Paul Matt Sr., 82 was called home in the early morning of February 16, 2018. Our Dad, Uncle-Daddy, Uncle, Grampa, Brother and friend left this world surrounded by his wife and a room full of family. He was born on March 26, 1936 to Vincent Matt and Marie Lujan in Taos, New Mexico; he was raised by his maternal grandparents, Donicio and Matilda Lujan. He was a member of the Taos Pueblo, spoke his native language fluently, and belonged to Big Feather clan. His Taos Indian name was Bringing Dancers. Paul was adopted into Tobacco Society by Harry and Flower Beads Don’t Mix and this made him a Biglodge. His Indian name Baakuushiisches “Likes to Help People.” He graduated from Santa Fe Indian School in Santa Fe, NM where he excelled in sports. He then enrolled in Haskell Indian Nations Junior College. While in college, Paul answered the call to serve and entered the U.S. Army where he served in the Korean Conflict and was discharged with honors on August 31, 1965.
Paul worked for the Indian Health Service (IHS) in Crow Agency, MT, as a Maintenance Lead for 36 years. Paul maintained the grounds and ensured the premises were always cleaned and maintained and the facility was in good working condition. He married the love of his life, Joy Old Crow, on March 26, 1962 and this year would have been 57 years.
He is survived by his son’s Martin and Cindy Old Crow of Lodge Grass and (Dustin & Nicole, Charlie, Jennifer and Evan), Paul and Georgiann (Pierre) Matt, Jr. of Crow Agency, Maria Matt (Ashley and Bill, Lou, Danito, Hartley, Allesandro, Vincent and Racquel, Paul Michael, Ariel (Brody), Hudson and Kalben) of Hardin, Vance and June (Zane) Matt of Browning and Tiffany Matt (Dante, Kionna, Cierra) of Billings. He is also survived by his two sisters, Mary Isaacs, Irene Mirabal and brother Dale Martinez of Taos, New Mexico and aunt Christine Yellowtail of Wyola. He also considered his many nieces and nephews as his own, Fatima, JR, Trudy, Curtis and Nita. Paul and Joy have children who were thrown away to them as well as God children, all of whom he loved and too numerous to mention. Paul was preceded in death by his parents, maternal grandparents, and a brother Martin, adopted daughter Joann Luchan. Also, his Uncles who were more like his brothers, John, Mike, Cesario, Jerry and Joe Inez, aunt’s Anita and Thomasita Lujan. He is survived by many family members from Taos Pueblo. Our family is vast and we apologize if we missed anyone unintentionally.
Paul leaves behind his many friends whom he thought of as true friends, specifically, Dr. Upchurch whom he worked with in his IHS days and then later on as his primary care physician. Paul offered his thanks best in his own words, “Dr. Upchurch is the best!” He was also blessed to have the personal medical care of his CNA granddaughter while he was a patient, Ashley. Throughout his life, he was truly blessed, everyone said, “Grampa is like a cat, he has nine lives.” He survived kidney cancer, recovered from an injury where he had a wrestling match with his auger which nearly severed his right wrist, his fuel carburetor back-fired and he suffered 3rd degree burns, he had bleeding ulcers during the busiest time of the year, Crow Fair, and on and on. The point being, he survived and recovered, but this cancer was one that would eventually take him from his family.
Paul was at his best when working with his horses and many wagons for which he is known throughout the State of Montana. He was invited to lead the Veterans entrance at the NILE Rodeo and brought them in on his horse and buggy. Paul paraded his family throughout the many Crow Fair celebrations to showcase his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He was also contracted to parade campaign delegates from all sides of the political spectrum. He loved being in the outdoors, where he was happiest working on his yard ensuring there was always green grass and trimmed with trees. He was an expert carpenter and when his wife saw something she liked, she would say, “Dad, can you make me that.” His answer was always displayed throughout their home and yard.
Rosary will be recited 4:00 pm Monday in the Bullis Funeral Chapel. Funeral mass will be celebrated 10:00 am Tuesday in the Lodge Grass Our Lady of Loretto Catholic Church. Interment with military honors will follow in the Crow Veterans Cemetery. Bullis Mortuary has been entrusted with the arrangements.