Matthew James Gross, 42, of Joseph died Thursday, Feb. 25, 2010, in Hermiston.
A military funeral service conducted by the Oregon National Guard was held at 1 p.m. Sunday, March 7, at the Joseph High School gymnasium. Burial with military honors followed at Prairie Creek Cemetery.
Matthew was born June 10, 1967, to Lynne and James Gross in Vallejo, Calif. He was raised in a military family, living all around the United States.
When he was 16 years old he moved to Joseph, where he has lived since.
He graduated from Enterprise High School in 1985, a proud member of the state championship Savages football team of 1984.
After graduation, he joined the U.S. Navy where he was trained as a machinist mate. He served on the USS Reeves in the Persian Gulf and later the USS Enterprise.
After his honorable discharge, he logged for Weyerhauser in Washington for a few years, returning for good to Wallowa County in 1991.
He married Tami James Oct. 2, 1994, in Joseph.
Matthew was employed as a foreman at the Joseph mill for several years until its closure. He then worked for Wallowa Resources in the installation and operation of the post and pole plant in Wallowa. He also worked for brother Tony Gross in draft and design at Eagle CAD Services and maintained the water system for the Lakeshore Water coop.
He had served in the Oregon National Guard for nine years, and was called up for active duty in Iraq in 2004-05. He held the rank of sergeant first class, and was platoon sergeant with the 116th Cavalry. In June 2009 he started working full-time for the Oregon National Guard.
Matthew served as a Joseph city councilman, volunteer firefighter and reserve sheriff's deputy over the years. He pursued his love of the arts through sculpting, silversmithing and his tattoo work, and was proud of the house he built in Joseph for his family. He also enjoyed riding his custom Harley Davidson motorcycle.
He is survived by his wife Tami of Joseph; daughters Lisa and Kari of Kuna, Idaho, and Stephanie, Felicity and Destiny of Joseph; sons Dakoda and Jacob of Joseph; brothers Tony of Joseph and Timothy and Kevin of Whidbey Island, Wash.; mother Lynne Gross of Imnaha; father Lt. Cdr. (ret.) James Gross of Wise River, Mont.; grandparents Harry and Filomina Gross of Boyton Beach, Fla., and Ed and Joyce Culbertson of Ocean Park, Wash.; two grandchildren; and several nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and cousins.
The Patriot Guard Riders participated in Matthew's memorial, escorting the funeral procession. Mourners holding American flags lined the walkway to the school for the service.
Burns Mortuary of Hermiston was in charge of arrangements. Sign the condolence book at www.burnsmortuaryhermiston.com.