Matilda Hecox

Obituary of Matilda M. (Malouf) Hecox

Matilda, “Tillie” Hecox - who rebranded herself at age 80 as “Mattie” - beloved mother and grandmother, passed away peacefully on April 29, 2020 surrounded by her children. She was born on January 22, 1932 to Salem and Mary (Abounader) Malouf in their home in Utica. Tillie graduated from T.R. Proctor High School in 1949. In 1953, she graduated from Albany State College with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in French and Spanish. At “State”, she was a proud member of Beta Zeta Sorority. After graduating, she taught at Delevan-Machias Central High School and at New York Mills High School. On August 9, 1958 she married Charles (Pete) Hecox at St. Francis de Sales Church. They were blessed with five free-spirited, stubborn, and amazing children. Pete passed away in 2002. For many years, Tillie was a substitute teacher in the Utica School District, most frequently at Jefferson and Seymour Schools. She was a willing volunteer, and was an active member of the Mother’s Guild at St. Peter’s School and a religious education teacher for the parish. She could occasionally be seen delivering newspapers for her children when they needed a substitute for their paper routes. In her younger days, she loved to bowl and dance. She enjoyed watching her children and grandchildren’s sporting events. Mattie was an avid fan of watching Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune, and football, especially the Buffalo Bills and Notre Dame. While cooking was not her passion, she did make the best meatballs! She had many fond memories of her youth, including “bean picking” and spending time with her brothers, Naheim and Louis, and her many cousins. Mattie was preceded in death by her eldest and beloved daughter, Mary, who passed away on July 27, 2009, and who remained forever in her heart. She is survived by her loving children James and Kathleen Hecox, Alison Jarmula and Randy Merritt, Lauren and Daniel Johnson, Anne and Brian Merry, and her son-in-law Rocco Fanelli. She is also survived by her precious grandchildren Alyssa, Taylor (fiancé Adam), Robert (fiancée Dia and daughter Ava), Michael, William, Kara, Carolyn, Andrew, Jessica, and David and her great granddaughter Emma Mary. She is also survived by her sisters-in-law, brother-in-law, nieces, nephews, and cousins. Due to the current health concerns and keeping with the directives of the CDC and National Funeral Directors Association, a private family service will be held. Interment will be in Calvary Cemetery in Utica. Those wishing to make a donation in Matilda’s memory, please consider Breast Cancer Research Foundation ( or Stand Up To Cancer ( Mom, give Mary a hug from all of us and we’ll see you on the other side.
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