Obituary for Rev. Rick Matson, 81

December 11,1940 To May 05,2022,

Visitation
5-7 PM, Sunday, May 8, 2022 at Fairview United Methodist Church in Columbia, MO.

Funeral Services
10 AM, Monday, May 9, 2022 at Prairie Chapel United Methodist Church in Fulton, MO.

Interment
Graceland Cemetery - Burke, South Dakota

Memorials
Prairie Chapel UMC, Fairview UMC or Salvation Army

Columbia, MO resident, Rev. Rick Matson, 81, passed away at his home on May 5, 2022. Donald F. Matson, Jr., affectionately known as Rick, was born December 11, 1940 in Baltimore, MD, a son to the late Donald and Gertrude (Haverly) Matson, Sr. He graduated from Burke High School in South Dakota with the class of 1958. Rick furthered his education, earning a degree in mechanical and chemical engineering from South Dakota School of Mines and Technology. He later earned his Master’s degree in aerospace engineering. Rick met his life-partner and love of his life, Rosemary Ulrich in 1958. On April 10, 1960 they were married in Herrick, SD. The couple enjoyed almost 60 years together until Rosemary’s passing on March 19, 2018. Rosemary and the loss of their son Jeff, led to a call in ministry, defining who Rick was. Rick spent 20 years serving his country in the U.S. Army. He served in Korea and spent half of his service with troops and the second half in teaching and program management. During his time in the service, Rick had an illustrious career full of accomplishments and accolades. One of his biggest highlights was teaching Fluid Mechanics and Helicopter Aerodynamics at West Point. He worked with military contractor, Sikorsky Aviation, developing the CV Helo. He was the Vice President of Navy H-60, Comanche, and Australian Programs. Perhaps the best decision Rick made was leaving a job, boss, house, and church that he loved, to be involved in his granddaughter’s life. While in Columbia, Rick worked with MAACO, and many of the young people hired and trained became the best body men in Columbia. He lived a diverse life, but his calling was lay ministry and little white churches. In 2004, he served as Lay Pastor for Smith Chapel and later Prairie Chapel UMC’s. Rick served as District and Conference Director of the Lay Servant Ministries and VP of the national organization. He was also active in the Columbia Northwest Rotary Club, where he served as past President. Rick’s service to his community, country, and service to the Lord had a profound effect on the people around him. He will be missed dearly by family and friends. Survivors include his son, Curt Matson, of Columbia, MO; granddaughter, Toni (Jackson) Cusack, of Columbia, MO, and a great-granddaughter on the way. In addition to his wife and parents, Rick was preceded in death by his son, Jeff. Visitation for Rev. Matson will be 5-7 PM, Sunday, May 8, 2022 at Fairview UMC in Columbia, MO. A Funeral service honoring his life will be 10 AM, Monday, May 9, 2022 at Prairie Chapel UMC in Fulton, MO, with Rev. Kate McClain officiating. There will be an additional funeral service at 11 AM, Wednesday, May 11, 2022 at Burke UMC in Burke, SD. Visitation will be an hour before the service at the church starting at 10 AM. Interment with full military honors will be at Graceland Cemetery in Burke, SD. Memorial contributions are suggested to Fairview UMC, Prairie Chapel UMC, or the Salvation Army, in care of Friemonth-Freese Funeral Service, 174 Hwy. 5 & 240 N., Fayette, MO 65248.