|Birth: ||Jun. 3, 1916|
|Death: ||Feb. 29, 2000|
Los Altos Hills
Santa Clara County
Matthew John Altenhofen was born in Milwaukee, WI, the second son of the three children of Matthias and Lillian (Kieckhefer) Altenhofen. Matthias was an electrical engineer and Lillian was artistically inclined. As a child, Matt loved to read. He graduated from Milwaukee's South Division High School in June 1932 at age 16 and attended Milwaukee State Teacher's College from September 1933 through February 1934, majoring in mathematics and history.
Matt was appointed to the Academy from the 4th Wisconsin District. With his inherent intellectual talents and educational upbringing, Matt was exceptionally well prepared for academics. To quote a classmate, Matt's "forte is mathematics, he gets quickly to the heart of the matter, is little worried, concentrates on academics, coaches others." Matt graduated second in his class and was one of only three to wear stars all four years.
At graduation, Matt was commissioned in the Corps of Engineers, and his first assignment was to the Vicksburg, MS, Engineer District. During WWII, his service included the 805th Engineer Aviation Battalion, Panama Canal Department; the 869th Engineer Aviation Battalion, Florida and New Guinea; and the G-4 Section, Eighth Army, Japan. In 1946, Matt was assigned to the faculty of the Engineer School, Ft. Belvoir, VA, where he taught engineering courses in beach erosion and shore protection. Next, Matt earned a master's degree from Cal Tech. He then was assigned to the Mathematics Department at USMA for three years. Following that tour, Matt attended the Command and General Staff College and then served with the Joint Construction Agency, Paris, and later as the Verdun Area Engineer. Returning to the U.S. in 1955, Matt commanded the 35th Engineer Construction Group, Ft. Hood, TX, for two years. He then was assigned to the faculty of the Army Supply Management College, Ft. Lee, VA. Matt retired after 20 years of service, having earned the Commendation Ribbon (Eighth Army) and the Bronze Star (Air Force Western Pacific).
During his tour with the Joint Construction Agency, Matt met Liselotte A. Jaeger, and they married in June 1955. Of this union were born Caroline and Hans. Upon retirement, the family settled in the San Francisco Bay area at Los Altos Hills. Matt became the Operations Analyst at Stanford Research Institute and also tutored mathematics and computer science at Foothill College.
In 1994, Matt was diagnosed with cancer, which he fought into remission. With the help and care of his wife, he was able to stay at home and have personal care.
Matt's spirit lives on in his family, for whom he cared most. His ashes were inurned at West Point, a place that so much shaped his life.
Liselotte Altenhofen and COL Melvin Russell
United States Military Academy Post Cemetery
New York, USA
Plot: Section XXXVI, Row A, Site 54A
GPS (lat/lon): 41.39982, -73.96802
Created by: Catherine Cramer
Record added: Oct 06, 2013
Find A Grave Memorial# 118287060