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I visited John's home layout, and we traded e-mails. I bought a special (to me, anyway) box car from him ... a Weaver item that was part of a classic car series. In this case, that box car was decorated with of a 1956 Continental Mk II -- a model of the actual car I own.  I placed it on my layout.

When I served as Editor of THE LION ROARS magazine of the LCCA, I invited John and his wife to write an article about their basement layout -- which they did.  John is an appreciator of the South Shore Railroad, and that affinity was built-in to his home layout. From time to time, John sent me photos of current project - RR cars he customized. One of them was a Santa Fe Commissary Car -- which I had never heard of until then.  That car was filled with dining car linens and other necessities for use on long-haul routes.

His wife was an artist, She created many backdrop scenes and added decoration to buildings. They often co-hosted open house events at the layout in the role of ambassadors for the world's greatest hobby.  He will be greeted at Grand Celestial Terminal by the Great Conductor and offered an Eternal Ticket to ride the cosmos without end.

Mike Mottler     LCCA 12394

This is sad.

I had corresponded with John years ago, and we got to talking about our military service, and when I told him I had been a tanker in 2nd Armored Division, he revealed he had been in 1st Armored (could've been 3rd Armored, I cannot recall exactly) serving in a different time-frame. We were just two old veterans building train layouts and running trains

Last edited by Paul Kallus

Please note family request for donations to Tunnels to Towers, an incredible charity. It’s never too late to make a donation in John’s name.


U.S. Veteran  

John R. Mateyko, age 83 of Lansing, IL, formerly of Cincinnati, OH, passed away on Friday, October 27, 2023. He is survived by his wife, Janet Mateyko; children: Cay Stout, Carin Mateyko, and Marc Mateyko; two grandchildren: Jackson and Jamie Stout; and sister: Marlene Varnum. John was preceded in death by his parents: Robert and Margaret Mateyko and brother, Richard Mateyko.

John graduated from Thornton Fractional High School in 1958. He attended the United States Merchant Marine Academy for two years, transferred to Indiana University and graduated in 1963. He entered the US Army as a Private and completed Basic Training at Ft. Knox. He graduated from Ft. Sill Officer Candidate School in March, 1964 and completed flight school (Rotary Wing) at Ft. Rucker, Alabama in June 1965. John flew in Vietnam with Co. A, 501st Aviation Battalion (Rattlers) from August, 1965 through August, 1966. He then served with the 205th Aviation Battalion as a test pilot in Germany until his release from active duty in June, 1968 as a Captain.

John was a member of the VFW, DAV, MOAA, MOPH (Purple Heart). He was an avid model railroader. He will be laid to rest at a later date in Arlington National Cemetery.

Please omit flowers. In John’s honor, please make memorial donations in his name to Tunnel to Towers Foundation Their address is Tunnel to Towers Foundation, 2361 Hylan Blvd, Staten Island, NY 10306. Since 9/11, this organization has been helping America’s heroes by providing mortgage-free homes to Gold Star and fallen first responder families with young children and by building specially-adapted smart homes for catastrophically injured veterans and first responders. They are also committed to eradicating veteran homelessness. This organization has received an A+ rating with Charity Watch.

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