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Imre "Jimmy" Mate

October 24, 1935 ~ August 20, 2023 (age 87) 87 Years Old

Imre Mate Obituary

On 20 August 2023, Imre 'Jimmy'/'Emery' Máté passed away at his home in Elyria surrounded by his loved ones after a long hard-fought battle with multiple chronic illnesses.Imre was born in Kóny, Hungary on 24 October 1935, attended the Révai Miklós Gimnázium in Györ, and immigrated to the United States in 1957 after fleeing to Vienna, Austria with fellow villagers during the 1956 Hungarian Revolution. Soon after arriving at Camp Kilmer, Imre and his lifelong friend Ferenc Tuza were among a group of refugees selected to work at the Newark (NY) State School where they cared for patients in the asylum's children's ward. Searching for gainful employment, they relocated to Cleveland's Buckeye neighborhood. Imre worked many jobs, including as an Upholsterer doing piecework at the Cleveland Furniture Company using skills he learned in Hungary. He was ultimately hired as a Grinder by the Pfaudler Company in Elyria where he worked from 1960 until the factory closed in 1985. He also worked for many years as custodian and bartender at the St Lads Club in Lorain.In 1965 Imre took his first trip back to Hungary to visit family, and met and married his beloved wife of 58 years, Mária Dömötör. Imre and Maria purchased the Mayfair Bar on West River Road in Elyria in 1977. They ran it together until 2007, and fondly remembered their many customers who became an extended family. In addition to working full time at the factory and running the bar at night and weekends, he continued to pick up side jobs in construction to support his family both in the U.S. and in Hungary. As with many immigrants, Imre strived to make a better life for himself and his family, instilling an appreciation for hard work and overcoming challenges while always doing one's best in everything. Imre had a beautiful tenor voice and his family loved to hear him sing. His favorite songs included 'Elpihent a nagyvilág,' 'Hazám Hazám,' 'Piros Rózsa,' 'O sole mio,' 'La Paloma' in Hungarian as well as 'Oh Holy Night' at Christmas time. He was featured on local television and radio variety shows in Cleveland during the 1960s and often sang at area Hungarian festivals and churches.An avid soccer player in his younger days, Imre played on teams in Kóny, Cleveland (St Stephens Club), Lorain and Elyria (the Elyria United Soccer Club). In his later years, he was his granddaughter's biggest soccer fan, cheered her on in track and fencing and always enjoyed listening to her play her violin.Imre liked (and also won a few local tournaments) to play pool and bowling (the Mayfair Team), and also enjoyed traveling to Hungary and wherever his daughter was stationed, swimming, fishing, playing chess and solitaire, making Hungarian kolbász and kocsonya, and watching Westerns. Imre belonged to the St Ladislaus Catholic Church in Lorain and St Jude Catholic Church in Elyria. He was a long standing member and for a few years officer (Auditor) of the St Ladislaus Sick Benefit Society. He was a member of the Lorain Hungarian Young Mens Club and supported the founding of the Barati Kör (Hungarian Friends Society). Imre will be greatly missed by his wife, Maria; his daughters, Melinda Máté (COL, US Army Ret.) and Emóke Máté (BSN, RN); his son-in-law, Christopher Walczak; and his granddaughter, Zsófia. He was also a dear uncle of Marika; Andrea, János, and Gábor; Sándor (deceased); Melinda and László, (Roman Catholic priest). He was great uncle of Anita; Klaudia and Péter; Dorka and Zétény; Dániel; and Julcsi, Áron and Klára. And he was great-great uncle of Emóke and Áron. Imre was preceded in death by his parents, Imre and Irma (nee Szalai); his sister, Annus Major and her husband, Balázs; and good friend, (Ferenc's wife) June.The Laubenthal Mercado Funeral Home in Elyria handled arrangements. Interment is planned at the Village Cemetery in Kóny, Hungary.


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