|From the Times-News magicvalley.com
Matt was born Feb. 3, 1980, in Portland, Ore.; he was taken from us Sunday, Nov. 8, 2009, while serving in Iraq from a helicopter accident.
Matt was married Aug. 28, 1999, in Twin Falls, Idaho, to Tanya Michelle McKamey. They together had two beautiful girls, Madison, 10, and Meah, 5.
After completing school, Matt joined the Army to better his life for his family. He completed his basic training in Fort Benning, Ga. He then went to Fort Ustis, Va., to train to be a UH – 60 Helicopter Mechanic. He was then assigned to his first duty station in Savannah, Ga., and so very honored to be accepted into the Nightstalker family, 3/160th SOAR. He left Savannah in July 2005 to attend WOBC in Fort Rucker, Ala., to start flight school. He finished at the top of his class and loved the mission of the Kiowa and so he chose to fly the OH-58D. For the next year and a half, he went through flight school while living in Enterprise, Ala. After graduating from flight school, orders came down to be stationed in Hawaii.
Matt and Tanya resided in Ewa Beach, Hawaii, in their first purchased home. Matt worked out of the Wheeler Army Airfield with 2nd Squadron, 6th U.S. Cavalry Regiment, 25th Combat Aviation Brigade flying the OH-58D. Matt became a trained PC and loved teaching others everything he knew; he always gave 110 percent and nothing less. He wanted all his fellow pilots to be the best at what they did and Matt was a great teacher.
Matt is survived by his wife, Tanya, and two daughters, Madison and Meah; his parents, Barbara and Craig; sisters, Christine
and Carrie and husband, Brian; brother, Nathan and wife, Kelley; and his grandma, Veris. Matt is preceded by his grandpa, Harold; his aunt, Brenda
; and cousin, Millie.
Matt was a fun-loving man who brightened everyone's day, just by the smile on his face. He loved to play the guitar with close friends and also knew how to rock out with Rock Band. He also loved his family time, whether it be going to the beach, zoo with his girls, going on a bike ride, playing games in the house, going to dinner and a movie or just being outdoors hiking. He had an adventurous side that made him love fast cars, motorcycles, and just recently this year learned he had a passion for skydiving. Matt could go anywhere and lighten up the room by his great sense of humor and his quirky smile that he always had. Matt had always strived to be at his best and when it wasn't enough, he tried harder. He would lend a helping hand to anyone that would ask and always brought out the best in everyone.
A viewing will be held from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 19, at White Mortuary, "Chapel by the Park," 136 Fourth Ave E in Twin Falls, Idaho. The funeral will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, Nov. 20, at the LDS Stake Center, 3850 N. 3500 E. in Kimberly, Idaho. Burial will be at Sunset Memorial Park in Twin Falls.
|From the Times-News magicvalley.com
Hundreds mourn soldier who died in Iraq
Pilot laid to rest
By Nate Poppino - Times-News writer | Posted: Saturday, November 21, 2009 1:25 am | (0) Comments
U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer Mathew Heffelfinger, Friday afternoon in Twin Falls. (ASHLEY SMITH/Times-News)
Accompanied by the sounds of a mournful horn and Apache helicopters, U.S. Army Chief Warrant Officer Mathew C. Heffelfinger was laid to rest Friday in a Twin Falls grave.
Heffelfinger, 29, and fellow pilot and Chief Warrant Officer Earl R. Scott of Jacksonville, Fla., 24, died Nov. 8 after their OH-58D “Kiowa” helicopter crashed near Tikrit, Iraq.
About 250 people attended services for Heffelfinger on Friday at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints stake center in Kimberly, though members of the media were asked to stay away. Most in attendance followed a procession escorted by police and members of the Patriot Guard Riders to Sunset Memorial Park in Twin Falls, where Heffelfinger was laid to rest.
Speakers at Friday’s services included Idaho Lt. Gov. Brad Little, as well as family members and others who knew the young pilot. Little said Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter wanted to attend, but could not because of a previously scheduled “Capitol for a Day” event in Lava Hot Springs.
As the wind picked up, blowing leaves across the memorial park, friends and family gathered around Heffelfinger’s coffin — decorated with images of his military service and Iraq. Those gathered focused their comments on honoring Heffelfinger’s service while looking to the future.
“ … Yes, there is a tomorrow, and life is everlasting,” LDS Stake President Kent Allen said during the grave dedication.
Brig. Gen. Alan C. Gayhart formally presented Heffelfinger’s final military award, the Bronze Star. Then flags were solemnly presented to widow Tanya Heffelfinger and the couple’s two children. Four Army National Guard helicopters flew overhead and the services ended, allowing time for family to walk one last time past the casket.
The crash that killed Heffelfinger and Scott remains under investigation.