Matthew Hirai Wetmore Matthew Hirai Wetmore, age 41, passed away in Hawthorne, Ca. on August 23 after a 3 year fight with stomach cancer. Matthew was born Jan. 7, 1966 in Rochester, NY and grew up in Ormond Beach, FL. A 1984 graduate of Seabreeze HS, he was in the band and drama club, and was voted "Most Dependable" by his peers. Matthew was a United States Marine Sergeant from 1984-1997. Known by his call-sign "Odie", he was a highly decorated disabled war veteran serving in Desert Storm, the Liberation of Kuwait, and the 1989 Valdez clean-up. He was a CH-46 helicopter Crewchief, Flight Engineer and Naval Rescue Swimmer. Matthew became an Aerospace Quality Engineer for TRW and later with Northrop Grumman. He worked on Milstar and other important satellite programs and was a key member of a successful Six Sigma Team. Matthew met his soulmate, Lisa J. Goolsby, in August 2000 and they were married in May 2002. He is survived by his adoring wife, his cherished and loving mother Fukiko "Joyce" Wetmore of Ormond Beach, FL, his brothers Russel of Atlanta, GA and David of Johnstown, OH, and his sisters Bonnie and Naomi of Tallahassee, FL. He is predeceased by his father, Arthur Warren Wetmore. Matthew had a way with people, drawing them to him with his quick wit, intense honesty and perpetual charm. He was passionate with regard towards family and an intensely loyal friend. His obsessions included: computer games, movies, aquariums, collectables, amusement parks, music, and most of all...laughter. A Memorial Service celebrating Matthew's life will be held on August 31 at Rice Mortuary in Torrance, CA Memorial Marker - Forest Park Cemetery - Houston, TX. Final Resting - Eternal "Memorial" Reef - February 2008 off the coast of Ft. Lauderdale, FL. In lieu of flowers Matthew wanted donations made to The American Cancer Society or Little Company of Mary Hospital Foundation (First Surgical Department) - Torrance, CA.

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  1. The world has lost a great man and I consider my self blessed to have known him and to have called him friend. Matt I am glad you are no longer in pain my friend, the pain is now ours for we have lost you but we shall endure. May you now know the peace and comfort of God’s loving arms. Be at peace and know you are loved.

  2. Lisa, No words can heal the pain you feel or the loss you suffer. However, please know that Matt touched many lives during his short visit here on earth. I know that heaven is a brighter, happier place now and that Matt can now know the lives he affected. On behalf of those of us that had the privilege of knowing and experiencing Matt at some point in his short life, we know the strong bond he had with people. For him to have chosen you as his wife, I know that you are a very special person, even though I have never met you. THANK YOU for taking good care of and loving our dear friend. I will see you on the other side, Matt!

  3. Joyce and Naomi, So sorry to read about Matt, my prayers are with you all! He sure did have a great life! You take good care of yourselves!

  4. Matt touched so many hearts and will always hold a special place in mine. He was one of the most genuine and charming people I have ever known. I am so glad to know he met his soulmate Lisa to love him until the end. My deepest condolences go out to Lisa, Naomi, and the rest of his family. With love, prayers and simpathy

  5. I just watched the beautiful tribute for Matt. It is with a heavy heart that we send this message and share your grief. We have many memories of him and we cherish them. Joyce and Lisa, I know his love will always surround you. Russ, David, Bonnie and Naomi, you are special brothers and sisters to have stayed by his side during the trying times, when he and Lisa needed you the most. Our deepest condolences and love.

  6. I always looked up to Matt (not just in the literal sense) as he was a dear friend throughout our school days. A mensch in every sense of the word, he possessed a great sense of humor, passion and compassion. My heart goes out to you, Naomi, and your entire family.

