M. Jules Mattes

Obituary of M. Jules Mattes
Michael Jules Mattes, PhD, was born in January 1948 in New York City and grew up in Detroit, Michigan. For the past 36 years he lived in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey. He passed away at the age of 74 on June 22, 2022. Michael, who for most of his adult life went by his middle name Jules, was born to Dr. Max and Lillian Mattes. He grew up with twin brother Jeffery and younger brother Richard, and dog Prince. One of his main interests in youth was reading. He would exhaust all works of an author he came across, reflecting a habit of thoroughness which set a pattern in his career and personal enjoyment throughout his life. Jules went to college at the age of 16 and holds a BS in Biology (1968) and a PhD in Biology (1977) from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He held research positions at the National Institute of Health, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, and Center for Molecular Medicine and Immunology. He was a pioneer in the development of radio-immunotherapy, contributing over 100 publications to the field over his 30-year career. Jules was also a teacher throughout his career. In Michigan, in the VISTA program in Saint Thomas, and at Community Colleges in New Jersey. In retirement, Jules dove deeper into his interests in history and philosophy, taking several courses at Rutgers University, publishing essays on Epicurus and the Aeneid, the latter being included in the syllabus of a Classics course at Cornell University. He also inspired a new course at Cornell about ancient beginnings of the Enlightenment featuring works of Lucian, Lucretius, Erasmus, and Epicurus. His literary works are available by searching for “Mattes” on: In his personal time, Jules had a fondness for nature. He enjoyed gardening and feeding birds from his backyard, and took his family on vacations to many of North America’s National Parks. However, his true love has always been the Caribbean islands, where he enjoyed many trips snorkeling, spearfishing, and camping on the beach. He was an avid reader, and lover of classical, bluegrass and jazz music, theater, and foreign films. Jules was a devoted husband to his wife Ruth, as well as a dedicated father to their children, Malcolm, Vanessa, and Mitchell. Jules also had a special relationship with their dog Pepper. As a family they loved hiking, spending time in nature, going on family trips, spending time at the family lake house, and playing some competitive games of Scrabble, Chess, Hearts, and Badminton. Family time was always important to Jules, and attending extended family gatherings was always a priority. In more recent years he became a father in law to Malcolm's wife Michelle and Vanessa's husband Ellie. He was a warm and loving grandfather to Hazel (5), Emmett (3), Adina Sarah (6), Baila (4), and Moshe Simcha (2). He enjoyed reading them books, playing board games, completing puzzles, arts and crafts projects, and mathematical challenges. Jules will be missed deeply by his family and other loved ones. The memories of his life will be cherished. His passions, hobbies, interests, and values will always be remembered and passed on to the next generations. The memorial service will be held at the Berheim Apter Kreitzman Suburban Funeral Chapel which is located at 68 Old Short Hills Rd. in Livingston, New Jersey 07039 on June 26th 2022 at 11AM. Following the memorial service, the burial will be at Mount Freedom Hebrew Cemetery on South Road in Randolph, NJ 07869. Following the memorial service, family, relatives, and friends will gather together at the home of Jules’ eldest son, Malcolm. “Let no one put off studying philosophy when he is young, nor when old grow weary of its study. For no one is too young or too far past his prime to achieve the health of his soul. The man who alleges that he is not yet ready for philosophy or that the time for it has passed him by, is like the man who says that he is either too young or too old for happiness.” - Epicurus

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Past Services

Sunday, June 26, 2022

Funeral Service

Sunday, June 26, 2022