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South Bend: Drake Matthew Matovich, 63, passed away on the evening of May 18, shortly following an accident while traveling on Interstate 88-East. Drake was born October 5, 1959, to Kathryn and Eugene Matovich in Michigan City, Indiana. They moved to Elkhart, Indiana, where he attended Elkhart Community Schools. He graduated from Elkhart Memorial High School in 1977. Many of his classmates shared that Drake was a comedian-always making others laugh- and he was considered “the most memorable” of his class given his vibrant and fun personality. He enjoyed riding motorcycles and motocross racing with friends. Drake went on to have two sons, Nicholas Matovich (Texas) and Dustin Matovich (New Mexico), and a daughter, Sarah Gage (North Carolina). While not seeing his grown children as much as he would have liked given the distance, he spoke of them often, was proud of them, and loved them immensely. On December 11, 2005, Drake married Karen Sue Smith. They built their home in South Bend, Indiana, and enjoyed gardening, caring for their flowers, and being among the wildlife. Drake loved being home, simply dinking around in his garage, being in the presence of his wife, and spending time with his cats Mildred, George, and Ziggy. His cats were his solitude, and he enjoyed taking them on road trips. Drake loved his career as a trucker of 44 years and had a tireless work ethic. He was also an exceptional welder and could take any picture or piece of scrap metal and turn it into art; his personal truck was a testament to this, which he took enormous pride in. Drake didn’t have a filter; you always knew where you stood with him and what he was thinking. He was “real” in a sometimes-unreal world, where he was outspoken regarding his beliefs, politics, and the injustices of life. Yet, he was respectful, listened to others’ views, and thrived off a good debate. If things got too heated, rather than becoming upset, he’d often find the humor in it. Drake was a protector and helper for those he loved and cared for, even to those friends he hadn’t met yet, given that “he knew no stranger.” He was called “The Mayor” of his neighborhood; he always knew if something seemed off and planned for prevention rather than intervention. He would be the first to run toward a situation to help, regardless of the circumstance. He was loyal, dependable, compassionate, and had a heart like no other. When most people think of Drake, they think of his laughter first or how he could instantly make you laugh to the point of tears and your stomach hurting. It seems as though Drake had a mission to bring that laughter and a little happiness to all he encountered. He had a child-like way about him when around children; he could easily relate to them and get down to their level, throwing darts, sling shooting with rubber bands, running through sprinklers, entertaining them with goofy faces, hats he wore, and imitations of different characters. He was animated, imaginative, and fun. Just one week before his sudden passing, Drake looked at his wife with contentment and said, “This is the happiest I’ve ever been in my life.” He had been looking forward to starting new projects around his home and a trip he and his wife planned to take over Memorial Day weekend. Drake’s presence in this world to all who knew him was a large one, and the wound of the loss of him even greater. He would want you to remember his laughter and smile, then spread that joy to others. Drake leaves behind his wife, brother-in-law James Sapp, grown children, a brother Eric Matovich (Ohio), his mother-in-law Linda Walsh (Plymouth, Indiana), and father-in-law Paul Smith (Kentucky). Drake was preceded in death by his parents.
Friends and family may call from 6-8 pm Friday, June 9, 2023 at Billings Funeral Home, a celebration of life service for Drake will immediately follow at 8:00p.m. A classmate Teri Shenk will officiate. Memorial donations are kindly requested to the family. Condolences may be made online at www.billingsfuneralhome.com.
To the Funeral Home to assist with Funeral Expenses