  7. Hi Lisa: I just saw the video… what a great tribute. You are in my prayers. See you soon. Hugs, Julie

  8. Matt, You are finally at rest and one with God… thank you for being a part of MY life during high school. You entered my life when I needed a friend the most (new to school). I will always treasure those times in band and chorus. You touched so many lives in so many ways- I consider myself one of the lucky ones to have known you. I was “one-parent” away from joining you in the Marines! As a member of the Air Force now, I salute you. God Bless you Matt. Naomi, Lisa and family: You are in our thoughts and prayers during these times. My parents and brother Phil also send their condolences.

  9. Lisa – I just watched the video tribute – it was beautiful. My thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time. I am looking forward to meeting you.

  10. We have fond memories of Matt from the band days at Seabreeze. He was always a courteous, friendly and well mannered young man. We know this from the time he spent with our sons at our home, and as band parents we were around him a lot. Naomi our thoughts and prayers are with you, your family and Lisa. God bless you all.

  11. Just a friend of a friend showing my respescts. May god be with you, and your family, at last a hero rest in peace. Thanks for all the choices you made to support our country, much love to you.

  12. I just received this breath taking news from our mutual friend, Mike Brewster. I have fond and unforgettable memories with Matt. My son Jonathan idolizes him and has for years. I meet Matt at MCAS El Toro, Ca. We worked night crew together and had many great times dancing at the country bars. When he left the Corps, he stayed with my family for a few months on base at Tustin till he landed his TRW job and became a rocket scientist. Later he visited our new home in Hemet where he was driving the Eclipse. He promised my 14 year old son he could drive the car when he was old enough. Jon has never forgotten that. Matt and Jon spent many hours playing the board game, Friends and allies. The world lost a great person. He will be remembered forever. Please accept my deepest sympathy for your loss as well as the many other who have lost. May Matt “Odie” be with all of us.

  13. I just received this breath taking news from our mutual friend, Mike Brewster. I have found and unforgettable memories with Matt. My son Jonathan idolizes him and has for years. I meet Matt at MCAS El Toro, Ca. We worked night crew together and had many great times dancing at the country bars. When he left the Corps, he stayed with my family for a few months on base at Tustin till he landed his TRW job and became a rocket scientist. Later he visited our new home in Hemet where he was driving the Eclipse. He promised my 14 year old son he could drive the car when he was old enough. Jon has never forgotten that. Matt and Jon spent many hours playing the board game, Friends and allies. The world lost a great person. He will be remembered forever. Please accept my deepest sympathy for your loss as well as the many other who have lost. May Matt “Odie” be with all of us.

  14. Matthew I will miss you Bud!! Rest easy, we will take care of things here. You know the new mission is to guard the pearly gates and fly in a steady hover. I will always have you close to my heart, remembering all the fun even though I was always right!!! Keep an eye on all our fellow brothers and sisters (Mee Vaj made me add the sisters) and when the time comes guide them to the lite including the one in the cooler under the crew chief seat, put them in the bird and give them a hell of a ride like you know how to. I love you man !!! Steve

  15. I did not have the pleasure of knowing you Matt. However, I arrived in quality shortly after you left and have heard numerous stories about your upstanding character and outstanding personality. Having never known you, it surprised me that hearing of your passing has sparked as much emotion as it has. I guess what it all comes down to is anytime this world loses another genuinely good person, it is a sad day for all of us. I haven’t tried to fill the void you left here. I don’t see that as a reasonable goal. Instead, I do my best to honor the values you upheld. Enjoy paradise my friend.

  16. Take care my friend and little brother. We’ve spent some wonderful times together. Cynthia, Christi and I have always considered you as part of our family. We will truely miss you. We have all been blessed by having you in our lives. Thank you for all the great memories. Love you bubba.

  17. On behalf of Linda, the local bowling community, and myself we would like to extend our deepest sympathies to Matt’s wife and to his mother Joyce on Matt’s passing. Keep your mind on his memories and remember his joys and happiness during his time here with you. May GOD bless and keep you safe from dispair in this time of sorrow.

