Obituary: Bill Matt
Bill Matt (born Matuik) in Saskatchewan, Canada, in a sharecropper’s cabin, the first of seven children, Bill died June 11th in Rifle, CO. Bill’s father and uncle were escaped Cossacks of the Russian Revolution. His mother was an orphan. The family had no electricity, no in-door plumbing and worked their own vegetable gardens. The children walked several miles to and from school.
The birth of the seventh child, the death of Bill’s mother, the impossible struggle against Canada’s dustbowl destruction of the farm and suicide of his father precipitated the total destruction of the family. Bill, in his early teens, was taken in by a neighbor farm family — for his labor. Schooling stopped. He entered Canada’s painting and decorating apprentice program and become a licensed professional. Bill worked on Canada’s northem Pacific fish-collecting packers during the freezing Prince Rupert winters when all painting had stopped. He then went to Vancouver, then San Francisco and to Denver where he continued in his trade. In the mid-sixties Bill arrived in Aspen again painting and decorating and skiing. He had become, according to one local designer, the “finest painter and installer of wall coverings she had ever worked with.”
Bill patrolled at the Aspen Highlands. As an expert skier he chose the cloudy, stormy days when the slopes were nearly empty. He loved tennis, fly-fishing and created beautiful flies. This-honest, straightforward and truly nice man has left us.
Note: A group of Bill’s friends will be gathering atop Aspen Mountain soon to celebrate his life, scatter his ashes, have a cup or two and say goodbye. Time and date yet to be determined. Please contact Kenny Sawer at 970-937-7636 or 970-963-3515 or Carol Saunders-White at 970-618-0898 and please leave a message.
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