Christel Mattern

August 28, 1938 ‒ November 22, 2020

Delaware, Ohio

Christel R. Mattern, 82, of Delaware passed away Sunday evening, November 22, 2020 at the Country Club Retirement and Rehabilitation Center in Delaware.

She was born August 28, 1938 in Wanne-Eickel, Westphalia, Germany to the late Heinrich and Martha (Piskorz) Rostek. Coming to the United States in November of 1949 and settling in Riverside, New Jersey, she graduated from Riverside High School. She then graduated from Temple University in 1960. Deciding that she wanted to become a teacher, she began taking teaching courses and received her Master’s Degree in Education from The Ohio State University.

Christel was a teacher in the Columbus Public Schools System at Walnut Ridge High School retiring after 35 years. She was a devoted and faithful member of St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Delaware and the Columbus Damenchor, a German singing group. A former president of the Delaware Garden Club, she loved gardening and all flowers. She also loved writing and had an unbridled passion for life.

Left to cherish her memory are her sons, Jeff (Lea) Mattern of Columbus and Tom Mattern of Colorado; daughter, Linda (Tim) Lewis of Columbus; grandchildren, Alyssa, Ross, Abigail, and Lydia; sister, Eva (John) Frayne of Illinois; nieces and nephews, Ron, Evonne, Patrick, and Henry; extended family and friends.

In addition to her parents, Christel was preceded in death by her loving husband Robert.

The family will receive friends on Tuesday, December 1, 2020 from 3 – 6 pm at the Snyder-Rodman Funeral Center, 101 Valleyside Drive at W. William Street, Delaware. Services celebrating Christel’s life will be held on Wednesday, December 2, 2020 at 11:00 am at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, 28 E. William Street, Delaware with Rev. Craig Richter officiating. Burial will follow in Oak Grove Cemetery.

Contributions in Christel’s memory may be made to St. Mark’s Lutheran Church.

The Snyder-Rodman Funeral Center is honored to serve the Mattern family.

To share a fond memory of Christel or to offer a condolence to her family, please visit

  • I remember listening to Christel’s beautiful voice in the choir. She always had a smile on her face. She will be missed. May memories warm your heart.
    God bless
    Nancee Fisher

  • Frau,

    Though u were never my teacher I knew who u were. We knew who u were. Many…if not most of us at Ridge knew u or u knew us. We appreciate u and who u made us to be.

    Phil Beeman

  • I know you from choir at church, I will sorely miss you, getting to talk with you and sing with you! You were always so happy and knowledgeable. We will all be with you someday and I for one cant wait. Peace and comfort to all you family and friends. Love you charlotte.

  • Our condolences to her family. She taught both of my children in her German class and she is fondly remembered by them to this day.

  • Christel was a welcome addition to our Delaware AAUW group. She was talented, creative, intellectually curious, and always kind. She will be missed.

  • Chrisel was a wonderful teaching colleague as well as friend. I taught Spanish next door to her German classroom for 20 some years. She encouraged me to audition for the Columbus Damenchor in 2010 and I spent the next 7 years or so singing beside her in the Alto section. She was a great mentor to me in the culture and language of my own German ancestors during those years. We had a great time together on the trip to a National Sangerfest in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. We sang most of the way, on our “party bus” filled with Maennerchor and Damenchor singers! Christel was a past-President of the Columbus Damnechor, and most recently, the Historian. She helped me compile the history book of our chorus in 2016 for its 85th anniversary. She was always so enthusiastic about all her endeavors. She loved her children and grandchildren dearly and often spoke of them to me with great pride. She will be missed greatly .

  • Prayers to the family. I worked with Bob at the Dublin Training Center and quickly learned from him how devoted he was to his family and his ability to share his knowledge with others. I’ve met Christel several times and truly understand how much they were in love and how they both provided to support the family.

    May Christel rest in peace.

  • Sending sympathetic thoughts as I remember my acquaintance with Christel when I was a German teaching colleague at Pickerington High School. I always looked forward to our conversations at conferences and OSU German Day competitions.

  • Jeff, Tom, and Linda,
    I enjoyed your mom through the years, as a fellow Columbus School teacher and singer, too.
    Christel was a lovely woman, and it was a joy to have known her.
    I will keep you all in my prayers. Keep the fond memories of your mom forever.
    Anne Droste

  • To Frau Mattern’s family,

    I had the privilege of having your mom as my German teacher for four years at Walnut Ridge. Remembering her class brings back many fond memories. She is the reason that I was able to participate in an exchange program where we hosted a German student and then in turn I spent a month in Germany as well. It was an experience of a lifetime and one that I owe her for. She also was tremendously compassionate to me during my senior year of high school when I lost my father to cancer. She was an amazing teacher and individual. I will always remember her gentle spirit, kindness and beautiful smile.

    My deepest condolences to her entire family. My prayers are with you in the days ahead.

  • Thank you all for the kind words. Some of you I have met and/or remember your names from the teaching days, meeting folks at the many dinners, concerts, events, etc. Also, the friends/co-workers of my father…and students far and wide. Thank you all for taking the time to write.

    My mom frequently talked about her many students, co-workers, friends, choir
    members, neighbors…always with great pride and love as though you were family. And the trips – I heard so much about them sometimes I feel as if I were there!

    My own grief is magnified by so much outpouring of support for my mother…though in a good way. My family and I will miss her terribly, but to know how much she will be missed by so many others warms my heart.

    She touched countless lives and inspired so many – from Germany, to Riverside New Jersey, to Columbus, to Delaware – always giving generously of her time and sharing her vast knowledge, skills and infectious passion for life.

