Alberto  Mata

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Dr. Alberto Guardiola Mata Jr. of Lawton, OK passed away on Saturday December 22, 2018 in Dallas, TX at the age of 69. Alberto was born on June 29, 1949 in El Paso, TX. He graduated from Lawton High School. He then received his B.A. in Political Science in 1970 and M.A. in Human Relations in 1971 from The University of Oklahoma. He received his Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Notre Dame in 1978. Albert was the eldest in the Mata family and the first to obtain a doctorate degree and served as a role model for his brothers and sisters to follow.
During his career Dr. Mata was a National Institute of Health Post-Doctoral Fellow. He was also a professor of Sociology for over 30 years and taught at a number of institutions including the University of Wisconsin, The University of Texas, and Arizona State University until finally retiring as professor emeritus from the University of Oklahoma in the summer of 2013.
Dr. Mata dedicated his career to improving people's lives through his research on gangs, drugs and HIV and their effects on various communities which resulted in over four dozen publications, essays and reports. Dr. Mata served in numerous advisory positions and boards including Oklahoma Department of Health, National Community AIDS Partnership, National Institute of Mental Health and the National Institute of Drug Abuse all with the goal of improving everyone's mental and general health. Also notable is in 1987 he was selected to serve on the Presidential Commission on HIV Epidemic as a Senior Adviser and Research Staff Member. In later years he taught continuing education classes for the Department of Defense traveling to bases all over the world including Italy, Spain, South Korea, Japan and Germany to teach service members and families. He was an ardent supporter of the military having grown up in a military family.
Alberto was kind, generous and had a passion for helping friends and family and thought of other's well-being more than his own. He never met a stranger and treated everyone like family and became known as Uncle Albert to more than just his own nieces and nephews. He always encouraged family and public service and shared those values with all. He would open his home to students who didn't have a place to celebrate the holidays. He thought education was important for all, so he worked to make sure underprivileged students had a chance at higher education. Alberto never let anyone leave the room without smiling and he never let anyone feel they didn't belong.
Albert was preceded in death by his parents Alberto and Francisca Mata. He is survived by his brothers Antonio Mata, Armando Mata, and Arturo and his wife Sheryl Mata as well as his sisters Martha Torres and Lydia and her husband Phillip Easton. He is also survived by several nieces, nephews and great nieces and a great nephew.
A memorial service for Dr. Alberto G. Mata Jr. will be held at 1:00 p.m. Saturday, December 29, 2018 at the Comanche Nation Funeral Home in Lawton, OK. Viewings will be Friday from 5 - 9 pm and Saturday from 9 am - 12 pm.
Published on December 26, 2018
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