Matilda Acuff, age 98, passed away on June 6. She was the daughter of the late George and Elizabeth (Sandrene) Horak, who emigrated from Austria at the start of WWI. Born on August 12, 1922, she grew up in Akron, eventually meeting her future husband, a Tennessee farm boy, on a city bus.
While her husband served in the Army in WWII, Matilda worked in the Goodyear Airdock (used for WWII military aircraft production) and later for Pflueger making fishhooks. After the war, the couple moved to Tallmadge, where they raised their family and Matilda lived for over 70 years.
She was preceded in death by her husband of 64 years, H.K. Acuff, who passed in 2007, her 7 siblings, and her daughter-in-law Holly.
Matilda was devoted to her family, and their care and well-being was her focus. Her considerable sewing skills were frequently used to make and alter clothes for her kids. She always made sure her family was well-fed with healthy food, which could be ethnic dishes she learned from her mother or cornbread and Southern foods her husband grew up with. To feed her family she partnered with her husband to plant, tend, and pick a giant garden. Fresh in-season vegetables were a staple at the dinner table, and the fruits and vegetables she canned filled the cold cellar.
Matilda and her siblings maintained their ethnic heritage, frequently switching to Croatian in phone conversations. She enjoyed one-on-one conversations with her kids, frequently at the dinner table or back porch. She also enjoyed her flowers and walks around the yard and into the orchard.
Matilda will be greatly missed by her children, Ken Acuff, Yvonne Mutchie and Gary (Caryn) Acuff; grandchildren Ian (Denise), Aidan, Adam, Aaron (Crystal), Arienne and Adrian Acuff, Valerie (Brian) Watson, Kevin (Robin) Mutchie, and Whitney Jackson; and 8 great-grandchildren.
Matilda’s family would like to extend their gratitude to the Gables of Green for their compassionate care in her final years.
Per Matilda's wishes, cremation has taken place, and there will be a private Memorial Mass held for her family at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations in Matilda’s name may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association 225 N. Michigan Ave., Fl. 17, Chicago, IL 60601. To leave a message for Matilda's family, please visit www.NewcomerAkron.com.