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Dr. Greg Matera

Dr. Greg Matera

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July 23, 2017
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July 23, 2017
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April 07, 2013
A long time ago, Tami asked me if I knew anyone that would be right for her sister Ruth. I immediately thought of Greg, whom I was working with at the time. He was kind, thoughtful, and had a subtle sense of humor - a great choice!

I look back now on the last few decades and recall the times he was a good uncle to my boys, and a good brother-in-law to me and my wife. I'm glad we brought him into the family.

Godspeed.
March 25, 2013
Thank you Uncle Greg for all the joy and happiness you brought to our lives. I remember sharing those wonderful adventures in Juneau with you, Aunt Ruth, and Gramma. You were always there here to cheer me up, take me on hikes, and show me the world. You were a kind and loving person and one of the best uncles anyone could ask for. I love you very much and always will.
March 24, 2013
Sometimes it's still so hard to believe you are gone Mr Greg. My sister Ruth misses you terribly. She loved you so much and I know you loved her. Your family misses you and I know they also loved you very much. I miss you. It makes me sad knowing you endured the pain inside for so long. I try and find some measure of comfort knowing you are no longer in pain.

I miss so many things about you. You were kind, generous, intelligent, a good listener and confidant. I loved that you had an adventerous spirit and loved the outdoors. You were fearless and would often go out alone exploring nature, climbing mountains and swimming in oceans from Alaska to New Zealand. Nevermind the temperature of the water, it didn't matter if the water was ice cold it never seemed to bother you. You once said if you could be any animal it would be a bear. I could picture you being a bear climbing the mountains wild and free. I miss calling the house and asking you if you missed me. You would always say "Yes Nanny, I miss you." I miss our dance parties that you would always join in.

Thank you for loving and taking such good care of my sister, her son and grandchildren. I feel fortunate to have known you and that you were a part of my life and also that you were a part of Tiger's life. He loved spending time with you. We have so many good memories of times spent with you and that is what I will always cherish.

Sleep well my dear Brother In Law. I look forward to seeing you in Paradise where we can dance once again.
March 24, 2013
Dear Mr Greg, You were always a good uncle. I always had fun with you when we were on the beaches in Alaska exploring the old gold mines. The other thing I will miss about you is your saying "That's what I'm talking about" I will always remember going on hikes with you in Juneau. The biggest thing I will miss about you is you not being here.
March 24, 2013
Greg was my dear friend and love. When we first met we had a marathon date. He took me to the movies, out for dinner and dancing, followed by coffee and talking until early morning. Greg did everything at torpedo speed and before his time. Together we climbed and ran many mountains, traveled to distant lands, debated many scenarios, and talked about every aspect of life.

As most who will read this article know, Greg sustained a serious injury in 2002. It was on this mountain (Mt Juneau) that we climbed together - before his fall - that I came to see the man who truly loved me. I will never forget the last few feet before reaching the top. I said, "I can't make it. It is too steep and I can't look down." I looked up and there was Greg with his hand outstretched. He grabbed my hands and pulled me slowly to the top, always my rescuer.

At night, when I couldn't sleep, he would lie next to me and tell me stories of Mark Twain or John Muir. He didn't need a book. They were all in his memory. He brought me coffee early in the morning before work, baked me pizza, and played endless games with our grandchildren. I danced for him, with him, and as a group with him and my sisters. Greg was part of our "girls club," which was a privilege for any man to be amongst so many headstrong women. He was always a trusted confidant. When I needed to talk, he always listened, and never failed to relate some words of understanding, wisdom, or confirmation. When my mother died so tragically he held my frail crying body very close. Many times we held each other close out of desperation, fear, or hopelessness. Despite our many tragedies , Greg made me laugh many times with his quick wit and dry sense of humor. When I said I couldn't go on, he would reply "keep moving. Food and coffee at the lower levels".

Sometimes things happen so fast that you can only stand there and wonder where the trail began. You end up on a different path but you failed to notice when the terrain began to change. There are times when it changes drastically. This occurred with Greg, slowly, almost unnoticeably at first. After his fall, Greg went from an energetic marathon athlete to a very slow moving, fatigued, despondent man. He fought harder than any man I have ever met. Together we fought to make him well. In time it became apparent to him that there was no cure. One thing is sure along this journey: my love endured. For every pain he felt, I ached. Every sorrow he suffered, I cried a handful of tears. Every regret and fear he experienced, I wove into my own heart.

