Matthew P. “Matt” Gasper Sr.

Matthew P. “Matt” Gasper Sr.

Matthew P. “Matt” Gasper Sr., age 79, of Dubuque, was called home suddenly at 2:09 p.m., on Thursday, April 2, 2020, at UnityPoint Health Finley Hospital. Because of the unprecedented conditions in our country right now due to the COVID-19 virus, private family services will be held at Behr Funeral Home, 1491 Main Street. The family will thankfully receive your support through phone calls, greeting cards and online condolences left at A visitation and Memorial Mass will be held at Holy Spirit Parish, Holy Ghost Church at a later date. Burial will be in Mt. Calvary Cemetery.

Matt was born on July 25, 1940, in Dubuque, Iowa, son of Peter and Marcella “Sally” (Sahm) Gasper.

Matt attended school at Holy Ghost Grade School, and went on to graduate from Dubuque Senior High School. After graduation, Matt went on to honorably serve his country with the U.S. Army. He was united in marriage to the love of his life, Shirley Klein, on October 2, 1965, at St. Joseph Church in Rickardsville, Iowa. Matt was a dedicated employee who began his career working at Dubuque Stamping and Manufacturing for 10 years. In 1969, he would get hired at the John Deere Dubuque Works, where he would devote 32 years until his well earned retirement in 2001. He also served on the Board of Directors with Holy Ghost Credit Union for 16 years. When he wasn’t working, Matt enjoyed spending time downstairs in his work shop. He was an accomplished woodworker who has created countless projects throughout the years for family and friends. At Shirley’s “gentle urging”, Matt agreed to take some time away from his projects, taking several trips and spending time at their cabin at Leisure Lake. He enjoyed spending time outside and he and Shirley were avid walkers. Matt was a very devout Catholic as was evidenced by his long time membership and commitment to volunteer work with Holy Ghost Church. Matt was selfless, and the most giving man you will ever meet, he loved helping people with his time and talents and never wanted any reward for doing so. Above all, Matt’s family was always the most important aspect of his life and he was always sure that Shirley and each and every one of the children and grandchildren knew how much he loved them. Having the whole family together brought him great joy, especially on “junk party” nights. We are heartbroken at the sudden loss of Matt in our daily lives, but are thankful for all of the memories we have created throughout the years and will cherish forever.

Those left to cherish Matt’s memory include

his loving wife of 54 years,
Shirley Gasper, Dubuque, IA;

his children,
Jodi (Charles) Digmann, Dubuque, IA,
Dean (Michelle Clark) Gasper, Peosta, IA
and Matt (Lisa Young) Gasper Jr., Dubuque, IA;

his 9 grandchildren,
Tyler Millius, Jamie (Miles) Wille, Mitchell Millius, Jackson Digmann, Ryan Gasper, Julia Gasper, Austin (Michele) Gasper, Hannah Gasper and Abigail Gasper;

his siblings,
Theresa (Floyd) Kuntz,
Mary George,
Jane Smothers,
Jean (Eldon) George
and John “Jack” Gasper, all of Dubuque, IA;

his in-laws,
Del (Janet) Klein, Onalaska, WI,
Jim (Mary Ann) Klein, Dubuque, IA
and Lyle Klein, Rickardsville, IA;

and several nieces and nephews.

Matt was preceded in death by his parents; a son-in-law, James “Jim” Millius Jr.; his father and mother-in-law, Clarence and Angeline Klein; and his in-laws, Merle George, Marvin Smothers, Anna Mae (Melvin) Brimeyer, Marvin (Phyllis Ann) Klein, and Eugene (Shirley) Klein.

Matt’s family would like to thank the Sherrill Fire Department, and all of the volunteers and neighbors who have helped our family during this difficult time.

Memorials will be accepted by the family to be distributed among his favorite charities.


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27 condolences for Matthew P. “Matt” Gasper Sr.
  1. Daryl & Dianne Kamp says:

    Shirley & Family, so sorry to hear of Matt’s passing, Wishing you all peace & Comfort at this difficult time, please Have our Sympathy, Matt will remain in our Hearts Forever♡

  2. Nancy Davis says:

    Matt and I worked together at the Powerhouse in John Deere for some time. I remember it well as he kept getting laid off for a couple of weeks, then brought back. This happened quite often. Bless his heart, he always returned and never complained. It was probably in the early 80’s. He was a good man and makes me sad to know he passed. Your family is in my prayers.
    May God’s love and peace bring you comfort. Nanc

  3. Jan Kramer says:

    Shirley and family, Deepest sympathy for your loss of your beloved Matt. I will pray that God will give you strength to help you through this time. Love and prayers. Jan

  4. Diane Kramer says:

    Dear Shirley,
    Please accept our very sincere condolences regarding the sudden death of Matt. I opened the TH and there it was. Matt was a wonderful man–joyful spirit, husband, dad, friend and ever giving Christian warrior! Our thoughts and prayers are with
    Matt, you, and your family. Holy Week is almost a fitting time for this loss
    but also the great hope of the Resurrection. Praying for the peace of Christ for
    all of us….Diane and Tom Kramer

  5. Phil and Debbie Meyer says:

    Our sincere condolences on your loss. Matt was such a sweet and generous person. We are thinking of you, and praying for your comfort at this very difficult time.

