Matthew Arthur Dale, born 19 July 1959 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, died at peace in his home with his family on 17 August 2018. Matthew passed with just enough hair to blow in the wind on his bicycle ride to heaven. He, of course, will not be wearing a helmet.
Matthew prided himself on being a life-long learner. He culminated his formal education with a B.A. from the University of Minnesota and an M.A. from Pacific Lutheran University. He continued his informal education through his dedication to public service. Serving as the director of the Friendship Center for over a decade, and as the director of the Montana Department of Justice Office of Consumer Protection and Victim Services for the last seventeen years fed his desire to constantly learn.
Matthew, at the end of the day, was a man of simple pleasures. He kept a quote book throughout his life in which he included a list of his favorite places in the world. These “places” describe well who he was and the things he valued.
In the arms of my family. At his core, Matthew was a family man and took his role as a partner and father seriously. While he could be incredibly silly, he was serious about the time he dedicated to his loved ones. He once penned a sermon saying he wanted to change Father’s Day to Daddy’s Day. In his own words, “‘father’ is stern and formal. It connotes rules and rigidity. ‘Daddy’ is a term of endearment, it creates a sense of warmth, trust, and intimacy. I love being called daddy.” He excelled in his role as a dad by being steadfast, dependable, playful, and a great listener.
Chico Hot Springs. Matthew loved taking friends and family to Chico for dinner and a soak. While he was born a cake-eater from Edina, Minnesota, it is hard to find a transplant who loved Montana more fully.
Reading in a coffee shop. Those who knew Matthew know that good coffee, a good magazine article, and a good, dark beer topped his list of favorite things. He held many meetings at the General Merc, and frequented the Blackfoot enough to report on who was there “all the time.”
The aisle seat in an exit row, flying to a vacation. Matthew had the opportunity to see large parts of the world via plane, car, and boat. It was important to him to share as much of the world as he could with his family. Most of his trips, either by himself or with family, were to see a museum or important historical site. He read almost all of the “historical point of interest” signs across Montana’s highways.
St. Paul’s Church between 11 a.m. and noon on Sunday Mornings. Being an active and integral member of the St. Paul’s community brought Matthew a great deal of spiritual and social support. He served as a lay-leader and volunteered many hours to the church. He especially enjoyed Choir and Jazz Sundays. Matthew’s relationship with God began early and continued throughout his life. Through God and the church he formed some of his most significant friendships.
On Broadway on a Tuesday night. Matthew was happiest while enjoying a good meal with friends and family. In the past few years he particularly loved organizing a huge meal out, so his whole family could be together without worrying about cooking and cleaning. He had an excoriating sense of humor and no one was spared. He was always looking for the next battle of the wits and passed away with a self-proclaimed “undefeated record.” It was his hope that every conversation resulted in you needing to look up at least three words in the dictionary. He loved words and language, which he used as an impressive tool in his work as an advocate.
Matthew took great pride in his work and was able to share his expertise on a national level as a consultant for the National Domestic Violence Fatality Review Initiative. Thanks to his hard work, Montana sets the national standard for State and Native American fatality review teams. Matthew’s life’s work has saved lives. He was an outstanding leader that expected excellence in himself, as well as in those with whom he worked.
While Matthew loved traveling around the state, his home for the past forty years has been Helena. He was a committed public servant who showed his love for his city and community through his volunteerism. He served as president for many non-profit boards. He proudly proclaimed that his greatest skill was efficiently running meetings in order to end five minutes early.
Matthew lived and worked by the belief that if you “treat people as if they were what they ought to be, you help them become what they are capable of being.”
He was preceded in death by his father, Thomas Dale Jr. and sister, Corby.
Matthew is survived by his wife, Kim; children, Kaci, Kallie, and Kaleb; and grandson, Elio. He is also survived by his mother, Lynne; siblings, Tom (Barb), Pat (Patty), and Peter (Chica); nieces and nephews, Rosie, Colin, Evan, McKenna, Ashley and Brittany. Matthew is also survived by our Kelly.
Part of what made Matthew a great colleague, brother, friend, and dad was being a member of this community. Matthew and his family feel a great appreciation towards the people Helena and would like to say thank you.
A service celebrating Matthew’s life will be held at 12:00 p.m., Thursday, August 30th at St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, 512 Logan. A reception will immediately follow in the lower level of the church. Please visit www.aswfuneralhome.com to offer a condolence to the family or to share a memory of Matthew.