Our dad, Mathias “Matt” Hatzenbuhler, born March 7, 1926, was reunited with the love of his life, Anna (Haider), on April 19, 2022, after a short stay at Missouri Slope.
Dad first noticed Mom at the Odense Church, but like he said, “At the time she was too young for dating.” When Dad was drafted into WWII, he prayed God would keep Anna available and that one day she would become his wife.
Upon his return, he drove into her parents’ yard, and with her siblings running about, she ran up to him and asked, “Do you want to take me to a movie?” That was the beginning of their courtship. On June 19, 1951, at the very church Dad first laid eyes on her, they were united in a 70 year marriage.
Together they spent the best years of their lives farming and raising their seven children. As Mom would say, “Dad is a good man.” Although he was a man of few words, Dad spoke to God often. Church, prayers, and rosaries were part of his daily life. Upon moving to town in 2000, he could often be seen briskly walking to and from St. Joseph’s Church several times a day. As one priest said, “Matt, I think you spend more time in the church than I do.”
Although Mom began showing signs of dementia 10 years ago, Dad promised to take care of her to the end. Even though his health began to fail around Christmas 2021, and they both ended up in Edgewood Vista, Dad was by her side when she passed. We can only imagine Mom’s reaction when she saw Dad enter Heaven: “Where did you come from? Where were you?”
Dad will be deeply missed by his five daughters, Marlene (Dennis) Bender, Mandan, Lorraine Berger (Merle Vandeberg), Mandan, Judy Staley (Doug Baldacci), VA, Jane (John) Reede, Bismarck, and Annette Hausauer, Mandan; two sons, Larry (Mary), Bismarck and Jeff (Tara), Mandan; brother, Christ; sisters-in-law, Isabelle and Helen, all of Mandan; 18 grandchildren; 15 great grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Anna (February 20, 2022); parents, Anton and Julia (Scheetz); granddaughter, Cassie Shaw-Hatzenbuhler; son-in-law, Quinten Hausauer; sisters and brother-in-law, infant Margaret and Margaret (John) Zueger; brothers and sisters-in-law, Fred, Anton, John (Ann), Joe (Florence) and Hildegarde.
A joint Mass of Christian burial for both Matt and his brother, Tony, who died just hours before him, will take place at 10:30 AM on Monday, April 25, 2022, at St Joseph’s Catholic Church, Mandan, with Fr. Josh Waltz celebrating. Both men will be buried at the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery with full military honors. Visitation will be held from 5 to 7 PM on Sunday, April 24, 2022, at Weigel Funeral Home, Mandan, with a Parish Rosary/Vigil at 7 PM. Visitation will continue one hour prior to the service at the church on Monday.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be sent to the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery, 1825 46th St., Mandan, ND 58554.