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Matthew Jacob Werner

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Matthew Jacob Werner Obituary
Werner, Matthew Jacob
of Page, Arizona, died on October 13, 2015, at age 40. Matt was born on October 15, 1974 in St. Louis, Missouri to Louis and Sandra Werner, the youngest of three children. Matt became a member of Mensa at age nine and an Eagle Scout at age 15, and spent much of his youth hiking around the world. After graduating from Scottsdale Christian Academy in 1992, Matt attended Cornell College, where he received a bachelor's degree in psychology and in philosophy, and was a member of the Delta Phi Rho fraternity. Following college, Matt's love for food drew him into the culinary world, where he worked as a chef at numerous restaurants, culminating in his position as Regional Executive Chef in Hawaii for Ruth's Chris Steakhouse. Returning to school, Matt earned a bachelor's degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management at Northern Arizona University in 2005. But, it was his time in Flagstaff that reunited Matt with his true love - the outdoors. Matt said goodbye to the restaurant world, and for the next ten years worked for the National Park Service at numerous locations across the southwest, including three years at Lake Mead National Recreation Area, where he was the Park Ranger of the Year in 2010, and the last five years at Glen Canyon NRA. Always searching for the next adventure, Matt became certified as an EMT, as well as a structural and a wildland firefighter. Matt served as the Station Fire Captain at Glen Canyon and was a member of the National Structural Fire Instructor Cadre. He was also an instructor of Operational Leadership and a member of the Intermountain Incident Management Team. In 2015, Matt received the Department of the Interior's Valor Award for his actions and bravery during a technical rescue in 2014. Matt is survived by his mother and his two brothers, Lou and Eric, and their families. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) in memory of Matt. A memorial service will be held at 12:30pm on Friday, October 23 at Valley Presbyterian Church in Paradise Valley, AZ.


Published in The Arizona Republic on Oct. 21, 2015
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