SIOUX CENTER, Iowa -- Dr. Russell Maatman, 86, of Sioux Center died Monday, March 22, 2010, at Royale Meadows Care Center of Sioux Center.
Memorial services will be 11 a.m. Friday at Covenant Christian Reformed Church of Sioux Center, with the Rev. Herm Van Niejenhuis officiating. A prayer service for family and friends will be 10 a.m. Friday at Memorial Funeral Home in Sioux Center. Interment will follow the prayer service in Memory Gardens Cemetery of Sioux Center. Visitation will be 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday, with the family present 5 to 7 p.m., at Memorial Funeral Home.
Dr. Russell Maatman was born in Chicago, Ill., on Nov. 7, 1923, to John and Cora (Van Prooyen) Maatman. The family lived in Frankfort, Ill., while Russell attended grade school and Chicago Christian High School. Russell obtained his undergraduate degree in chemistry from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Mich., and received his doctorate from Michigan State University.
Russell married Jean Sherrard on Dec. 27, 1948, at her parents' home in Gibsonburg, Ohio. They moved to Greencastle, Ind., where Russell taught at DePauw University. In 1951, he accepted a position as a research chemist for Mobil Oil in Paulsboro, N.J. He worked at this company seven years before moving to Oxford, Miss. to teach chemistry at the University of Mississippi. In 1963, he and Jean with their five children moved to Sioux Center. Russell taught chemistry and related courses for 27 years at Dordt College.
Russell had a very strong faith in Jesus Christ as his Savior. This belief was evident in every area of his life. He served on the church council, was a member of the Unity Christian High School Board as well as the board for KDCR. He volunteered to teach for short-term periods in South Africa and the Ukraine. After he retired from Dordt, Russell was involved in Crossroad Prison Ministries, providing feedback to prison inmates who sent in Bible study lessons.
Russell had several passions in life. He was deeply involved with his family. He also enjoyed stamp collecting, classical music and discussing politics. Russell published three books on creation and science plus numerous research papers in the field of catalysis.
Russell is survived by his wife of 61 years, Jean Maatman; one son and daughter-in-law, John and Anne Maatman of Sioux Center; two daughters and sons-in-law, Susan and Larry Meyers of Sheldon, Iowa, and Ruth and Roger Carter of Columbia, Mo. Russell loved his 15 grandchildren and 12 great-grandchildren. He is also survived by two sisters-in-law and brothers-in-law, Jeanette and Russell Sours of Risingsun, Ohio, Mary and Lance Zimmerman of Gibsonburg, Ohio, Flo MacGilvray of Sarasota, Fla.; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Preceding Russell in death were daughter and son-in-law, Deborah and Steven Baker; his daughter, Rebecca Maatman; his parents; as well as two siblings, Elwood and June, who both died in infancy.
In lieu of flowers, the Maatman family prefers memorials be directed to Crossroad Prison Ministry, P.O. Box 900, Grand Rapids, MI. 49509-0900.