Port of Richmond director dies from COVID-19

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Port of Richmond director passes away from COVID-19Port of Richmond director passes away from COVID-19
Jim Matzorkis, photo courtesy of his family.

By Kathy Chouteau

Port of Richmond Director Jim Matzorkis has passed away from complications due to COVID-19, Mayor Tom Butt announced in his eForum Sunday.

Matzorkis, who was 68, died Dec. 20, 2020, at his home in Oakland. He worked as the Port of Richmond director for 18 years and succumbed to his illness just 11 days before his retirement. Mayor Butt credited Matzorkis with “completing the Honda Port of Entry project that has resulted in over a decade of profitability for the Port.”

According to his obituary, Matzorkis was a native of Chicago who relocated to California as a child and eventually went on to marry his high school sweetheart Beverly Christenson. Upon the death of his father, Gus, Matzorkis assumed the role of family patriarch and served as the epicenter of family gatherings, organizing reunions and maintaining their connections.

During his lifetime, Matzorkis took many trips to his ancestral homeland of Crete, Greece to visit his relatives there. He also enjoyed traveling to Mexico, where he could indulge his zeal for tequila. Early in his career, Matzorkis worked for concert promoter, Bill Graham Productions, where he fed his love of music and began many lifelong friendships.

Matzorkis is survived by Beverly, his wife of 39 years; daughters Melanie and Ileana; sisters JoAnn (Allen) and Stacie (David); brother Nick (Susie); and brother-in-law Bob; in addition to numerous nieces and nephews.

He will be buried in Cleveland, OH near his parents and other relatives. A private graveside service will be held at St. Theodosius Cemetery in Cleveland and a memorial service will be held at a later date. Donations may be sent to the Cretan Club of Cleveland, 3853 W. 168th St., Cleveland, OH 44111 and condolences can be sent to Beverly Christenson at 2085 Drake Dr., Oakland, CA 94611.