Anthony Bernarr Matlock

November 17, 1954 - March 7, 2012

Obituary

Anthony Bernarr Matlock was born November 17, 1954 in Marion Indiana. He was the third child of Leon Miles and Mary Young.  He was a graduate of Marion High School.

Anthony moved to Seattle Washington in 1984 and soon thereafter met the acquaintance of Vanessa Dervin, whom he would make his bride. They were married on January 30th, 1988.

Anthony loved to bar-b-que and referred to himself as the best “Ribologist” in Seattle. He was well known for his ribs and won several Madrona neighborhood cook offs.  Fishing was a passion of Anthony’s. He would often leave home for hours to fish and yet didn’t come home with much fish. Anthony didn’t fish for food, but for relaxation.  It was Anthony’s dream to move to the country to fish and enjoy his dog.

Anthony was active in his community and dedicated much of his life to youth. He coached football, basketball, and baseball for many years, providing leadership to young men in the neighborhood teaching them right from wrong and how to be men. He was uncompromising in his desire that the youth he touched education and be accountable. Many looked up to him as their father and to this day they refer to him as “Dad”.

Anthony has been involved with the community since he arrived in Seattle in 1985. Projects he worked on include the Community Outreach Voter Registration and the “Project Citizens for Civic Action” as well as being on the team to elect Mayor Norm Rice.  In 1990 Anthony began his career with the City of Seattle. Anthony helped launch the utility’s environmental education program and led development of the “Salmon in the Classroom” program that was instrumental in teaching a generation of school children the importance of taking care of our waterways for salmon and aquatic habitat. The program continues today—20 years after it began.

In 2000, Anthony developed the Small Community Grants Program, which helped sponsor neighborhood efforts to clean up litter and illegal dumping and prevent stormwater pollution in every neighborhood in the City. Through Anthony’s efforts, this program along with other community based grants programs across the City were brought together to form Grant Central Station to increase community access to grant assistance.

In 2003, Anthony led implementation of SPU’s Clean City Programs to eradicate graffiti and assist neighborhood clean-up efforts. He lead the graffiti program which included city graffiti paintouts, Graffiti Rangers and graffiti enforcement and education– which have served as a model for cities and communities across the nation.

From 2007 to the present, Anthony had been working to prevent stormwater pollution associated with automobile maintenance. He developed a novel program with South Seattle Community College to offer classes to residents about recognizing automobile oil leaks and sharing information on how to fix them.

Anthony was a great relationship builder whose skills helped shape SPU’s strong partnerships with many Seattle communities, with City departments and government agencies, and with non-government organizations. He was an amazing organizer who could bring people together from many backgrounds and perspectives for the purpose of providing great and equitable utility services, and improving our quality of life in Seattle. 

Anthony was a great Dad and Husband. He loved his kids and wanted his kids to do the best they could no matter what choices they made, “just be the best at whatever you do” was his motto.

Anthony leaves to cherish his memories, devoted wife of 24 years Vanessa, four children, Joiya Cyrus, Crystal Matlock, Antoinette Matlock and Anthony V. Matlock; two sisters, Ann Matlock and Sharon Bell; six grandchildren, Khalil Cyrus, Charles Odynski, Victor Matlock, Shamarr Fair, Tahzjuan Matlock, Shamyah Lattimore, and eight nieces, Latova Lock, Nakkia Lock, Qlewana Matlock, Tiffany Matlock, Donesha Matlock, Tamara Matlock and one nephew, David Matlock.   Extended Family include:   Elaine Young, Chrissy Weatherspoon, Marcus Jackson and Tony Nelson and a host of other family and friends.  Preceding him in death was his parents and one sister.

Anthony was my everything, my world, he made me feel like a queen everyday. I will miss his beautiful smile and great sense of humor— Vanessa Matlock.

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Norman and Constance Rice
Norman and Constance Rice
2 years ago

To the Matlock family; Constance and I extend our deepest sympathy to you. Anthony was a friend, colleague and strong ally. He was the foundation of the Mayoral campaign. His style, sense of fairness and friendship will always be remembered.

James Tupper
James Tupper
2 years ago

Vanessa and family, I met Anothy when he was working with my wife on the Rice campaign. He was a rock; kind, dedicated and made a difference in my day every time I had the good fortune to run into him.

