John Erle Van Matre

Feb. 23, 1949-April 5, 2024


John Erle Van Matre, 75, of Crawfordsville died peacefully, surrounded by family, on April 5, 2024, at Nathan Adelson Hospice in Las Vegas, Nevada.

John was born Feb. 23, 1949, at Indianapolis, to John and Lida Van Matre of Crawfordsville, who preceded him in death.

John co-owned Edwards & Van Matre Construction with lifelong friend and business partner, Doug Edwards. A capable entrepreneur, John owned and operated the Lew Wallace Inn, as well as the notable live music bar, the Rockin’ Horse. John was a talented bass guitarist, showcased in all four of his beloved bands: Prisoners, Longhorn, Fearless Heart and the Vipers.

As a retired Army veteran, John dedicated himself to his community, making regular philanthropic donations to St. Jude Children’s Hospital.

John is survived by his twin daughters, Jordan Van Matre (Roehr) and Johnna Van Matre (Lynaugh), as well as his step-daughter, Kisha Deck. An ever doting grandfather, John is survived by his grandchildren: Russell, Juan and Brooklyn Lynaugh; and Rydan Roehr. Additionally, John is survived by his siblings, Judith (Judy) Corbin, Mary Katherine (Katie) Scalf, Jack Van Matre, and Joseph (Joe) Van Matre.

A funeral mass is scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday, May 25 at St. Bernards Catholic Church, followed by a burial at Calvary Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family has requested memorials be made through “John Van Matre” GoFundMe. Additionally, donations may be made in his name to St. Jude Children’s Hospital.