    For those that are able to attend services in Delaware, I look forward to meeting or seeing you again…to share fond memories and give her a final farewell.

    Christel Mattern…”the Frau”…my dear mother…we will love and miss you forever.

    Jeff Mattern

  • It was such a pleasure having Christel in the choir at St Marks. She has given me some of her beautiful handmade jewelry which I treasure, and cards of her flower photographs. I put the first birthday card she gave me into the clear pocket of my Sunday Service notebook and it has been there ever since. I have used that notebook nearly every Sunday and every rehearsal for over five years now. Each time I am reminded of when she gave me that card.
    Christel sat in the front choir row nearest to me at the piano. Even when I wasn’t the “new director” anymore, she would give me a big smile when she was pleased with our anthems. She always told me after rehearsal how she thought it went, (usually well), and when she found a piece particularly uplifting. Each week she came and left the choir loft with a smile, and I loved that she was happy to be there.
    It was truly a blessing getting to know Christel. I will deeply miss her in choir, sitting in HER spot sharing her joy.

    Vonda Parks

  • My Aunt Christel was a beautiful person inside and out . There are so many memories that come to my mind . As a child I remember how excited I would get when I heard my cousins and Aunt and Uncle were coming East to visit . The great times at the cottage , Knoebels amusement park and just us being together as a family. When I was 12 , we came out to Ohio for a visit and I had my first boat ride on Alum Creek and learned how to water ski. We went to the metro parks and the local public pool right down the street and swam all the time. But the most memorable in my mind was when I moved to Ohio as a feisty 16 year old and my Aunt and Uncle took temporary guardianship of me while my mother tied up loose ends back East so we could make Ohio our permanent residence . It takes a special kind of person to take on that challenge . Aunt Christel and Uncle Bob were my second parents and my cousins were my brothers and sister. As the years went by and we grew into adults , we all went our separate ways . When my mother ended up physically unable to take care of herself, my Aunt Christel would make it a point to come visit my mother and take her out to lunch or go shopping. She kept close contact with my mother and was the best sister in law. I am grateful that Aunt Christel spoke at my moms funeral and will never forget the car ride with her when we went out to dinner afterwards . We kept in touch over the years and for the holidays . I am so grateful for all the dinners we had at Buns restaurant in Delaware and the company and conversations . You will be dearly missed and I will hold the wonderful memories close to my heart!

  • Thank you all for the kind words, thoughts and feelings shared about Christel. She is missed terribly and it’s hard to imagine our lives without our beloved Nana. Christel was an amazing woman of many talents and skills. She had a passion for teaching, her students, and her faith. She never let a day go to waste. Above all, she LOVED her children, grandchildren, and family. I will fondly remember our family holidays, dinners, shopping trips, jewelry making, scrapbooking, book swapping, cooking and so many other things we have done as a family. Our hearts are heavy and we are filled with grief but we know Christel is singing and leading the Lord’s Choir. First chair.

    We love and miss you, always.

  • My memories of Christel go back a long way. She was my first wife’s sister-in-law, and I thought of her as mine as well. I recall her sharp intelligence surfacing in conversation. It was always a pleasure to talk to her since she was both an excellent raconteur & listener. I also recall clearly the time she & Bob came to the family cottage with Tom, Jeff and Linda. Everyone brought the instruments they were adept at playing. There was a piano in residence, luckily. Christel led the little band in a rendition of the theme song from “The Sting,” a popular movie at the time. It was so entertaining; I wish I could have recorded it. I regret I did not get to spend more time with her & her family in later years. But that does not lessen the loss I feel at her passing. My sincere condolences to Jeff, Linda & Tommy.

  • Linda, Jeff, Tom, and family: Christel was my “birthday buddy” and she remembered every year. I’ll miss her hello as we greeted her coming into choir- like Norm from Cheers. When I got to drive her home she always argued about walking her to the door, but always wanted to show me her latest puzzle. I still have one of her photo cards she loved to share. She tried so hard to teach me bits of German. The joy she took in music, especially singing, her German groups, her students- all perfect subjects for talks anytime. I’ll remember that determination always. I wish her joy at her reunion with Bob- I can imagine the tears and smiles. Love to you all.
    Sherryl Sheets-May

  • Christel was an inspiration to us all, I believe. She was in the Delaware Branch of AAUW. I used to drive her to our meetings when she needed a ride. She gave me a beautiful bracelet which she had made, and I still enjoy wearing it. It reminds me of her each time I do. Her history is so rich. All of her family must be proud to be related to her. I am happy for her to be free of pain, but I know it is hard for those who are left behind. Feel happy for having been a part of her life, and keep her memories dear.

  • I believe I was Christels first friend in the USA. She was the new girl in my 6th grade class and from Germany! I was so excited to be chosen to take her to lunch that day. I promised she would love the scalloped potatoes they were serving. Unknown to me she hated them but didn’t tell me until years later. We were best friends through high school snd shared many secrets laughs and good times. Went for a ride with my sister and forgot to tell our parents who to our surprise had police out looking for us! Not fun for us when we arrived home! I knew and met Bob shortly after they met and knew that was a forever match. Last time I saw them both was at one of our high school reunions. Many fond memories of my friend. My condolences to her family as I know what an amazing person she was!

  • I know that Christel will be remembered by many as a fabulous lady and a beautiful singer. She was my birthday sister in the Damenchor. We sang together for many years, and she was always kind to me. God bless her and take her to heaven with him. She deserves only the best.

    Condolences to her family and close friends.