No amount of preparation can soften the final blow of my loss. Greg tried, but I was unwilling to accept his resignation. Was he preparing me for this day? I believe he just wanted me to grant him permission to let go. He didn't want to leave me, but in the words of one of his favorite artists he could not "live with or without me". Greg absorbed the pain of the world . In the end the world absorbed him.

Now, the light goes out, the curtain is brought down, and painfully I must say goodbye. I will look for you in a new world, the one described in the bible, in a new place where we will run and laugh while climbing mountains once again. We will watch the waterfalls and sunsets and play with all the animals. "Man and beast will be at peace." Until then my love will rest free of pain and suffering. I believe he is in Jehovah God's memory. Job 14:14&15 asks "if an able bodied man dies can he live again?" The answer is, "You (God) will call, and I myself shall answer you. For the work of your hands you will have a yearning." These things "are faithful and true" writes "the Alpha and the Omega" (Revelation 21:3-6). These are the things Greg read about and exclaimed, "I have never read a book so well written!". He went on to read the entire bible in English and Spanish.


Greg had a difficult time expressing himself, like many men. The last song he listened to was 'Grace' by U2. I thank him for his love and final words so poignantly told to me through a song.

With all my love, Ruth
March 23, 2013
March 20, 2013
Thank you, Greg, for being in our lives. My sister's life and our lives are better because you were a part of it. I learned a lot about unconditional love by watching your and Ruth's relationship. I saw how you could be there for each other in different ways. I remember when Ruth needed to go to Michigan, so Micah could finish his last year of high school. You were supportive of that move, even though it meant you would be on your own for a while. I appreciated that you did that for her and Micah and I loved you more for it.

There were many times that you showed kindness to my children or my family. Steve would come home from his summer visit with you and Ruth and tell me how you spent hours putting Legos together with him, or carried him when his legs got tired after a long hike. When Max came back from his visit he said, “Uncle Greg is a lot of fun. He let me dig in the sand on the beach for as long as I wanted!”

You had gentleness and a level of tolerance about you that drew children to you. It drew us sisters to you too! We could goof and play around you and you would join in – never judging our silliness.


I remember how you and Ruth would say the lines from Napoleon Dynamite. Ruth would say Napoleon's lines and you answered back with Pedro's. We laughed as we watched the two of you communicating back and forth through movie dialogues. I loved that you loved my sister.

Life changed for all of us the day you fell into the glacier. It was painful to see you struggle so much with life. How we all longed for there to be some effective or miraculous treatment that could bring you some relief. You hung in there trying many different things for a long time. I do not regret those years or wish them gone, although if had I been able to relieve you of your pain and still have you with us that would have been my choice. I have an example of how to endure the seeming unendurable by watching you and Ruth. Thank you for that.

The last two months of your life were hard on us. You had always been so much a part of our plans and thoughts. It was hard not seeing you and not being able to look out for you. It was hard not knowing how you were doing. It seemed unimaginable that we might never talk again.

I hate that you are gone. I wish that you could have gotten relief from the pain that you suffered. I feel deep sadness for your parents and your siblings – they have lost an exceptional son and brother. The only small bit of consolation that I feel is that I know you are no longer in any emotional or physical pain.

Goodbye, Mr. Greg. We will not forget you, and one day we will see you again.
March 07, 2013
Dr Matera is sorely missed. Still waters run deep. Greg was a kind, shy, compassionate, brilliant, modest and understated physician who loved people. He taught us how to find an effective physician. He took the corners quickly, with the tail of his lab coat flying and had an acute awareness of his surroundings at all times. He knew how to be alert and triage perfectly. Greg had a good sense of humor, a keen wit and a noteable laugh. Greg had a broad knowledge of pharmacology. He never complained, was always fair, gave people the benefit of the doubt, and above all, he advocated for his patients. People and pets gravitated to him. We would all stand to gain as individuals by being a little more like Dr. Matera. May he soar amongst the truths and have a great time doing so.

Ellen Varosi and Louis Packer
March 07, 2013
Greg had many fans at Juneau Urgent and Family Care, patients as well as staff. Everyone who met him or saw him as a patient found him to be so professional, kind-hearted, altruistic and compassionate that he won the devotion of all. He touched the lives of all he met, including many he was not aware he had affected so positively. The world has lost a truly great human being. He will be greatly missed. All of us here would like to send him, and his family our love and prayers.
March 05, 2013
Dear Ruth, Its Lilly, in Ohio. I have been searching for you for years. So sorry- did your husband die? Please call me at 740.857.0011.

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Here's a picture from long, long ago... Micah and Dani our Hawaii Trip