Jeno Antal Matrai



Jeno Antal Matrai, 83, of Fredericksburg passed away Wednesday, April 11, 2018.

Jeno was born in Budapest, Hungary to Laszlo Matrai and Ilona Etl on April 17, 1934 and had two brothers and a sister. He attended trade school in Budapest and became a skilled mechanic. During the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, being a true patriot, he fought against the Russians. Jeno aided in bringing many people to the sanctuary of the Austrian border and as the driver of the last bus went to safety himself. While living in Bad Aussee, Austria as a refugee, Jeno applied for asylum to Canada, the U.S. and Australia. Canada was the first country to accept him and he made his way to Montreal where he settled. He found work first in a mirror factory and later as a mechanic for the French excavator manufacturer, Poclain.

Jeno met the great love of his life, his wife Sonja Fischer, and six months later they were wed. Their daughter, Petra, was born a few years later. Through hard work, he earned several promotions. As the company became successful and expanded into the U.S. the family moved to New Jersey. In New Jersey their second daughter, Tanya, was born. When Poclain expanded into Virginia, Jeno and family moved one last time and settled in Spotsylvania. Several years later Jeno and Sonja opened their own successful business, Rapid Construction Equipment, and sold excavator parts worldwide.

Jeno enjoyed staying fit by playing tennis and running. He and his wife enjoyed spending winters in their Florida home. Most of all, he loved and lived for his family.

He was preceded in death by his wife, parents and two brothers.
Jeno is survived by his two daughters, Petra Matrai of Arlington and Tanya Wright and her husband, Ashton; grandchildren Gabriella and Heidi Randhahn all of Spotsylvania; and sister Maria Sanders of Georgia.

A memorial Mass will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Monday, April 16 at St. Mary Catholic Church. Inurnment will follow at Oak Hill Cemetery.

Expressions of sympathy can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association in memory of Jeno