Patricia Bell-Wyrick
Patricia Bell-Wyrick
2 years ago

Vanessa,

You are in my prayers and thoughts. I will miss Anthony’s wisdom, honesty and awesome smile. May God continue to keep you in his care.

Tom Griffith
Tom Griffith
2 years ago

You will be missed my friend, few have the ability to reach out and touch others as you did. My heartfelt condolences are with your loved ones, you left us much too soon. My thoughts and prayers are with your family. We should all be so lucky to have lived such a full and complete life.

Now maybe I can actually win a bar-b-que contest…

Anita White aka Lady A
Anita White aka Lady A
2 years ago

Be Not Dismayed, whatever betides.. God will take care of you. Blessings and prayers are with you the family during this time of mourning.

We of the SPU African American Affinity Group enjoyed Anthony’s spirit and involvement and he will be sorely missed.

My you and your family find comfort in all the happiness your father, husband, brother, uncle and friend brought into your lives. Know that God’s got you.

Randolph Cross, Royal Esquires' Club
Randolph Cross, Royal Esquires' Club
2 years ago

The members of the Royal Esquires’ Club extend their heartfelt sympathy and condolences to the family of Anthony Matlock.

I Only knew Anthony for a short timeframe as a member of the Royal Esquires’ Club. However, I was impressed with his desire to suggest aand make changes for the way the Club operated and its appearance for our best interest. He was interested in our involvement with the community, and his participation in discussions and activities for the Club was a reflection of his character. We will miss his positive energy, but his influence will be carried on by those that he had an effect on. He will be missed, but not forgotten.

Karen McGrew
Karen McGrew
2 years ago

Anthony left me his smile. I know he shared it with all the people he met. Whenever I think of Anthony I see a huge, ear to ear, grin. Thank you Anthony for that wonderful thought.

Marcia Rutan
Marcia Rutan
2 years ago

It was a blessing to work with Anthony. His lively caring warm heart and humor helped create a caring and dynamic work life here at SPU. I miss his openhearted interest and enthusiastic conversations. I miss his bright eyes and quick smile. He was truly a presence. I extend my condolences to you, Vanessa, and all the family and close friends. Such a loss is painful and I hold for you that healing naturally comes along with the memories, gratitude, and grief. Love continues always.

Mark Holmes
Mark Holmes
2 years ago

I met Anthony a long time ago he was coaching my son’s baseball team. I was able to make all the practices and talked to Anthony and the next thing I know I am working as his assistance coach. I was truly blessed to have met such a great man and friend. Thank You Anthony for being a part of my life and my son’s life as well.

Linda Jones
Linda Jones
2 years ago

Vanessa and Family,

I would like to extend my deepest condolences and sympathies to you.

I had the fortunate honor and pleasure of working with Anthony over the past 22 years and I was truly blessed by his presence and giving spirit. He was an overall great man in both the work environment and community. His committment to city government and the youth will live on in the legacies of the programs he creatively developed and implemented and we will always remember his dedication to his team.

My prayers and thoughts are with you and I pray for God’s comfort, strength and peace as you grieve the loss of your loved one.

God Bless and Love,

Linda.

Sherri Johnson
Sherri Johnson
2 years ago

Vanessa & Family:

Praying God will hold you close

Throughout your time of sorrow

Giving you His peace today

And hope for each tomorrow.

With Deepest Sympathy”

“Peace I leave with you…Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27

Alma Gene Harris
Alma Gene Harris
2 years ago

Vanessa and family. I had the privilege of meeting Anthony and Carleton while volunteering and working to elect Norm Rices campaign. Anthony and I hit it off right from the start. I enjoyed his sense of humor, straight forwardness and his attitude to fill in where needed. Anthony knew that I loved to eat and my motto was “Feed The People and They Will Come. Anthony made sure that the volunteers that showed up had plenty to eat even if that meant that he would spend money out of his own pocket. Anthony was a very giving and supported person and I looked at him as one of my brothers. He will be missed but not forgotten. Anthony, has been called to heaven to organize, support and bar-b-que and feed others that are voluteering and doing God’s work. I will continue to keep you and the family up in prayer. You have my love.

