CHARLES MATTHAEI

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Charles W.H. Matthaei Son of a Baker and Father of a Cause "Since joining my family's company, it's been my objective to make the public aware of the importance of the micro nutrients contained in whole grains for their health's sake and to provide tasty products which give the public these essential nutrients." - Charles W. H. Matthaei, Nov. 2013 Charles W. H. Matthaei was born to master baker William P. Matthaei and his wife Hazel on May 6, 1920 in Tacoma, WA, and passed away February 26, 2014 at age 93. His family enjoyed a three-hundred-year baking heritage extending back to their German roots. Charles, or "Chuck" as he was known by most, grew up in the Matthaei Bakery, where at an early age he developed a lifelong passion for whole grain nutrition. After graduating from Stadium High School, he earned a chemical engineering degree and received an officer's commission via Navy ROTC from the University of Washington. Following graduation the Navy sent him to New York, where he participated in the commissioning of the USS Missouri. He served on the Missouri, participating in her battles throughout WWII, including a Kamikaze attack, and was on her deck during the Japanese surrender in Tokyo Bay. While in New York, he met Helen, also a naval officer, who became his wife and remained the love of his life, best friend, and confidant for over 66 years until her death in 2012. Together they successfully raised three sons, several dogs, and contributed to the lives of seven grandchildren and now eight great-grandchildren. Upon leaving active military duty, he worked on a master's degree in Cereal Chemistry at the University of Minnesota before returning to Tacoma to join the Roman Meal Company, which his father had purchased in 1927. During his tenure as President and ultimately Chairman (a position he held until his death), he developed a nationally acclaimed, whole grain based, diet plan; a national TV advertising program, and saw Roman Meal Bread become the largest selling single brand of variety bread in the United States. He also established a milling company in North Dakota, and introduced the company's products to Japan and other Pacific Rim countries. He had the ingenious foresight to trademark the term "Natural Whole Grain Goodness®". From the time he was a boy, through the Navy, and his adult life, he had a love of boats, ships, and the sea. Owning a succession of increasingly large boats, all named Roamin' Roman, his most frequent and memorable vacations were spent searching the Inside Passage for salmon as far North as Glacier Bay, AK with friends and family. He also loved traveling the world with Helen and having his family together. He was a staunch supporter of his community and industry. He was a member of Tacoma Rotary since 1947, earned the Boy Scouts' Silver Beaver award, was inducted into the American Society of Baking's Hall of Fame, was a great supporter of the University of Washington's chemical engineering dept., Oregon State University's Center for Healthy Aging, the American Bakers' Association, and the American Association of Cereal Chemists. Tacoma's MultiCare Health System has named its annual community support award the "Chuck and Helen Matthaei Community Builder Award" for Charles and Helen. He is survived by his brother George (Jean), three sons, Bill (Joan), Fred (Dianne), and Dick (Marcia), seven grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren, and lots of wonderful friends and business associates. He was loved by them all and will be sorely missed. A memorial service will be held at 1:00p.m. March 13, 2014 at Mountain View Funeral Home, 4100 Steilacoom Blvd. SW, Lakewood, WA 98499, 253-584-0252. In lieu of flowers, the family asks donations be made to MultiCare, Center for Healthy Living, MS: 409-2-MCHL, 409 South J Street, Tacoma WA 98415-0299.

Funeral Home
Mountain View Funeral Home
4100 Steilacoom Blvd Sw Lakewood, WA 98496
(253) 584-0252
Published in News Tribune (Tacoma) on Mar. 2, 2014
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