Aug. 28, 1959 – Dec. 15, 2020
Dave Mata—better known as “Mata”—was the national operations manager at Global Experience Specialists, based in La Grange, Ill. He had been with GES Chicago for more than 20 years, starting in September 1999.
His daughter, Rebecca Huerta-Mata, wrote, “Our dad had a tough exterior, but underneath it all, he was the goofiest man you would ever meet. You wouldn’t see our dad without a stogie in one hand and a frosty (beer) in the other. Our dad was not the best with words or saying beautiful sentiments, but he sure did let you know with his actions. If he invited you to a White Sox game, that meant he enjoyed your company. If he gave you a nickname, that was an indication of his affection for you. We will miss his crazy spontaneous dance moves, funny one-liners, and paparazzi-like tendencies of capturing every moment, whether they were big or small. At the time, we didn’t fully understand why he took so many pictures, but we are grateful for every moment he captured. Our dad lives on through the photos he took and the memories we all share with him. Being able to keep those memories and have pieces of him in the photos is something we will cherish forever.”
Rob Bussey from BWS Logistics wrote, “I got a call from Tony Madrigal, my boss from my GES days. It was a hard call for Tony to make since he has known Dave for 35 plus years… I just want to send out my sincere condolences to the family and loved ones of Dave Mata. Dave had a long career at UPS and then a second, long career at GES where he worked in operations and then logistics…Dave was a hustler, a mover and a shaker, a Sox fan and a sharp dresser and anyone who knew him knew he was a true character. Dave knew how to get things done in an operational setting. Dave could also always make you laugh. I will miss this guy and I know that many others will as well. Until we meet again buddy, rest in peace.”
More than 100 co-workers and friends wrote on Facebook regarding Dave’s passing. As Las Vegas GES’ Donna Haydocy Pena wrote, “Who will give us nicknames now? I will miss my Chicago counterpart. And a great person to have ‘frosties’ with.” Dan Heintz seconded that, saying, “Great guy—going to miss talking to him and going to the ballpark for a ‘frosty’ with him.”
Paula Lee Rodriguez wrote, “He was a great co-worker and always made people around him laugh with his witty comments. He had a nickname for every one of us at the department. He will be deeply missed.”
His son, David (pictured left with his father), wrote, “I had the opportunity to work with some of the amazing people at GES. Getting called Little Dave by your friends and co- workers is something I cherished and I’m so, so proud of you, Dad. Thank you for the memories and opportunities you gave me…I’m a grump like my father and I’m him in every way and I’m proud of it. Thank you to everyone at GES, we love you.”
He is survived by four children Rebecca (27), David (25), Jaclyn (20) and Edward (17) whom he shared with Lisa Considine, four grandchildren, brothers Mario and Paul, sister Yolanda and his devoted fianceé Lisa Jett.
His Mass and burial were held Dec. 21 in Mt. Carmel, Ill. His family welcomes donations at www.gofundme.com/f/david-g-mata-funeral-and-medical-expenses. To share a memory to condolences in his online guestbook, visit legacy.suntimes.com.
This story originally appeared in the Jan./Feb. 2020 issue of Exhibit City News, p. 44. For original layout, visit https://issuu.com/exhibitcitynews/docs/ecn_jan-feb_2021