December 4, 1933 – September 14, 2017
Anita Matthay, 83, passed away at home in Sequim on September 14, 2017 after a brief, unexpected illness.
She was born in Janesville, WI on December 4, 1933 to Frank and Elizabeth Matthay, the oldest of three children. Her teenage and college years were spent on the West coast, mostly in California. In the 1950’s she met Rudolf Gast while attending UC Berkeley. After marrying they welcomed Erica in 1962 before relocating to Yakima, WA where Paul was born in 1965. The family settled in the Lake Hills neighborhood of Bellevue, WA in 1967 and Anita lived there until 2003. She was an NAYEC accredited early childhood educator, earned her Masters from Pacific Oaks College and spent many years working for the Bellevue School District.
She moved to Sequim in search of a less hectic lifestyle and to be closer to her beloved mountains. Her years there were spent following her passions, supporting the social and political causes she believed in and growing an amazing group of friends wherever she went. If not hiking in the Olympic Mountains with her beloved Klahhane friends, she might be tending to her vegetable gardens, gleaning at Nash’s Organic farm to help supply local food banks, swimming laps at the local pool or attending her weekly IONS meeting.
She was fiercely passionate about the environment, renewable resources and leaving the world a better place for future generations. She loved, and was loved, by many.
She is survived by her brother Michael Matthay of Caspar, CA, daughter Erica Ridout (Ken) of Kenmore, WA, son Paul Gast of Bonney Lake, WA, nephew David Vale of Gualala, CA, grandchildren Haylie and Nicole Ridout, Melanie, Sammy, Kyle and Nick Gast, great niece Navarra Ravale, half sisters Camy Matthay and Jeannie Bergmann of Wisconsin, and their families.
She was preceded in death by her parents, infant son Peter, sister Susannah, half sister Melissa and former husband Rudi.
The family thanks Volunteer Hospice of Clallam County, especially Molly, Stacy, Moriah and Juanice and Olympic Medical Home Health/Olympic Medical Center, in particular Dr. Roop and the amazing 2West nursing staff for their support and dedication to honoring her wishes. Special thanks to “Anita’s Angels” for all of their help and support during this difficult time.
A Celebration of Life service will be held Saturday, October 21, at 1:00pm, Sequim Transit Center, 190 W. Cedar St. with a reception following. In lieu of flowers please consider a donation to The Nature Conservancy, Olympic Climate Action or Volunteer Hospice of Clallam County. Collection envelopes will be provided.