THE BLAINE CO. JOURNAL NEWS-OPINION                  Wednesday, June 2, 2004


Edward Matte, Jr.

            Edward         Lii Man”

   Sonny Matte, Jr. passed away on Thursday, May 27, 2004 from lung complications. The Wake and Rosary was held at 7:00 p.m. in the Wah-ha-tau Head Start Center near Dodson on Monday, May 31 and funeral services were held at 12:00 noon on Monday. June 1, also at the Wah-ha-tau Center.

   Sonny was born on May 2, 1929 at Fort Belknap and was raised in the Dodson and Hays area. He was a great athlete; he played basketball and was a great runner. He used to race with the school bus, and other boys who lived out in the old home place area, from the Dodson School to his home, and he always beat them all home. After high school, he joined the Army and was stationed in Italy. It was there that he became a good boxer.

   In 1951 he married Vivian Short, and from this union Iii s son Michael was born.

   When Sonny was about two years old his mother Vernie. who was a great horsewoman, taught him to rope and ride. Sonny be­came an exceptional horseman and in his later years he rode in several rodeos in both Montana and Washington. He rode saddle bronc, bareback, bulls and was also a jockey. At one of the Dodson Fairs he was riding in a Thoroughbred horse race when his mount started to buck. Sonny still rode the horse to the finish line, much to the delight of the cheering crowd. People still talk about that event to this day.

   Sonny spent all of his life working with horses, lie trained roping, riding, barrel racing and racehorses. His expertise where horses were concerned was in­valuable to the many who sought his advice throughout the years, both in Montana  and in Wash-ington when lie lived there.

   An all-around person. Sonny had a great personality and was a fun loving person. He worked as a bartender, a roofer, in construc­tion, as a farm hand and a cow­boy.

   In 1960 Sonny married Marlene Gonzales in Great Falls and they had three chil­dren-Debbie, Renee and John. The couple later divorced.

   Sonny moved to Washington where he lived for several years and continued to work with horses and at other jobs. When he moved back to Montana he met and married Joanne Leek. They divorced but remained friends throughout the years.

   Sonny is survived by his children, Michael of Harlem, Renee of Lewistown, John of Browning, Debra of Alaska and Chrissy of Great Falls; brothers and sisters, Warren (Wilma) Matte, Roberta (Richard) Pospisal, Torchy Matte of Dod­son, Serena (Bob) Johnson of Aurora, C), Selma Matte of Top­pinish, WA, and Wilma (Robert) Yellow Owl of Seattle, WA; sev­eral grandchildren, great grand­children, nieces and nephews; plus many friends.

   He was preceded in death by his parents, Edward W. Matte, Sr. and Vernie E. (Ereaux) Matte; two brothers, Joe and Johnny; and infant sisters Theresa and Cecilia Matte.