Anthony Bernarr Matlock
November 17, 1954 - March 7, 2012
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.