David O. Mathis, January 24th, 1940 – June 17th, 2022 - 82 years old, passed away at his home in McCall with his loving wife by his side from a sudden heart attack; a resident of McCall for the past 51 years.
Dave was born in Tacoma, Washington and at age 5 his family moved to the small town of Gibbonsville, Idaho. He was the only child of Charley and Ida Mathis, however he was like a brother to all the kids in this small town where he went to grade school in a one room schoolhouse through the 8th grade. He established lifelong friendships to whom he keeps in touch with as of his death. He graduated from Salmon High School in 1958.
David went on to pursue his love of the outdoors working seasonally for the U.S Forest Service as a “smoke chaser” and timber work. He began college at Boise Junior College (BSU) in 1959 and graduated in 1962. While attending college, he met his wife, Judy, and they were married in 1961. His love of forestry took him to the University of Idaho in 1962 and graduated in 1965 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Forest Management.
He started his career in Ogden, UT in timber inventory then transferred to New Meadows, ID (Payette National Forest), as a timber sale preparation forester then to Stanley (Challis N.F.) until 1971. He then transferred back to McCall Ranger District where he worked as Timber Management Assistant. In 1981, he was assigned to the Supervisors Office in McCall as a forester/contracting officer in charge of timber sale administration, cruising and scaling. He retired from the U.S Forest Service in 1998 with 36 years of service. In this position, he had a great deal of contact with the logging and sawmill industry which he really enjoyed. After retirement, he worked with the Idaho State Department of Lands for a few years and along with contracting/consulting for the Forest Service.
With all the time he spent in the woods, he always knew where to go to cut the best firewood. This passion (or obsession, as his family and friends might say) resulted in endless cords of wood piled to the hilt of his truck with wood racks; sometimes two to three loads a day.
After finally hanging up his Whites (boots), he and Judy bought a 5th wheel travel trailer and joined the local Good Sam Travel Group. They enjoyed many adventures with this group making wonderful friends along the way.
They also spent many camp trips with family where he was always the campfire master- with only the best firewood for roasting hot dogs and s’mores demonstrating the perfect technique a golden-brown s’more for his grandkids.
He was a member of the National Ski Patrol at Brundage Mountain for 17 years. He enjoyed helping others on the hill and the comradery with the other patrollers, but most of all skiing on weekends with his son and daughter almost every weekend during their childhood.
Dave loved to big game hunt and had a special knack for making the best jerky, salami and pepperoni. He also loved fishing in the streams, rivers and lakes and developed a passion for ice fishing in the recent years.
Dave loved his family and showed it in his own special way. He was an endless supporter of his children, Brian and Brenda and his grandkids were the apple of his eye. He always attended their sporting events, music, dance and drama programs in the Valley.
All those that knew Dave, knows he was quite the jokester. He was always one to play a joke or tease someone. He made us all laugh every day and he lit up every room with his wit, charm and big personality.
David is survived by his wife Judy, of 60 years, son Brian (Boise) granddaughters Natalie and Molly Mathis, daughter Brenda Mathis (Meridian)and grandson Austin Schultsmeier.
Dave, Dad, Grandpa, Friend ... until we see each other again, you will be greatly missed!
A graveside service will be held at the McCall cemetery on Friday, June 24th at 2:00 p.m. All family and friends are invited to attend and to share their favorite stories of Dave.
For anyone interested, there will be viewing times available at Heikkila Chapel on Thursday June 23rd from 2 – 7p.m. and Friday 10 a.m.-1 p.m.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of David Orville Mathis, please visit our floral store.