Rodney Floyd Matye

image of Rodney Matye

Rodney Matye

image of Rodney MatyeThe “bull of the woods” has walked his last trail. After a lifetime of adventures and service to his family, community, and nation, Rod Matye began his latest great adventure on Friday, January 14th, 2022, dying peacefully with family by his side.

Rod moved to the Hoodsport, WA area in 1961 when he was 14 and met his spouse Sandy Lyman the same year. Both are 1965 graduates of what is now Shelton HS.   Two weeks later, Rod joined the US Marine Corps, serving in California, Japan, Alaska, and Vietnam.   Rod and Sandy married in 1967.  Together they made quite a team living up and down the Pacific Northwest from Carlsbad, California to Kodiak, Alaska plus several places in Oregon while in the service, college, and US Forest Service. Daughter Lisa was born in 1969 in Kodiak, AK while Rod was in the Marine Corps, and son Jon was born in 1973 while Rod was attending Centralia College.

Graduating from Washington State University in 1976, Rod went on to spend a career in the Forest Service in various northwest locations, retiring from the Olympic National Forest Supervisors Office in 2003. Although officially a silviculturist, Rod performed several roles in the USFS, including serving on National Incident Management teams that fought fires, responded to hurricanes, and other national tragedies including recovering the Columbia Space Shuttle and the Deep-Water Horizon incident.  As part of the Alaska Incident Management team, one of the most challenging assignments was working recovery at the Duane Street NY Fire Station in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorism attack on the World Trade Center.  He considered that a humbling honor.

Rod was proud to be a Lion. From community Easter Egg hunts, to helping organize golf events to raise money for scholarships, to splitting wood for the many Lion’s Club projects, Rod was “all in” especially if the project benefited children.  He was instrumental in initiating the vision screening program for elementary students in the Grays Harbor region, which has screened thousands of children for early vision problems.  You can rest and relax on benches in Cosmopolis near the river or in the park as result of projects he initiated on behalf of the Lions and the community.

Rod lived solidly by two mottoes: “Improvise, Adapt, and Overcome” and “Go Forth and do Good Things.”  Be it work, play, or volunteerism, he was always looking to make things better.   Lord help you if you put up obstacles.

Family, friends, and adventure were always a priority. Whether it was hiking the Olympics, hunting birds, deer or elk, clamming at the beach, fishing or riding his Harley, Rod loved being outdoors. He traveled to some of the prettiest places our country has to offer, sometimes for pure enjoyment but often for firefighting or incident management teamwork.

Rod is survived by his wife, Sandy, of Cosmopolis, WA, their daughter Lisa and her husband Kendall and their children, Alex and Sydney of Littleton, CO, and son Jon, his wife Melonie and their sons, Mason and Kaiden of Weston, OR.  Also surviving him are his brother Roger and his wife Correne, his brothers-in-law Steve and Brad Lyman and their families.  Rod and Sandy considered Jon’s high school friend, Frank McClintick, his wife Stacey and children Heston and Sierra members of the family.  All kids loved Rod and seemed to consider him both a tough mentor and a kindred spirit.  Each and every one had a special place in his heart, and he will be with them in spirit always.

Rod died of complications of Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He requested to be cremated and buried at Willamette National Cemetery in Portland, OR near his parents and uncle.  The ceremony with full military honors will be scheduled for late spring or early summer, and we will notify those interested once details are finalized. Arrangements are being handled by Barton Family Funeral Services of Kirkland, WA.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations in Rodney’s name to the Lions Club Scholarship Fund at 601 2nd St, Cosmopolis, WA 98537 (Facebook Page)  or the Lion Vision Foundation at https://www.lionsclubs.org/en/resources-for-members/resource-center/vision-screening .

11 Responses to “Rodney Floyd Matye”

  • Jan Theisen says:

    Love to you all.
    Rest In Peace Rod.
    A beautiful life.

