy realist: I hear you. I feel like my mother died of loneliness, although she did make it two and a half years after my dad passed.

  41. stonetools says:

    I tweeted condolences already, but add it here again. It’s six years ago my father died. You’ll miss him, but the wound will heal.

  42. David M says:

    My condolences on the loss of your father. May peace be with you and your family.

  43. Long Time Listener says:

    My condolences, Doug…

  44. Grewgills says:

    I hope you and yours are able to celebrate his life and the good times you shared and that helps ease the pain of your loss. We will be sending you our best wishes.

  45. Moderate Mom says:

    Doug, so sorry for your loss. I hope happy memories of your father will bring you peace and comfort.

  46. Doug Mataconis says:

    Thanks to everyone for the kind words. Blogging from my end will likely be sparse even after tomorrow, at least until I can get access to an Internet connection.

  47. the Q says:

    As Mr. Joyner wrote, “Our thoughts and prayers are with Doug and his family.” Yes for sure.

    Doug, my only advice is to really feel the pain and loss and yell at the Gods for this terrible misfortune. Let it out and the healing will come. Your Dad will live on inside you and his loss will soften with time.

  48. mattbernius says:

    My deepest condolences Doug.

  49. SC_Birdflyte says:

    With my sincerest sorrow for the loss of your father.

  50. Anonne says:

    Condolences, Doug, for you and your loved ones.

  51. SKI says:

    My deep sympathy on your loss, Doug. May your memories of him be a blessing and a comfort.

  52. HarvaRDLw92 says:

    @grumpy realist:

    Same here. Both of my paternal grandparents lived into their 90s. My grandfather died 4 weeks to the day after my grandmother passed away, and we’re all convinced that he died of a broken heart. Once she passed, he just lost his will to live. It was heartbreaking to see.

  53. Pharaoh Narim says:

    RIP and Respect to Doug’s father and fellow Airman.

  54. Tim says:


    You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers during this trying time.

  55. HarvardLaw92 says:

    @Doug Mataconis:

    Doug, speaking from experience, ease yourself back in to your routine slowly and allow yourself time to grieve. This blog will be here when you return. Tend to your heart.

  56. says:

    My condolences and deepest sympathies.

  57. PJ says:

    Very sorry for your loss, Doug.

  58. Ben Wolf says:

    A lot of people are thinking of you, Doug. I’m very sorry for your loss.

  59. dennis says:

    Condolences to you and yours, Doug.

  60. Pinky says:

    Blog or don’t blog as you see fit, Doug. You might find the normality of it distracting, in a good way.

  61. ernieyeball says:

    My dad died peacefully with loved ones at his bed side.
    I can only hope the end for your father was as tranquil.
    No internet connection?

  62. grumpy realist says:

    @Franklin: In my father’s case, I just knew that he didn’t want to live after the death of my mother. He put everything into ferocious apple-pie order, chased me off to Japan (I had just picked up a fellowship at the U. of Tokyo) and then proceeded to stalk off into death, hastened by cancer. Everything he grimly put into order: threw out all the family pictures, sold off the family house, prepaid for his own cremation….he even tried to have the family cat put to sleep! (I rescued the cat, who lived for another 12 years.) But nothing was allowed to stand in his way and his decision to die. I consider it cancer-assisted suicide.

    It was the modern version of Wotan pulling off Gotterdammerung and it took me a long while to get over it.

  63. grumpy realist says:

    Doug, don’t be afraid to sardonically laugh with gallows humor. One of the remembrances I have always treasured is my roommate from college, who had had to deal with her father dying suddenly in a car accident, calling up and asking me:”so do you have someone to deal with the ghoul?”

    Sometimes it’s only the black humor that keeps you going. We want to scream at the gods, but we can’t, so we laugh helplessly instead.

  64. Mr. Replica says:

    My condolences to Doug and to his whole family.

  65. Mary G says:

    I’m sorry, Doug. Prayers to you and yours.

  66. rudderpedals says:

    @ernieyeball: My dad died peacefully with loved ones at his bed side.

    My Grandpa died peacefully in his sleep. His passengers in back, not so much.

  67. Hal_10000 says:

    Sorry Doug. Thoughts and prayers with you today.

  68. bill says:

    Sorry for your loss Doug.
    Hurry back, it’s boring in here!

  69. myson says:

    Sorry for your loss, lost my dad in a fire 2 years ago , tooks me months to cry as we had to sort out his affairs & keep the vultures away . Only got to cry 10 months later when in church & a very moving song was being sang luckily i had been warned earlier by a good friend it sometimes takes months before one can cry. Take your time it gets better . Also appreciated more people that sent text instead of calling as i could go back & read their comment & not try to guess who & who had called & what was said . Long time lurker from Lagos Nigeria

  70. grumpy realist says:

    @myson: Oh yes, indeed. Especially music associated with one or more of your parents. I still can’t listen to any Bach cello pieces without tearing up.

    And if you get to pick the music for the funeral/memorial service, find something nicely insipid and obscure. Something you’re not likely to run into again and don’t mind if you never play it. Otherwise you’ll be like my friend, who now cannot listen to “Amazing Grace”, period.

    (Good thing the people helping me arrange my father’s memorial service didn’t go with my suggestion and use “Erbarme dich, mein Gott.” If I am barred by my memories from listening to a piece of music, let’s not have it be the St. Matthew Passion.)

  71. Todd says:

    Sorry for your loss Doug. My condolences to you and your family.

  72. Just Me says:

    Sorry for your loss-it is hard to bury your parents even when you know it is coming-it’s been 15 years since my dad passed and there are still times I wish he was around to provide advice (he was one of the most intuitive men I have ever met and his advice and example were pure gold).

  73. Kari Q says:

    I’m sorry for your loss, and my thoughts will be with you.

  74. Motopilot says:

    Sorry for your loss, Doug. Look forward to your return to OTB, when the time is right.

  75. Surreal American says:

    My belated condolences regarding the passing of your father, Doug Mataconis.