  6. Wayne and Kay Weiland says:

    Shirley and family
    Loving thoughts and prayers coming your way at this most sad time. May God grant you the needed strength to get you through with your heart broken loss and may you forever cherish all of your treasured moments. Hugs, Wayne and Kay Weiland ❤️🙏🏻❤️

  7. Brenda and Roger Cox says:

    Jodi, May happy memories of your father help bring you some comfort in this difficult time. My deepest condolences and big hugs!

    Shirley and family, I am so sorry to hear of your sudden loss. Mr. Gasper sounded like an amazing man. He touched and brought joy to many lives, and the memories will continue to live on in many peoples hearts.(I am a friend and colleague of your daughter Jodi, and my heart aches for your entire family).

  8. Cindy Schwendinger says:

    Shirley and family sending hugs and prayers so very sorry for your loss. I will miss Matt so much he always had a smile and always come to say hi and ask how I was when he was helping out Ralf. He will be missed by all he had a heart of gold. Rest easy Matt I will always remember your kindness.

  9. Sharon and Keith Steuer says:

    Shirley and family
    Our deepest sympathy to you all. Loved Matt and his great sense of humor.
    We have the beer can airplane on display behind our bar.
    He will be deeply missed.
    Keith and Sharon Steuer

  10. Sue Hohaus says:

    Shirley and family:
    Shocked to see Matt’s obit today! Boy, you never know what tomorrow will bring! At our law firm get togethers, I remember him being so friendly and FUNNY. I’m sure he will be greatly missed by all who loved him so. My thoughts and prayers are with you guys in this very difficult time.

  11. Judy Sabers says:

    Shirley & family: Thinking of you, our sympathy & prayers! Bill & Judy Sabers

  12. Bruce and Carleen Rehmke says:

    Shirley, Jodi, Dean and Matt,
    Our deepest sympathy to you on Matt’s passing.

  13. Tom Ball says:

    My deepest sorrow for your loss. The Deere fitness center won’t be the same without Matt. I’ll miss his usual greeting of
    “ how about those Hawkeyes “.
    A bright light in every day life. All the best ,Shirley. Tom

  14. Josephlammer says:

    I am so sorry to hear of your loss! I worked with Matt for a number of years! He was a kind and generous man and taught me a lot over the years! I will be praying for you all during this trying time!

  15. David E & Jean Schmitt says:

    Words cannot express.
    Deepest sympathy.

  16. carol weland says:

    Shirley and family, so sorry to hear of Matt’s passing. Thoughts and prayers are with you at this difficult time.

  17. Tammy Ben says:

    Shirley and family, we are sending our sympathies to all of you at this sad time. May God keep you and hold you in the palm of His hand. God Bless.

    Tammy Ben
    Kathy Ben

  18. Anne Stelken says:

    Shirley, Jodi, Dean & Matt & families, I am so sorry to hear of Matt’s passing. I will miss seeing his smiling face in church! You are all in our thoughts & prayers. Bryan and Anne Stelken

  19. Michele Schetgen says:

    Shirley and family.. our hearts are breaking for all of you. Praying you find comfort in your wonderful memories. GOD BLESS YOU ALL Mike & Michele Schetgen

  20. Ken Smith says:

    Shirley we are so sorry for you & the family that Matt has passed. Quite a surprise. Rest in peace Matt. Donna & Ken Smith

  21. Michele and Mick Culbertson says:

    Shirley and family you have our deepest sympathy due to your loss of Matt. You and your family are in our thoughts and prayers.

  22. Rob and Dana Bohr says:

    Jody, Matt, Shirley and family… Dana and I remember him as such a great guy and talented wood worker when he made the crib for our first born, Ries. Our thoughts and prayers are with you for the peace that only God can bring at this time. Rob and Dana Bohr

  23. Bill and Rachel Gerber says:

    Shirley and family.
    We are so sorry for your loss. We have such fond memories of Matt. This is such a difficult time for you to be without comfort of friends. You and your family will be in our prayers.

    Bill and Rachel Gerber

  24. Sue & Dale Wilgenbusch says:

    Shirley and Family- deepest sympathy on Matt’s passing. My memories of him will always include a wide grin and an opportunity for a good laugh. May your days ahead be filled with memories shared of a life well lived. RIP

  25. Deann Welbes says:

    Our deepest sympathy on Matt’s death. Such a wonderful person,that done so much for so many. May all your memories help in these difficult days. The
    NorthEnd certainly lose one of the best.

    Paul & Dee Welbes

  26. Jerry and Joyce Schissel says:

    Dear Shirley and Family,
    We send thoughts, prayers and hugs to all in the sudden loss of your special Husband, Dad, Grandpa . . . So enjoyed him! So, so sorry. God Bless, Jerry &Joyce Schissel

  27. Lynne and Rich Fluhr says:

    Shirley and family, we were so sad to hear of Matt’s passing. Our sincere sympathies to each of you. His happy smile and kindness will be missed at the lake, his “happy place”. We are praying for you and your family. May your faith help you through your grief and all your wonderful memories help heal your heart. God Bless

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