  18. I was deeply saddened to hear of Matt’s passing. He and I lost contact with each other for many years after high school, but his friendship touched my life forever. He will always be in my heart and memories. My thoughts and prayers are with everyone who loved him. Wishing you peace and strength. Joy Keener-Borresen Seabreeze H.S. – Class of ‘84

  19. I would like to extend my love, thanksgiving and admiration for Matt. I graduated with him from Seabreeze in 1984. He was a superlatively upstanding and responsible person. He had no fear, and he packed his 41 years with as much living as the rest of us do in a longer life. My condolences go out to his family and friends. Find peace in his restoration. His smile is still with us. Memories persist. Love and kindness lasts forever.

  20. Sorry to hear about your loss. He was a great person and will be greatly missed

  21. So sorry to hear of your loss of Matthew. I worked closely with his father, Art, and was always impressed with his wonderful family. Our sympathy goes out to Joyce and all of Matthew’s family. His life touched many others around the world.

  22. Although Matt and I lost touch after high school I will always consider Matt a best friend. He possessed a personality and intellect that was rare. You couldn’t help but be his friend. He will always be thought of as a great guy and will be remembered fondly by everyone who knew him. God speed Matt!

  23. I want to send my condolences to Lisa and family. Matt was such a nice guy. I will always remember him by the red heat bag he and Lisa gave to me. Matt will be missed.

  24. Matt and I have been friends for over 35 years.We both went through school together sharing the great times that friends do. Often we would play many jokes on one another and laugh as he sat between my bicycle handlebars on the way to ormond elementary school. Thank you Matt for all the fun times growing up together.May God be with you and your loved ones. Always your friend, Brian Boice Ormond Beach Florida

  25. Lisa, I just want to express how much both you and Matthew mean to our family. Chris and Marissa with always call him Uncle Mat. We will always remember him on his birthday. You have really been an inspiration and role model for us. Your devotion and love for your husband is the ultimate tribute to him. We will continue to be available to you for any type of assistance. Please do stay in touch with us. Send us your new address. We admire you for all that you have endured with out fail to Matt. Chuck, Marie, Marissa and Chris Simpson

  26. Our Dearest Joyce, We know how hard this has been and in faith and our friendship, we offer our sincerest prayers and hugs to comfort you. SEMPER FI MATT

  27. Dear Joyce, All our many prayers go out to you and hope you will find strength and comfort knowing that GOD is caring for Matt now.

  28. We want to you to know that the family will be remembered in our prayers and that God will take care of you in your time of grief.

  29. I went to Seabreeze with Matt and I have the fondest memories of him. He was a very sweet guy and always kind to everyone. May he rest in peace and I would like to give my sincerest condolences to his mother, Joyce, his sister Naomi and the entire family.

  30. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all in this time of grief. We all loved Matt and followed his life through Joyce. We will always remember his being a chaperone for us at a Florida State Junior Tournament. His being in uniform made a great impression on our young bowlers. Rest in Peace Matt. God Bless You All. Terry, Gail, Rob and Kimberly Roe

  31. I am saddened to hear of Matt’s passing. Matt was my first “real” boyfriend in 9th grade and I will never forget him and the friendship we shared. Although we lost contact for many years, my memories of him are clear and happy. He was a grand soul and touched the lives of everyone he knew. He left his mark on this world, as we all aspire to do. My thoughts and prayers go out to Lisa and his family. Matt will not be forgotten!

  32. I also knew Matt from Seabreeze High School. As a fellow band member and officer, I always knew I could count on Matt. He was always interested in the “good” of the whole band. I was shocked and saddened to hear of Matt’s untimely passing. While I didn’t keep in touch with him after graduation, I considered him a dear friend throughout high school. My heartfelt condolences go out to his family. Naomi, my heart is with you. God speed Matt, rest in peace. Pete

  33. Matt and I went to Seabreeze and Ormond jr together. Although we were a year apart, I had the pleasure of enjoying many band trips and lots of crazy times at school with him. May god be with him for eternity, and may god bless his family in there time of sorrow. Mike

  34. Served with Odie in CA. He was just the way his tribute describess him. Our prayers to his family & a contribution as requested to American Cancer Society. We’ll gather together again, someday! Semper Fi, Odie.

