William Raymond Matthew

July 29, 1925 ~ July 22, 2023 (age 97) 97 Years Old


Another of the Greatest Generation has passed.  William R. Matthew of Anaconda, Montana was born July 29th, 1925 in Pierre, South Dakota to James Oral and Susie (Moffatt) Matthew.  He passed away July 22, 2023 one week before his 98th birthday. 

Bill grew up during the Great Depression, living on his Grandpa Moffatt’s ranch north of Pierre in the River Bottom and attending country school through the 4th grade. His family then moved to Moorcroft, Wyoming where he attended 5th grade through high school, playing basketball for the Wolves and drumming in the school band. 

Like many of his generation, he answered the call to serve his country during World II, joining the Navy in 1944 and participating in the battle for Guam. He was honorably discharged in 1946 and returned to Sheridan, Wyoming to find his family packing to move to Big Timber, Montana where they had purchased the Boulder River Café. Bill participated in the family business for a couple years, and then used his G.I. Bill to attend Rocky Mountain College in Billings, where he was student body president, participated in various sports and lettered in football, playing for his beloved Bears.  He graduated in 1952 with a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Arts and a minor in physical and health education and was a proud alumnus and booster for the rest of his life.

He taught industrial arts and math for one year in Terry, Montana where he met and married the love of his life, Dorothy Bliss, of Scranton, North Dakota in 1954.  He then turned his passion for fishing into a 34-year career with Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks raising brown, cutthroat and rainbow trout and sockeye salmon at the Big Timber, Giant Springs, and Washoe Park State Fish Hatcheries, in Big Timber (1954-61), Great Falls (1961-68), and retiring as Superintendent of the Washoe Park Hatchery in Anaconda (1968-87).

Bill was married to Dorothy for 63 years until her death in 2017, raising two children born in Big Timber, Roger (1955) and Karen (1957).  Bill was an active 77-year member of the American Legion, Big Timber Post 19 and Anaconda Post 21 where he twice served as Post Commander. His social activities revolved around honor guard, maintenance and distribution of the Memorial Day flags, and cooking for Legion events. He was a member of the Big Timber Volunteer Fire Department, the Anaconda Search & Rescue, Shriners, the infamous Anaconda Coffee Klatch that met for many years, and a long-time member of the Anaconda Country Club, where a plaque honors a Hole-in-One he made in 1999.

Bill is proceeded in death by his wife Dorothy, Parents James Oral and Susie (Moffatt) Matthew, Brothers Kenneth and Edward, Sister Vernice Christian, Father-in-Law Irvin Bliss and Mother-in-Law Esther (Ottow) Bliss, Brothers-in-Law David Bliss, Ralph Bliss, and David Ensign, and Sister-in-Law Clara Bliss; Nephew Lyle Bliss; and his good friends and Main Boulder cabin buddies Herb McCauley, Donny Cameron, Bo Clark, Hans Sylling, and Stu Ellison. He is survived by his children Karen (Duane) Solberg and Roger (Susan Reisch) Matthew: Grandchildren Jessica (Chris) Anderson, Emilie (Billy Hendrickson) Solberg, and Jesse Matthew; Great-grandchildren Bryer and Jase Anderson; Brother-in-Law Loren Christian; Sisters-in-Law Sharon Bliss, Ruth Newcomer, and Leona Ensign, and many nieces, nephews, and good friends. 

Graveside Services will be held at the New Hill Cemetery in Anaconda on August 7, 2023 at 11 am with a reception following at the American Legion Hall, 220 Cedar St., Anaconda, MT.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the American Legion Post 21, c/o 109 W. 6th St., Anaconda, MT 59711.

Please visit the sidebar to offer the family a condolence or to share a memory of Bill.

Longfellow Finnegan Riddle Funeral Home and Cremation Services has been privileged to care for Bill and his family.

Friends and family have shared their relationship to show their support.
How do you know William Raymond Matthew?
We are sorry for your loss.
Help others honor William's memory.


Graveside Service
August 7, 2023

11:00 AM
New Hill Cemetery
Stumptown Road
Anaconda, MT 59711

August 7, 2023

12:00 PM
Anaconda American Legion Post #21
220 Cedar St.
Anaconda, MT 59711


© 2023 Longfellow Finnegan Riddle Funeral Home. All Rights Reserved. Funeral Home website by CFS & TA | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Accessibility