Matthew L. Chaknis

Mr. Matthew L. Chaknis, age 58, of Edinburg, N.Y., died Monday morning, March 25, 2013, at St. Mary’s Hospital, Amsterdam, following a brief illness.

He was born May 28, 1954, in Gloversville, the son of the late William and Catherine Clifford Chaknis.

Matthew served his country faithfully for over 15 years from 1976 to 1992 in the Air Force in the 16th Special Operations Group as a flight engineer technician, stationed at Hurlburt Field in Florida. He and his company were in direct support of Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm. A “True Patriot,” Matt believed in his country. He may not have won all his battles in life, but won the war of eternal peace. He was a member of the National American Legion and the Spectre Association.

Following his military career he was employed by Martin Family Ford in Morganton, N.C., and later at Brown’s Ford in Johnstown. At the time of his death he was service manager at Nemer Ford of Queensbury, N.Y.

Matthew was an avid gun and knife collector and New York Yankees fan. He loved to cook and was famous for his homemade salsa.

Survivors include: his wife, Rene’ Dell’Arena of Edinburg; two children, Staci Vollero of North Carolina and Justin Chaknis (Brittanie) of Santa Rosa Beach, Fla.; a brother, John W. Chaknis (Mary Ann) of Gloversville; two grandsons and his “Girls” Allie and Annie. Also surviving are his niece and nephew, Holly Chaknis of Rochester and Mark Chaknis of Ballston Spa. He was preceded in death by his infant son, Joseph Matthew Chaknis.

The family will receive relatives and friends from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, March 28, at Walrath & Stewart Funeral Home, 51 Fremont St., Gloversville, where a service will follow at 2 p.m., with the Rev. Bonnie Orth officiating. Interment with military honors will take place in the spring at Mount Carmel Cemetery, Johnstown. Memorial contributions may be made in lieu of flowers to SPCA of Upstate New York, 588 Queensbury Ave., Queensbury, NY 12804 or to a military charity of your choice.

Please visit the family’s online guestbook at