She was the creative force behind Calico Cat, Landmark Cafe and Packinghouse. Remembering Mary Matson


Mary Matson

A woman who was associated with the redevelopment of the historic Seminary Street district and who was a creative force behind businesses such as Calico Cat, Landmark Cafe & Creperie and Packinghouse Dining Company has died.

Mary Matson of Galesburg died Oct. 5 at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria. She was 83 years old.

According to her obituary, Matson faced many health issues throughout her life. In 1970, at age 31, Mary suffered kidney failure and received one of the nation’s first transplant operations through an NIH grant to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. Through diligent care, she maintained the kidney for over 50 years and entered the record books as the world’s oldest kidney transplant from an unrelated deceased donor.

Matson was born in Galesburg and graduated in 1957 from Galesburg High School.

Matson opened Calico Cat Boutique in 1968, and she and her husband Jay Matson began a joint entrepreneurial career in 1970.

Obituary: Mary Katherine Matson: June 2, 1939 – October 5, 2022

Mary Matson is considered the creative force behind Calico Cat, Old Affairs Antiques, Lullaby Dad’s Thirst Parlor, Landmark Café & Creperie, Packinghouse Dining Company, Jumping Bean Restaurant, Uncle Billy’s Bakery, Kensington Restaurant & Ballroom and Macomb Dining Company.

She was an early advocate of tourism as an unprecedented economic development ingredient and donated the land to house the Galesburg Railroad Museum’s Pullman car when it was founded. Matson has partnered to foster the redevelopment and restoration of Seminary Street as a historic commercial district in downtown Galesburg. She received statewide honors with a President’s Lifetime Achievement Award from Landmarks Illinois, recognizing her revitalization work in preserving historic properties and promoting downtown economic development. with independent companies.

Mary Matson is survived by her daughter, Rachel Haynes of Altona. She is too survived by brothers Charles Myers of Rockford and William Myers of Thayer, Missouri; sisters Joan Singh of Alexandria, Virginia, and Susan Crawford of Denver; and her dear friend and ex-husband Jay Matson.

Cremation rites were granted. A celebration of life will be held at a later date.