Jacqueline Llly-Harris
Jacqueline Llly-Harris
2 years ago

My sincere condolences to the family.

Those we love don’t go away,

They walk beside us every day,

Unseen, unheard, but always near,

Still loved, still missed and very dear.

I had the pleasure of working with Anthony on a Clean City IT project. I will forever remember his smile, excellent sense of humor and how he would ask about my 2 sons whenever he would see me.

Anthony, you will be missed. A bright light taken much too soon.

Fran and Rich Gustav
Fran and Rich Gustav
2 years ago

Dear Vanessa,

We are so very grateful for the times we shared with you and Anthony. Anthony was a colleague, teacher, mentor, keen social observer, and – most of all – friend. Anthony was a larger-than-life personality with a very, very big heart. He will be missed yet be ever-present. You and Anthony have and will always have a special place in our heart.

Be well.

Fran and Rich

Queen Carter
Queen Carter
2 years ago

Many thoughts and prayers go out to the family. May the memories of Anthony comfort you during this time. Anthony was an uplifiting co-worker and I will truly miss his smile and words of wisdom.

Caorlyn Johnson
Caorlyn Johnson
2 years ago

Very sorry to hear of your loss, my prayers and deepest sympathy is with you and your family.

Cheryl Jones
Cheryl Jones
2 years ago

Anthony you will be miss deeply. You were a great friend , with a keen sense of humor great smile and a beautiful personallity. You loved to dance and have a good time.

Daniel Rapport
Daniel Rapport
2 years ago

Dear Vanessa and Matlock family,

This is your next door neighbor Dan. I am so sorry to hear about Anthony’s passing although I’m sure he’s making everyone happy wherever his spirit is now with his wonderful BBQ, friendly nature, and always happy and positive demeanor. He was a great really great guy and i will miss not seeing him out washing his car or in the yard but my memories of him as such a nice, friendly person will always remain with me.

All my love and prayers,

-Daniel Raaport

Mico Lindsey
Mico Lindsey
2 years ago

My deepest condolences go out to the family. May God keep your family strong at these difficult times. I knew Anthony for about 5yrs and he always had a smile on his face whenever I seen him. We would always talk candidly about sports. He was a cool cat. He will be missed.

Sandra Dunn
Sandra Dunn
2 years ago

Dear Vanessa and Family,

I am sending prayers your way. Anthony was such a good person and truly made the Community a better place to live in. He was always so proud of his family and was such a good example/role model of a family man.

Blessings Always, Sandra

SHEILA MARIE PHILLIPS
SHEILA MARIE PHILLIPS
2 years ago

DEAR VANESSA – I AM SO SORRY FOR YOUR LOSS AND I KNOW HE WILL BE MISSED IN YOUR LIFE, SO THINK OF THE GOOD MEMORIES, LIKE ALL THE BEAUTIFUL FLOWERS HE WOULD SURPRISE YOU WITH FOR NO OTHER REASON THAN HE LOVED YOU. I DIDN’T KNOW ANTHONY WELL, BUT HIS ACTIONS SPOKE VOLUMES. SOME PEOPLE ARE NEVER TOUCHED BY SOMEONE THAT LOVES THEM AS MUCH AS HE LOVED YOU! MY THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS GO OUT TO THE ENTIRE FAMILY

Anthony & Deborah Harris
Anthony & Deborah Harris
2 years ago

Vanessa,

We’re so sorry to hear about Anthony he was a gift to the community and the City of Seattle. We will continue to pray for you that you will find peace and comfort at this time of loss.

Anthony & Deborah

James and Ain-Akilah Barnett
James and Ain-Akilah Barnett
2 years ago

Vanessa and family you have our deepest sympathy and prayers. Anthony has been a good friend of our family going back to Indiana days. He was always positive, always giving, and always like a brother. May God bless Anthony, also known as “Pete”. Earth has no sorrows, that heaven cannot ill.

With much love

Teresa Lord Hugel
Teresa Lord Hugel
2 years ago

Anthony was a special human being. He always made me laugh, and his passing has made me cry. He will be missed by MANY. Blessings on his family during this time.

