Marshall Mattox, Hesperia Unified's head of nutritional services, died suddenly at age 59.


"Marshall had served as our director of Nutritional Services, managing the breakfast and lunch programs for all our schools for about a year and a half," said David McLaughlin, Hesperia Unified School District's assistant superintendent of Business Services. "With over 25 years experience in management of school nutritional services, Marshall was well liked and highly respected in his field throughout Southern California. In his short time in Hesperia Unified, he had a positive impact in service to students, employee effectiveness and morale. Marshall will be greatly missed."


The Hesperia resident grew up in Barstow, graduating from Kennedy High School in 1971 and playing football for Barstow College.


Mattox managed Straw Hat Pizza East and served as the director of Food Services for Silver Valley Unified School District and Coachella Valley Unified School District before coming to work for the HUSD. He also served as a youth sports coach, coaching football, baseball, soccer and baseball.


Oak Hills cafeteria worker Tracy Moyer said the entire kitchen staff was "deeply saddened" by the April 22 death of Mattox.


"Marshall Mattox became the head of our family last year," Moyer said. "Even though it has been a short time, the changes he made were positive ones and beneficial. He made it a point, each and every time he came to our kitchen at OHHS, to come to each of us and say 'hello' with that warm smile and joking wink.


"He had so many plans in the works for the future of our district," Moyer continued. "I can only imagine how wonderful things will continue to be if his dreams come to fruition."


Mattox is survived by his wife, Christy, two sons, a daughter and five grandchildren.