Sam Matthews died on July 1 at the age of 60. Sam was born on Aug. 31, 1954, and raised in Albuquerque, N.M. While growing up, he spent many summers in Pagosa Springs with his grandparents, Frank and Mae Matthews, and with his parents, Bob and Irene Matthews. His father, Bob, was born in Pagosa Springs and lived on the family ranch for many years.
While living in New Mexico, Sam met and married his wife of 30 years, April Owens. He worked for both Sandia and Los Alamos National Laboratories as a computer programmer, then moved to Phoenix, Ariz., where he was a senior analyst at American Express. After traveling the country in an RV for a year, he and his wife moved to Pagosa in 1997. Here he operated the family ranch as a state-designated tree farm.
In Pagosa, he expanded and remodeled the family home, served as lighting and sound technician for local theatrical productions, helped neophytes make sense of their computers, made award-winning wine, produced neon art and doted on the cats that adopted him and April. He was brilliant and had a wonderful sense of humor. He loved Pagosa Springs and was passionate about sitting in his sunroom and watching the wildlife go by.
Sam was also program manager of the Archuleta County Transportation Department and then became the bus driver for the Senior Center. He loved working with the seniors and thought it one of the best jobs he had ever had.
Sam is survived by his wife, April; brothers James, of Chandler, Ariz.; Robert, of Albuquerque, N.M.; and Dewayne, of Indianapolis, Ind.; and by a great company of friends that extends around the world. Sam was a good man, a loving husband and a loyal friend. He will be greatly missed by many. He was beloved.