DELAND, Fla. -- A celebration of the life of Diane M. Matousek, former Clerk of the Circuit Court for Volusia County, who died Tuesday, July 24, 2018, will be held a week from today at the historic Volusia County Courthouse. Matousek was 63.
Matousek, who was at the helm for 24 of her 44 years there, is recognized as one of the first clerk of courts in the Sunshine State to fully digitalize public records for online access before she left the office for retirement in 2016. She died Tuesday at Florida Hospital Fish Memorial in Orange City, of complications from an ailment with her digestive system.
Born in Crystal, Mich. in 1954, she is pre-deceased by her parents William and Barbara Mills, and brother Bill Mills. Left to cherish her memories and continue to keep her spirit alive, she is survived by her brother, Michael Mills (Jane); sons, Matthew and Michael (Brittney); their father, Charles Matousek; and her beloved grandson, Loch Matthew Matousek.
Matousek began her career working as a deputy clerk in the office of the Clerk of the Circuit Court in 1973, right out of high school, at age 18. Having insight into the future needs of the office, she later campaigned and was elected in 1992 to serve as the Clerk of the Circuit Court for Volusia County until her retirement in 2016. She was known as a dedicated public servant devoted to her position, employees, and the citizens of Volusia County.
Matousek was first and foremost a mother to her two sons and was involved in every aspect of their lives. She served as team mom being their most spirited cheerleader, supported their education and eventually their careers, officiated the ceremony for her son's wedding, and was a loving and doting grandmother. In her community, Matousek was active in the Athens Junior Women's Club, DeBary-Deltona Rotary Club, United Way, and numerous other organizations.
In 1992, Matousek, a Republican, defeated her predecessor, Newell Thornhill, a Democrat from Ormond Beach, whom she openly campaigned against as being symptomatic of the “good ol' boy system,” and in winning the elected seat became the first woman to do so. Matousek’s final budget in 2016, was more than $10 million, which included 290 staffers at the clerk of the circuit court offices in DeLand, Daytona Beach, New Smyrna Beach and Deltona.
Her successor, Laura Roth, described Matousek as "very unique and special,” adding, “she had such a lively and energetic spirit. She was very loved by the deputy clerks.”
Matousek hired Roth as her legal counsel and then chose her as her chief deputy. When Matousek decided to retire, she suggested Roth run instead and she won without opposition in the 2016 elections.
Headline Surfer had endorsed Matousek in 2012 and Roth after she announced her intention to run.
The memorial service for Diane Matousek is planned for 2 p.m., Friday, Aug. 3, in Courtroom No. 2 at the historic Volusia County Courthouse in downtown DeLand, 120 W. Indiana Ave. A gathering in the rotunda will follow.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the United Way of Volusia and Flagler Counties in Diane Matousek's memory. Condolences may be left for the family at www.lankfordfuneralhome.com.