Remembering Carol Mata

Longtime Westporter Carol Mata died last week, at 73.

She was an entrepreneur, starting a doll-making business in Peru, and an Ecuadorean handcraft store in Westport called El Rondador. Carol also managed many rental properties. 

She was a host mother to many foreign exchange students throughout the years, and an adopted mother and grandmother by countless people around the world. 

She was an accomplished entertainer, party organizer and self-taught chef. She welcomed hundreds of people into her home with warmth, elegance and epicurean treats. 

Carol was also deeply involved in Westport activities. Her daughter — Staples High School art teacher Angela Simpson — sends along this remembrance:

Last week, Westport and the greater community lost a humble and generous servant. Carol Mata, a resident of Westport for approximately 50 of her 73 years, passed away peacefully but unexpectedly in her sleep.

Carol Mata

Carol’s generosity extended beyond her kindness to her family. She dedicated her time and talents to the Westport Woman’s Club (in particular the Yankee Doodle Fair), ran Fairfield Prep annual auctions, fundraised for Staples marching band uniforms, and always opened her pocketbook to support charities, especially Al’s Angels and Caroline House.

She was a fixture at St. Matthew’s Church in Norwalk, where she served as a eucharistic minister, delivered home-cooked meals to those in need, and assisted with accounting and event planning.

She also served for years as a CCD instructor at Assumption Church in Westport. She took her lesson planning very seriously, and was delighted to have one of her own grandchildren in her class.

Carol’s philanthropy extended outside Fairfield County, and even outside the country, but her greatest gift was her genuine care for all people. She did so much for so many, and never expected recognition.

Carol was a breast cancer survivor, and understood the importance of cherishing family and friends. From Carol you could count on original, personalized Christmas cards, along with her signature “Christmas Coffee Can Cake,” heartfelt and handwritten thank-you notes, and multi-course gourmet meals served from chafing dishes, always accompanied by beautiful floral arrangement.

Carol will be missed by many. But the many organizations and individuals that she touched are the better for her efforts.

9 responses to “Remembering Carol Mata

  1. Eleanor Sasso

    May God bless and keep Carol in His blessed presence and bring peace to her family and friends.
    We need more loving souls like Carol in our world today❤️

  2. I met Carol teaching religious education at Assumption and her beautiful soul will be missed dearly. Her kindness and smile crossed my path and made my days brighter. Wil love and gratitude, Rest In Peace Carol

  3. Dorothy Abrams

    An inspiration and model to all.

  4. Linda D. Parker

    I admire this remarkable woman…!

  5. Dorothy E. Curran

    The driving force within Carol was love of others—family, friends, community and the greater good. For her, responding to the needs of others was an instinct. She did it quietly and with joy, but her pure-hearted example, energy, sense of fun and excellent talent for organization and implementation drew others to the task. MANY others, and all with warm memories of the way the work was done and the scale of the good achieved. Of course, she also enlisted her family into the tasks at hand. In fact, it was Carol—when she was chairing Yankee Doodle Fair some years ago (and overseeing the food and cooks in the era when WWC, friends and family ran the food concession)—who decided that the Westport Woman’s Club’s signature annual fundraiser needed a “signature,” a graphic logo that all would see and understand. She asked her daughter, Angela Mata Simpson, to design it. The rest is history. That carousel horse logo endures. It IS Yankee Doodle Fair every June, on the WWC website and signs and banners across Town. In the years to come, thanks to Angela, it will be a lovely way to remember Carol.

  6. Rita A. Leyden

    It was a privilege and joy knowing and being with Carol love to her family and friends who will miss her …

  7. Rita A. Leyden

    Rita A. Leyden | August 19, 2018 at 2:19 pm | Reply
    It was a privilege and joy knowing and being with Carol love to her family and friends who will miss her …

  8. Wendy McKeon

    Carol’s kind heart and effervescent smile will never be forgotten by all those who had the honor of knowing her.
    As a member of the Westport Woman’s Club, and co-chair of the WWC Food Closet, I will forever remember Carol’s ardent support of this community service provided by the Club.
    May she Rest In Peace.

  9. Angela Mata Simpson

    Thank you for the condolences and memories. It’s lovely to know our mom touched so many lives. We continue to miss her and will honor her memory by trying to follow her example.