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Obituary (CO): Eric Eugene Matchette III '69

Posted on 03/05/2018


Eric was born September 8, 1947 at Santa Barbara,CA. He died of prostate cancer on February 24th at Boulder TRU Care Hospice. K-12 saw him attend eight different schools across our wonderful country. He graduated from Wichita HS East. In 1969, Rick graduated with Distinction from the US Naval Academy. After a year of Nuclear Power School, he served on the attack submarines Whale and Flying Fish completing five Spec Ops. Rick enjoyed six different division officer positions on Whale and was Weapons Officer on Flying Fish and left the Navy in January, 1975, as Lieutenant. He skied Colorado and began 9 1/2 years of long haul trucking pulling a refrigerated trailer. He purchased his own new equipment in June, 1976. Rick hauled primarily California produce and Kansas beef east and general freight back west. He sold his last truck in December, 1984, did his usual winter ski trip, and then worked briefly in the office at National Carriers in Liberal, KS. Introduced to the California Sierra mountains as a child, Rick moved to Colorado and enhanced his mountaineering and rock climbing skills. In May of 1989 he met Valerie on a rock climb in the Boulder Flatirons; they married a year later. Once described as being joined at the rib, they were rarely apart. Together they enjoyed rock climbing, camping, running, hiking, downhill and back country skiing, mountaineering, road biking, and swimming. Among Rick's many talents, he also enjoyed trout fishing. In fact, he caught so many that he donated them to his local parish. Rick and Valerie frequented exotic places like 14 miles north of Canon City, CO, 30 miles south of Winslow, AZ, 3 miles north of Bishop, CA, 60 miles west of Socorro, NM, 6 miles southwest of Lander, WY, Lake Cachuma and Jalama Beach, CA, Flat Island off Kailua/Lanikai, Oahu, Boulder Res and Eldorado Canyon St Park, CO. Rick began to embrace scripture and desired to be a good follower of Jesus of Nazareth. Several years later, in the Spring of 2011 he was diagnosed with very aggressive cancer. Rick continued to live life with zeal thankful for his lovely wife, family, friends, mentors, and caregivers. He is survived by his wife, Valerie, his step mother, Jan Matchette of Overland Park, KS, and his half brother, Bill Sanderson of Mill City, OR. All services will be held at Sacred Heart of Mary. A Recitation of the Rosary will be Sunday, March 4 at 6:00 PM. Mass will be celebrated Monday, March 5, at 11:00 AM. Burial will follow with a reception afterwards.

Published in The Daily Camera on Mar. 2, 2018