April 8, 1942 – July 30, 2021
Professor Frank Mattos was devoted to his wife of 37 years, Mary, his “furry children”, Koa, Nina, and Kaime (as well as 20 other pets over his 56 years in Hawaii), his family, friends, and his students.
His career in education began at St. Augustine Grade School in Waikiki. He served as an English Teacher and Chair at Maryknoll High School for 20 years before moving to Chaminade University as a Professor of English. Frank taught at Windward Community College for 22 years. Thanks to his leadership and innovative ideas, WCC was the first campus to implement Computer-Assisted Writing into English 100. During his time at WCC, Frank was awarded the Excellence in Teaching Award and the College Chancellor’s Award. Whenever a former student would come up to him at the market or in a parking lot, he would recall their names and sometimes even their grades and enjoy reminiscing. He was always happy to accommodate students’ requests for references or recommendations. He always felt appreciated for being remembered after so many years.
Frank’s life in Hawaii was spent giving, from his early years at The Arc in Hawaii to his leadership in the Hawaii Service Learning Program at WCC, about which he was often invited to speak at National SLP conferences. He was very proud of what he accomplished in his career as an Educator.
He was a gentle soul who loved attending the symphony, opera and art shows, and was never without a book at hand. He loved the ocean, spending hours at the beach, walking the sands, and finding solace in the waves. His adventurous spirit would sometimes lead him to dive off the cliffs of Makapuu. His last (unsuccessful) attempt almost caused a postponement of his wedding in 1984.
He always said his retirement years would be spent “reading and weeding” which was a commitment he kept until his death on July 30, 2021.
He will be missed by all whose lives he touched. He is remembered as a teacher of excellence, but so much more – a Man of Excellence.
Donations can be made in Frank’s name to
The Hawaiian Humane Society (HawaiianHumane.org) or
The Arc in Hawaii (TheArcInHawaii.org)