In Memory

Larry Matten (Kamyr Cook) - Class of 2010

Larry Matten (Kamyr Cook)


Larry Matten

MISSOULA — Larry Julius Matten, 72, of Missoula, passed away at his home on Friday, July 19, 2019.

He was born on January 19, 1947, in Cloquet, Minnesota, to Julius and Florence Matten. Larry spent his childhood growing up in northern Minnesota, fishing and ice skating. He attended Wrenshall High School where he was involved in football and track but excelled at basketball, earning All-American honors in 1965. During his senior year, he went on a recruiting trip to the University of Minnesota Duluth. The Bulldogs coincidentally played the University of Montana during his visit, and his love of the Griz began. In 1967, during the peak of the Vietnam War, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and spent the majority of his service aboard the aircraft carrier, USS Oriskany.

Upon discharge from the Navy, he married Jeannie Baker, had his first daughter Jeri Lynn and moved to the Bitterroot Valley where they later had his son Brian. After his first marriage ended, he met his current wife Naomi at a Solo Stars Square Dance. Larry and Naomi got married in Missoula, in 1980, where they had their children Eric and Rachel.

There were countless memorable family outings including camping, cross country road trips, and vacations. Larry was an avid sports fan. His favorite teams were the Vikings, Lakers and the University of Montana Grizzlies.

Larry had a 38-year career at the pulp mill in Frenchtown. 

Larry was a loving husband, brother, father and grandfather. His sense of humor and smile would light up the room, he made new friends easily and never met a beer he didn’t like. He was a father figure to many, beyond his own children. Larry could often be seen around town on Friday afternoons with his best friend and brother-in-law, Bob Lentz. He will be remembered for his meticulous lawn, ever-present denim jacket, and easy laugh. 

After retirement, Larry became actively involved as a member of the Miller Boys, a group of retired volunteers that handle the maintenance at the church he attended. For the past ten years, Larry was also an active member of the VFW Post 209 and served as the commander of the Honor Guard, performing military honors for over 100 fallen veterans each year. He was the contact for area funeral homes, recruiting and organizing honor guard members, acquiring uniforms, transporting rifles, calling commands and delivering spent shells to families.

Survivors include his wife Naomi; sons, Brian (wife Katie) and Eric (wife Claire); daughters, Jeri and Rachel (husband Matt); sisters, Sheila Rudnicki, Patt Fornshell and Sandra Peterson; and brother, Randy.

He will be sorely missed by his grandchildren, Cassidy, Kayden, Ayden, Archer, Quinn, Logan, Berkeley and Bode.

Memorial services were held Monday, July 29, at 11 a.m. at First Lutheran Church, 2808 South Ave. West, followed by Commitment Services at the Western Montana State Veterans Cemetery with military honors.

Larry would be honored if you considered a memorial donation to VFW Post 209. If you are a veteran that served overseas, please consider honoring your comrades by joining the honor guard.

Rest in Peace, dear Friend.

Fourth of July 2018 - Honor Guard & short interview with Larry:

Larry was a long-time member of the Honor Guard, and the First Vice Commander Ole Beck VFW Post 209

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08/02/19 01:59 PM #1    

Jennifer Hershman (Pulp Mill Relief) (2010)

 It saddens me to hear this Larry was always very very kind to me. He will be missed. 

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