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Violeta passed from this life at home on Friday, September 15, surrounded by generations of her family. She lived a long, healthy, and extraordinary life.
Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1926, Violeta met the love of her life while attending the University of Buenos Aires. She and Fernando Mata married in 1953 and settled into building what would become a large family. With two young boys, they made the journey to America to start a life together, where Fernando would conduct research at the University of Kentucky and Ohio State University. Eventually, they settled in Mansfield, Ohio, where Fernando practiced medicine. During that time, the family expanded to include three daughters. Together, they enjoyed sailing Lake Erie, traveling, and, especially, Violeta’s gourmet cooking.
After losing her husband in 1981, Violeta turned her attention to raising her children and welcoming sons- and daughters-in-law and several grandchildren and great-grandchildren. She forged a full life for herself during widowhood.
Violeta always displayed a sense of elegant courage and embraced her role as the cornerstone of her family, devoted not only to her children but also to her siblings, in-laws, nieces, and nephews. She was a pillar of strength to all those in her extended family, modeled respect for others, and made sure those around her focused on being kind to all. Violeta lived her life with a quiet grace and admirable determination. Always proud of her children’s achievements, she carried this warmth into her role as grandmother and great-grandmother, beaming with joy and pride for her beloved grandchildren.
Violeta’s favorite place to be was her carefully restored Civil War–era farmhouse on her beloved High Valley Farm in Holmes County, Ohio. There, she welcomed a constant stream of family, friends, and neighbors every summer with her warm hospitality. She spent her winters in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, surrounded by her increasingly growing family of grandchildren and great grandchildren.
In her later years, Violeta found inner peace through her devout Catholicism and consistently supported her parish. Her generosity included support for Catholic Charities, the Archdiocese of Miami Catholic School Fund, and her parish’s efforts to help the needy abroad. She had a special affinity for the Poverello Center of Fort Lauderdale and also supported the Wounded Warrior Project.
The sound of an opera or a symphony was never very far away. Violeta’s fondness for the classical musical arts led her to support the Florida Grand Opera and the South Florida Symphony Orchestra.
Violeta was preceded in death by her husband Dr. Fernando Mata and her sister Inés and brother-in-law Carlos Brianceschi, also of Mansfield.
She is survived by sisters Chelo (Lito) and Gloria and brother Emilio, all of whom reside in Argentina; her children Dr. Fernando Mata (Cristina), Che Che Mata (Nikki), Vivi Mata (Richard), Mariche Mata Hayduk (Scott), and Adriana Mata (Dan); grandchildren Jesica (Brandon), Fernando III (Lauren), Nicholas (Whitney), Crissy (Wyatt), Danny, Mia, Alex, Ava, Marina, Lia, Derek, Jack, and Emilia; and great-grandchildren Charles, William, Isabelle Violet, Fernando IV, Lionel, Emilio, Elias, and Violet.
Funeral arrangements will be private. In lieu of flowers or memorials, friends may make donations to the Poverello Center in Violeta’s honor at https://poverello.org/