|Birth: ||Apr. 6, 1949|
|Death: ||Jul. 1, 1999|
In Memoriam—Gary Matson 1949-1999
It is with deep sorrow that we note the tragic death of Gary Matson. On July 1, 1999, Gary and his partner, Winfield Mowder, were murdered in an apparent hate crime. They are survived by their daughter Clea Lily Howe Matson, co-parent Marcia Howe, their fathers, siblings, and many, many dear friends.
Gary was a charter member of the Shasta Chapter, joining CNPS in 1983. He was a visionary whose energy and enthusiasm were inspired by a deep knowledge and love of nature, especially the plant kingdom. He was an insightful observer of the world he approached the City of Redding and obtained authorization to develop an arboretum on ten acres of city-owned land at Turtle Bay. The arboretum became a reality in 1991 under the sponsorship of the Shasta Natural Science Association/Carter House Science Museum.
After many years of volunteer labor, Gary was employed as the first horticulturist at this beautiful riverside arboretum at Turtle Bay. By 1997 he had moved on to create Plantstogo.com, an online nursery specializing in plants for hot climates.
Throughout his life Gary was a teacher. Besides his popular classes at Shasta College, he led hundreds of field trips and nature walks. As a volunteer and as a staff member at the arboretum, he taught numerous plant classes in identification, uses of plants, and native plant culture. Just being with Gary was a learning experience. Working alongside arboretum volunteers, he would teach them the nuances of plant propa- gation. Going on a casual hike with him was an adventure; inevitably one would learn something new. He was a teacher at all levels. For many years he made time to roam the Trinity Alps with a noted Dutch botanist. He maintained correspondence with plant specialists all over the world, and his expertise was sought by many horticultural and botanical professionals in the region. One of his unfinished projects was a field guide to the native flora of the area. The wealth of knowledge that Gary brought to our chapter plant sales is irreplaceable.
His family and friends now find themselves often saying "Gary would know." And it is true; Gary's mind was wide- ranging; he read technical books and periodicals voraciously. But in addition to his vision and sharp mind, he had a warm- hearted, humorous, and down-to-earth quality that made him a natural teacher. He had a gift for making the love of plants accessible to all. Gary's community activities and accom- plishments are immense. His roots ran deep in the Redding area, and his actions have made this a better place to live. Gary, we will forever miss you and your boundless enthusiasm, your vision, your community spirit, and your friendship.
Marcia Howe, Don Burk, and Vivian Parker CNPS Shasta Chapter, Redding
Oscar Maurits Matson (1922 - 2011)
Stella Lillie Doty Matson (1924 - 1992)
Marcia Howe Matson (1949 - 2003)
Created by: Matt's Mom
Record added: Feb 01, 2012
Find A Grave Memorial# 84336915