Valley Hills Funeral Home, Yakima
Alan Leydig Matson, 84, passed away suddenly on January 3, 2011. He was born in Yakima, Washington, on March 29, 1926, to Roger Emmanuel Matson and Catherine Alice (Leydig) Matson, the second of four sons.
Al was raised on the family fruit ranch in Selah Heights and graduated from Selah High School. From a young age he enjoyed fishing, going to the mountains, horses, cars, and being a member of various clubs. He enlisted in the United States Navy three weeks after his 18th birthday in 1944 and proudly served his country in the Pacific aboard the USS Shields. He attained the rank of Petty Officer 3rd Class and received the Asiatic Pacific Area Campaign, American Area Campaign, World War II Victory and Philippine Liberation medals by the time of his honorable discharge in June 1946.
Following his military service, Al returned to Yakima where he attended junior college then transferred to the University of Washington to study business administration. Al was a member of the Phi Theta Kappa Fraternity. He went on to work in management positions in the fruit industry and in the construction industry. He belonged to too many clubs over the years to list and was active as a community volunteer for many decades. He was an avid reader, a patron to northwest artists and travelled extensively. All of his life, Al remained a supporter of our personal rights to access our public lands.
Al loved to ski, and was one of the founding members of White Pass Ski Company. He was also an avid Jeeper and snowmobiler, being among the founding members of the Washington State Snowmobile Association and Pacific Northwest Four Wheel Drive Association, and a plank member of the Ridgerunners, the "World's First Jeep Club." He was fondly known as "Magoo" by his many friends, and both White Pass and Goose Prairie were very close to his heart. He made dozens of road trips with either his "mouse house" or snowmobile trailer in tow.
Al was preceded in death by his parents, his grandparents, S.A. and Emily Matson and Jonathan and Suzanna (Nix) Leydig, his brother and sister-in-law, Keith and Mary Ellen, his niece Jeanne, nephew David, and great-great-nephew Micheal.
He is survived by his brothers and sisters-in law, Marc and Dorothy, and Paul and Joyce, of Selah, his nieces and nephews, Tim, Jon, Lyn, Suzie, Chris, Roger, Mike, Janet, Beth, Dee, Terri and Doug, as well as numerous great-nieces and nephews, and great great nieces and nephews. He is also survived by many good friends.
A Mass of Christian Burial is scheduled for Thursday, January 13, 2011, at 11am, at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Selah with graveside services following at Terrace Heights Memorial Park. A time of viewing will be offered just prior to Mass at the church. A reception will follow at the church. Condolences may be left at www.valleyhillsfh.com
In lieu of flowers, please make memorial contributions to a charity of your choice