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KENNETH MATKOVICH

KENNETH MATKOVICH Kenneth Paul Matkovich, 69, of Boulder City, passed away in his home Dec. 10, 2013. He was born in Chicago, Aug. 1, 1944, and attended the University of Illinois, graduating with a bachelor degree in electrical engineering. Ken joined Hughes Aircraft in 1967 after being recruited out of college into the elite Hughes graduate rotation program, which placed him in several organizations for a few months each so he could select his preferred position. He selected the engineering division in Culver City, Calif., specializing in the emerging infrared night vision technology. He quickly rose through the ranks to become a program manager a scant five years after joining the company. His first real test was to manage the U.S. Navy's P-3C flight test competition, which Hughes won. He went on to manage the subsequent $4.5M program in 1973, which designed and built the first of 13 systems in the unbelievably short time of 5.5 months from contract go-ahead to delivery. This established Ken as a premier program manager who combined his extraordinary technical intellect with a fun loving people oriented outlook. He went on to manage many successful programs and make lifelong friends of many of his associates. His career ultimately took him to Hughes Missile Systems in Canoga Park, where he managed the new long range tactical GPS guided weapon system, and rose to the position of assistant division manager. In the mid-90's he returned to his roots in tactical night vision imaging following closure and relocation of the Canoga Park facility to Tucson and its purchase by General Dynamics. By then the Culver City facility had also been closed and relocated to El Segundo. General Motors purchased the company in 1985, which validated Ken's lifelong association with GM cars including his GTO after graduation, his Corvette after retirement and a few Cadillacs along the way. Ken retired from Hughes El Segundo, by then Raytheon, in 1999. Along the way, Ken was introduced to the glitter and casinos of Las Vegas where after decades of serious aerospace technology development, the glamorous Las Vegas environment beckoned to him. He bought his home in Boulder City in 2002 and permanently relocated there following short stays in San Diego and Ft. Myers, Fla. He was a gracious host to his relatives and new and old friends, and spent his retired years traveling and entertaining. He enjoyed playing golf, visiting casinos and spending his time as an officer of the Bella Vista Property Owners Association. He will be missed for his kindness, intellect and good sense of humor. Ken is survived by his late sister Arlene's two daughters and their families, Judy of Jacksonville, Fla. and Jeanne of Goose Creek, S.C.. Ken also will be missed by numerous relatives and close friends in California, Nevada, Florida and the midwest. Services will be private.


Published in Boulder City Review on Feb. 6, 2014
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