Charles A. Matuska, the 80-year-old North Riverside resident who was hospitalized in March after suffering through months of neglect at the hands of his live-in caretaker, died June 1.
Matuska had entered hospice care in the past week after spending more than two months recovering at a long-term advanced care facility. When paramedics brought Matuska to Loyola University Medical Center on March 5, he had gaping, stage-four bed sores that medical staff said had developed through months of neglect.
But the stoic Matuska, who also suffered from Parkinson’s disease and dementia, hadn’t complained about his treatment to friends who visited him, noting that he was always covered in blankets and heavy, long-sleeved shirts.
On March 13, police arrested Stephen J. Kowalsky, who was Matuska’s live-in caretaker since the summer of 2012. He was later indicted for criminal neglect of an elderly person and spent 41 days in Cook County Jail before pleading guilty.
He was sentenced to time served plus two years’ probation and ordered to pay a $689 fine. He left Cook County Jail on April 22.
Kowalsky had been paid $700 per week by Matuska’s sister, a Pennsylvania resident, to give Matuska round-the-clock care. The arrangement was made privately and not through the home services company for whom Kowalsky reportedly continued to work after being hired to care for Matuska full time.
In late 2013, Kowalsky himself suffered a stroke and was hospitalized. After returning to Matuska’s home, Kowalsky admitted he could no longer care for Matuska properly. It was Kowalsky who called paramedics on March 5, the day he was taken to Loyola.
A lifelong bachelor, Matuska had lived in his modest raised ranch near Komarek School in North Riverside since the early 1960s. He worked for the Zenith Corporation for 30 years, retiring in the 1990s.
For obituary information, see page 13.