Matthew J. Makaus, Jr. “Joe”, 72, was born in Phoenix on September 2, 1945, and passed away July 17, 2018, after a long illness.
He attended St. Gregory’s and St. Francis Xavier Elementary Schools, Brophy College Preparatory, Northern Arizona University and Arizona State University. He lived in Pinetop most of his adult life until health issues brought him to Scottsdale.
He loved cool mountain mornings, the sounds of elk bugling and aspen quaking; the smell of pine trees and rain-soaked dirt; licks from his favorite dog, Boone, his chocolate Lab; the taste of tequila, whole milk and especially Claire’s good cooking.
He was an accomplished mountain man, avid hunter, and first-rate fisherman. He could track any animal and jerry-rig anything. He was an extremely talented artist who could draw and paint beautifully. He did things his own way and on his own time (meaning slowly). He strummed his prized 1940 Brazilian Rosewood Martin guitar and sang with a haunting, raspy voice. He had an amazing sense of direction never fearing being lost no matter how far back in the wilderness he wandered. He loved to laugh and hear a good joke, the naughtier, the better; and, he was a collector of ‘just about everything.’
Joe was a kind, sweet and generous man loved by all who knew him. His friends thought highly of him saying, “It was an honor and pleasure to be considered his friend. His passing is truly the end of an era.”
He was predeceased by his parents Matthew and Gladys Makaus, his brother Pete and niece Tiffany Makaus.
He leaves behind his sisters, Carolyn Colangelo and Mary Makaus; sister-in-law, Suzan Makaus; nephews and nieces, Lisa Fischer (Ed), Lauren Parson (Shaun), Caroline Vilchis (Ignacio), Brent Makaus, Tory Dowling (Kevin), Matt Poulton (Roxanne); grandnephews and nieces, Grae and Michael Fischer, Caroline and John Wichterman, Cooper Parson, Stella Poulton, Ryan Dowling and Arturo and Bruno Vilchis; and his dear friend and companion for many years, Claire Snitko.
Services will be private.
If you choose to make a donation in his honor, please consider:
Hunts for Heroes
c/o Arizona Elk Society
7558 West Thunderbird Road,
Peoria, AZ 85381
Hospice of the Valley
5801 East Mayo Blvd.
Phoenix, AZ 85054