PDG MAT MATSON PASSED AWAY
 
Audrey Matson asked that the District share the following message:
 
I’m forwarding a lovely tribute that Kimra Perkins wrote for Mat yesterday. Although it was written specifically for the members of the Rotary Club of Evergreen, a mountain club near and dear to Mat’s heart, it is about as beautiful a sentiment that one could receive and I hope that you will share it with the 5450 PDG/district leadership e-mail distribution list.
 
Our family will be planning a celebratory event to honor Mat’s incredible life, sometime in February, and I’ll share the details of that when all is finalized. Thanks so much for your help with the distribution of this information.
 
Yours in Rotary service,
Audrey
P.S. Many thanks to the PDGs and their lovely spouses that reached out to Mat and me earlier this month.
 
Subject: Family of Rotary - Mat Matson
 
It is with a heavy heart that I share the news that Mat Matson, beloved Rotarian and Past District Governor for Rotary District 5450, passed from this life to more life last evening (Dec. 27) at his home in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina.  His wife of 31 years, Audrey, was by his side. While Mat was a member of seven different Rotary clubs during his 48 years in Rotary, including 46 years of perfect attendance, he was an enthusiastic supporter of our club and a frequent attender of meetings, beer tastings and more fellowship gatherings than you could count. 
 
Born in Forest City, Iowa, Mat loved his family, the outdoors and all things Rotary. Many will remember that Mat hiked over 2,650 miles of the Continental Divide Trail over 5 years while in his seventies. He was an active leader in the Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) community, serving 13 years at Rocky Mountain RYLA and two years as the Chairman of International RYLA in 2008 and 2009. At RYLA, it is common to ask people to list their greatest achievements.  Mat always listed the same two:  “In Rotary, serving as the Rotary International RYLA Committee Chair for two years, and in my life, my marriage to Audrey.”
 
A graduate of Northwest Nazarene College with a major in music education, Mat was a man of deep faith all his life. He enjoyed traveling, reading and watching the Broncos. In addition, he was a prolific writer of postcards and emails to friends and family. Over the years, his email signature would change to reflect his thoughts at the time. His postscript from several years ago seems most fitting today. “May all your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, and dangerous, leading to the most amazing view, where something strange and more beautiful and more full of wonder than your wildest dreams waits for you.” 
 
Mat is survived by his wife Audrey, brother Laurel, seven children and sixteen grandchildren.  A celebration of life will be held sometime in February here in Colorado. More details will follow. 
 
If you would like to send a card to Audrey, her address is:  1805 Great Hope Dr., Mt. Pleasant, SC  29466 . In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Conifer Rotary Foundation, P. O. Box 1430, Conifer, CO 80433 or Education Elevated (a foundation created to provide financial assistance to the school in Pem Sherpa’s village in Nepal), c/o Gerri Kier, 225 Beacon Hill Road, Lafayette, CO 80026. Your donations will support several of Mat’s favorite Rotary projects.
 
Mat was a great Rotarian, wise mentor and loyal friend. He will be greatly missed.