  • Beverly Asato says:

    Sandy, Lisa, and Jon.
    I’m so sorry to hear about Rod. Iden and I would love to be with your family when Rod is laid to rest. God bless you with his comfort and love. We send all our love. Bev and Iden.

  • Jo Calhoun says:

    An honorable life fully lived. What a beautiful man!💜

  • Connie and Bob Leonard says:

    This a beautiful tribute for an exceptional man. We have been honored to call him our friend. He exemplified the Marine Corps motto, Semper Fidelis ( Always Faithful ) in all that he did and to everyone he knew. We will miss him.

  • Chuck and Judy Johnson says:

    Our heartfelt prayers, condolences and thoughts are with you during this difficult time. May you find comfort in the love and memories Rod has shown you and so many others during his life. He will be missed.
    Our love……..Chuck and Judy

  • Raymond Robinson says:

    It was our pleasure to have known your husband. Condolences and thoughts are with you and your family.
    Ray & Susan Robinson

  • Steve and Nita Lyman says:

    Our prayers are that our Lords grace and comforting love be with you during this great loss. What a beautiful soul-~~~that has most definitely earned his wings. A good and faithful servant that will be missed by all.

  • PDG Steve and DG Marilyn Patterson says:

    We both have been blessed to have known Rod through our Lions Clubs Interntional organization. We especially appreciate the service and leadership positions he rendered Multiple District 19 G-3 and the Cosmopolis Lions Club. Most of all, his friendship was most precious. 19 G District Governor Marilyn 2021-2022.

  • Linda Hoener (formerly Shoemake) says:

    I was absolutely heartbroken to learn of Rod’s passing. He was the most wonderful man I’ve had the pleasure to know. His love for his family and the outdoors was exceptional. A life well lived.
    I feel privileged to have called him not only a co-worker but a friend. My love and prayers to you, Sandy, Lisa & Jon.

  • Kathleen Heidenreich says:

    I first met Rod (and Sandy) probably in the summer of 1978. Rod and Rick worked together on the Olympic and became close friends It was his birthday and we went to a celebration at his mother’s house in Shelton. I remember he talked me into going water skiing. Lisa and John were young but I remember their vibrant personalities even then – reflections of their parents. Kids took up a lot of time in those formative years but we still managed to get together. After we all retired e saw each other often – plays, music, dinners and games. I always looked forward to those times. Sandy and Rod helped celebrate Rick’s 50th, 60th, 70th birthdays as well as my 60th birthday and our 40th anniversary. I am going to miss that warm, cuddly, precious man and the laughs we shared. I keep his spirit in my heart.

  • Rick Jordan says:

    So many stories to tell over a 40 plus year friendship. One brings to mind how Rod lived up to (and earned) his “bull of the woods” nickname. A long time ago Rod and I, along with our good friend Bill Wettengel, hiked over 12 miles up the Quinault River to Enchanted Valley in the heart of the Olympics. On the morning of the third day, after spending two nights camping, watching bears forage in the brush, telling stories around our campfire and wondering if the Park Service ranger who occupied the “Enchanted Ranger” office in the small chalet there was human or fae (we never saw him/her), we woke to find that one of Rod’s lower legs and feet was so swollen that he couldn’t put on his boot. While Rod soaked his leg in the cold river, Bill and I had one of those “what do we do now” discussions. Can’t carry him… can’t shoot him… how we gonna get him out? Well, Rod being Rod, took care of that. The cold water reduced the swelling, he put his boot on and slowly and painfully, hiked 12 miles back to the vehicle. Decades later I still marvel that he made it out on his own! Bull of the woods indeed!

    Whether it was working with Rod on many projects on the Olympic NF or getting together for picnics and barbeques with him and Sandy outside of work, I always enjoyed the times that we spent together. Those good times carried on after retirement when Kathleen and I would join Rod and Sandy for music and plays or just talking over home cooked dinners. During those times Rod would sometimes show us some of the beautiful model wooden toys that he made for his grand-kids. Impressive work. Rod was a very special person. We sure do miss you big guy!

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