Matt M. Adler Jr.

Jan. 28, 1924 - Feb. 17, 2008

Mathias "Matt" Adler Jr., 84, of Stone Mountain, Ga., passed away Sunday, Feb. 17, 2008, in his home of pulmonary fibrosis complicated by pneumonia. He was born Jan. 28, 1924, in Waunakee.

Matt is survived by his wife, Alice Rhodes-Adler; daughter, Mary Ferschinger of Waukesha; sons, Mark Adler of Chicago, Roger Adler of Crystal Lake, Ill., and Jeff Adler of Atlanta; and stepdaughters, Lisa Rhodes of Atlanta and Nancy Rhodes of New York, N.Y. He is also survived by five beloved grandchildren, Bryan Ferschinger, Jamie Ferschinger, Nicole Adler, Jacquelyn Adler and Sophie Adler.

The sixth of nine brothers and sisters, Matt’s surviving siblings are Herman Adler of Waunakee and Genevieve Adler of Madison. Matt was preceded in death by two infant children, and in 2001, by his first wife of 55 years, Marian Fleiner Adler, also of Waunakee. They had known each other since the age of 3 and were two of 17 in their high school graduating class.

In 1943, Matt left engineering studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison to serve with the U.S. Army’s 84th Infantry Division in Europe during World War II. He received a Bronze Star for duty at the Battle of the Bulge. For many years, Matt proudly participated in the reunions and governance of The Railsplitters, a veterans’ group of the 84th Infantry.

After the war, Matt returned home, married Marian Fleiner, started a family and began working as a business manager for Carl F. Statz Farm Implement Co. Later, he became regional credit manager for the Oscar Mayer Co. and was transferred to their Chicago offices. Upon retirement, he and his wife Marian lived at a lakeside home in Illinois that they had personally built, and wintered at a home in Florida. They greatly enjoyed having family and friends as their guests at both residences.

After Marian’s death in 2001, Matt struggled with single life. Then his son Jeff introduced him to Alice Rhodes in Atlanta. They fell in love and married in 2003. An accomplished educator and puppeteer, Alice taught Matt puppetry. Together they have performed their professional shows for schoolchildren in several southeastern states. They have been featured at Atlanta’s renowned Center for Puppetry Arts.

Matt actively volunteered with several organizations, including Puppeteers of America and the Center for Puppetry Arts. A skilled woodworker, Matt loved to help build stage sets for Atlanta’s Horizon Theatre Co., which son and daughter-in-law Jeff and Lisa Adler founded and operate.

Services will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 1, at Living Grace Lutheran Church, 1812 Cooledge Road, Tucker, GA 30084.

The family suggests that memorial contributions be made to Horizon Theatre Co., "Matt Adler Memorial Lobby," P.O. Box 5376, Atlanta, GA 31107.

Expressions of condolence or tributes can be made at