Kara L. Williams
Kara L. Williams
2 years ago

To the family of my Dear Co-Worker Anthony

I thank you for sharing him with the world; he was an inspiration to me and made a direct impact in my life. I will miss his loud voice and the political debate every morning in the office; it makes me smile just to think about him. It wouldn’t be the same.

To be in perfect peace is a wonderful place to be. Find comfort in knowing theat God will take good care of you all.

With sincere love – Kara (SPU, EPT)

the Harris family
the Harris family
2 years ago

Vanessa and ‘lil Anthony…we are all very sad and heart-broken about the loss of your dear husband and Dad…and our neighbor. Please know that we loved him too. What a wonderful neighbor, friend and “uncle” he was to us. ALWAYS checking in on Madea and Pop, making sure they were safe and if they needed anything. Even In his last days he walked down the alley to see if Madea was ok…that is truly a great person/neighbor. We will miss his encouragement for the young-one’s in the family and will certainly miss the aroma of that Bar-B-Que. please know that we love you and if need ANYTHING…dont hesitate. Stay strong and God bless.

Pamela Banks
Pamela Banks
2 years ago

Vanessa,

I met Anthony on the campaign trail for “Team Rice”. He was a dear friend and co-worker. As a coach and volunteer with the Seattle International Baseball League, Anthony was a role model and father figure for many of our children. I want to thank you and your family for allowing Anthony to touch so many of us in such remarkable ways. I will miss his smile, his directness and always holding me accountable to be better person every day. Take care and God Bless, Pamela

Pauline S. Hill
Pauline S. Hill
2 years ago

While serving as principal at Wing Luke K-5 School, SPS, Anthony introduced the students, staff, families, and me to the salmon and environmental projects. His knowledge and enthusiam introduced us to hatcheries, streams, and the value of protecting nature in order for nature to do what it was designed to do for us.

Please accept my condolences in the loss of your loved one, Anthony, and know that I will keep the Matlock family in my prayers! May good memories and God’s blessings keep you strong! (…also, Kenya July 2006)

James Chandler
James Chandler
2 years ago

As the state Fish and Wildlife Salmon in the Classroom Coordinator, I have had the pleasure of working with Anthony. It has turly been a BLESSING to meet and work with an AWESOME man and leader. I think God for putting him in my life. My God Bless you and your family.

The Chandler Family

Karen Selander
Karen Selander
2 years ago

My sympathies to the Matlock family. It was a pleasure workng with Anthony to help Seattle neighborhoods clean up litter and graffiti and just recently getting to know the wonderful son he raised, Anthony V., while he was an intern in my office.

It always brightened my day to see Anthony in the Municipal Tower. He served the city well. I will miss him.

Michael Yasutake
Michael Yasutake
2 years ago

Dear Matlock Family

May you find comfort and peace during this time. You are all in my thoughts and prayers.

Anthony was one great individual..I was deeply saddened to hear of his passing. I had the honor and privilege of knowing him and working with him in some community based projects.

He would always greet me with his warm, wonderful smile. We will all miss him very much. God Bless and keep all of you.

Carl Woestwin
Carl Woestwin
2 years ago

We have a “White Allies” group at Seattle Public Utilities, with the goal of being of support to people of color in moving the needle closer to social and racial equity. Anthony was my “Black Ally” in being a better “White Ally”. He was serious about his work, he could speak in a heartfelt way, and he could be playful. What a great combination! I miss him.

Elizabeth Kelly
Elizabeth Kelly
2 years ago

Anthony was “one of a kind”. He made a “one of a kind” impact on me and many, many others. I’m a better person for having known him and I will miss him.

Peggy Dreisinger
Peggy Dreisinger
2 years ago

I worked with Anthony for nine years. Please accept my condolences. I will miss him terribly.

Marilyn K. Trick
Marilyn K. Trick
2 years ago

I was priviledged to work with Anthony through Seattle Paint Out. He was a joy to be around. Always there, ready and able to help, if it needed being done, Anthony was our guy! He was sorely missed the last couple years in the program. I feel in knowing him my life was better even for a short moment. My thoughts and heart are with his family who I know will miss this unique and God-Sent man. God’s speed Anthony!

Tanika  Sims-Seattle Cancer Treatment
Tanika Sims-Seattle Cancer Treatment
2 years ago

Vanessa,

My heart and prayers go out to you and your family, Anthony was a wonderful man.

Sgt Dianne Newsom
Sgt Dianne Newsom
2 years ago

Vanessa and family,

I can hardly express the loss I also feel. Anthony made me laugh everytime I saw him. When we talked about grafitti at community meetings his humar made people want to leave the meeting and tak an active role. At the special event committee meetings, he could make a long meeting seem like only a moment in time because we were allowed to spend it with him. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

Brian Hallett
Brian Hallett
2 years ago

I had the wonderful privilege to work with Anthony at the City in environmental education. What I remember most about Anthony was his laughter. He leaves behind a wonderful legacy of an entire generation of Seattle children who will forever be better stewards of our beautiful lands because of him.

He will truly be missed.

Keith Williams, Flyright Productions
Keith Williams, Flyright Productions
2 years ago

Matlock family, my prayers are with you. I had not seen Anthony in quite sometime, but he always had the big friendly smile and jokes when I did see him. He will be missed by all of us who knew him. If I may be of any assistance in keeping his memory alive please dont hesitate to call on me. God Bless you all.

Cynthia Wrice
Cynthia Wrice
2 years ago

I am so sorry for your loss, Although it’s difficult today to see beyond the sorrow, may looking back in loving memory help comfort your tomorrows.

Anthony was a good person whom always seem to make me smile, I will miss his smiling face that he shared with everyone. I will never forget his tips on how he smoked his ribs, he was the reason I got a smoker.

Vanessa andFamily you are in my prayers.

Joyce Moty
Joyce Moty
2 years ago

To Anthony’s Family,

I just wanted to let you know that Anthony was a fabulous City employee in whatever he did. Anthony was generous in his help and advice when our neighborhood was building Bradner Gardens Park. We got one of his Small Community Grants to plant native plants on a slope in the park. It is thriving and will always remind me of him.

Anthony always had a smile when I saw him. Seattle has lost a wonderful man. Thank you Anthony for all that you gave to Seattle.

Sincerely,

Joyce and the Friends of Bradner Gardens Park

Brenetta Ward, David Rader and Marcus Rader
Brenetta Ward, David Rader and Marcus Rader
2 years ago

Dear Vanessa and Anthony,

We are so sadden by the news of your loss. Anthony was a caring and joyful man. He was a positive role model for all the young men in our neighborhood. He will be missed by many. I will always remember his friendly smile and warm greetings. Our prayers are with you both and your family.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. – Matthew 5:4

Linda Versage
Linda Versage
2 years ago

To Anthony’s Family, I had the honor of working with Anthony on environmental education projects when I worked for Seattle Parks and also in the early days of my job with Homewaters Project. Anthony had such a great way of getting things to happen. He was like Santa Claus as he was able to bring “gifts to the table” so that we could share them with kids! I recall many intense conversations with Anthony but when I picture him, I will always remember his big ‘ole smile! Seattle misses him already!

Ozeal Wrice
Ozeal Wrice
2 years ago

Anthony lived a life that has made a difference in so many other lives and he will be well remembered.. I loved his ribs!

Natalie Pope
Natalie Pope
2 years ago

Auntie Vanessa, my prayers go out to you and little Anthony. I love and miss you both. God Bless.

Tranell DeHarty
Tranell DeHarty
2 years ago

Auntie Vanessa my prayers go out to you! I just found out and I am so sorry I couldn’t be there for you. Uncle was an awesome man with a quirky since of humor! I always enjoyed the times I was able to spend with the the both of you! He will truly be missed…..Love you.

Elaine Dydasco
Elaine Dydasco
2 years ago

My heart and my thoughts and all my prayers are with him and his family

Donald Saito
Donald Saito
2 years ago

My heart and my thoughts and all my prayers are with him and his family

Karen Matsumoto
Karen Matsumoto
2 years ago

My heartfelt thoughts are with your family. Anthony was an environmental justice hero and role model to me. His actions and programs will be long remembered by so many in our community. He is missed by all of us already!

Christine Jones
Christine Jones
2 years ago

Hi Vanessa,

I was saddend to hear of your lost. May God be with you and your family during this time. If you need anything, and I mean anything, do not hesitiate to call me, 253-854-3358.

Love Chris