  35. Matt touched so many lives with his smile and his friendship. He would give you whatever you needed without so much as a blink of the eye. It was an honor to know such a great individual. I know that my life is better because Matt touched it in one way or another. While he will be missed here on earth, heaven just got one great soul. Rest in peace Matt.

  36. Joyce: Our prayers are with you and your family at this sadden time. You will always be in our prayers and we will keep Matt in our prayers always. Be strong. We love you.

  37. DAV Chapter #84 of Greater Daytona Beach, Florida wish to express our Sincere Sympathy for the abscence of Matthew Wetmore here with you. However We wish to offer assurances that he will always be remembered fondly by we the membership of Chapter 84. Sincerely, Roger Lee Tiffany Chaplain DAV 605 8th Street Holly Hill, FL 32117-3371

  38. To the family of Matt Wetmore… I am so very sorry for the lose of dear Matt. I remember going to Ormond Beach Junior High, even though we went to Mainland High School, all the football games, homecomings those years. My sister Laura and I have our birthday on January 6, 1966 and we always sat near him with our last name of Zindell. My Mother sent me the announcement of his passing and it brought back so many good memories of Matt. He always had a contagious smile and sweet disposition, you could always count on Matt to help you out and be a true friend. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. God Bless, Lisa Zindell Larkin RN

  39. I’ve known Matt for a number of years. He was certainly one of the most caring and friendly people that I will ever encounter. My heart is heavy with his departure, but just knowing all of the joy that he brought to anyone that he encountered makes his short stay on this earth helps. Matt will be missed but never forgotten.

  40. Even though I didn’t really know Matt very well, his genuine smile and forthright friendliness are two qualities that stood out in my memories of him. His character and personality seemed to “light up the room” and the world will be a much dimmer place without him. My deepest condolences go out Joyce and her family, and to his wife and her family, for the untimely passing of Matthew. GOD has a special place in heaven for those that had the ability to light up so many lives with their presence…GOD BLESS YOU MATT.


  42. Our deepest condolences go out to Lisa, Matts soul mate and to Joyce and his brothers and sisters. I will miss Matt dearly, he and I grew up together, we lived next door to each other through childhood until we grew up and he pursued his military carreer. Matt lived his absolute dream through his military experiences and has touched a great many people, more than we’ll ever know. Matt was so smart, funny and could make you laugh even when you didn’t want to. I loved Matt as a brother and will never ever forget my old best friend. We pray for peace and comfort for Matts family and friends knowing he is in no more pain and even now is in a much better place. Til we see each other again Matt, SEMPER FI brother. Joseph M. Rains and family Ormond Beach

  43. Lisa, even though we never met, I felt as if I knew you both. Naomi has shared so many wonderful stories and I know in my heart that these are the memories that will help you at this difficult time. With the support of family, as well as all the prayers that are being said for you, I hope that you will find comfort and the strength to go on.

  44. To Joyce, Naomi, Lisa & the rest of the family: Our heartfelt prayers go out to you while you try to deal with your loss. No one can take away your pain, but we can help you through this with prayers and just by being here for whatever you need. A listening ear is just a phone call away, and always available. Matt is now pain-free and watching over you. May your memories bring you comfort. With deepest sympathy. Jan & Harold.

  45. I had heard a few months ago that Matt “Odie” had left us. I served with Odies in the Marine Corps for a few years. We endured many hardships and good times together. When I heard of his passing, the image of his ear to ear grin and hearty laugh popped into my head. I will pass on this sad news to the Marines that I kept in touch with through the years so they can pass the word to the Marines that knew Odie. Although this is a couple of years late, my sincere condolences and prayers are with Odie’s family. God Bless and rest assured, Odie is still with us.

  46. Served with “Odie” in HMM-164. He was an amazing person and I can’t even begin to express the impact he made on my life. To his family – you will all be in my thoughts and prayers. I’m so sorry. God Bless

  47. I am very sorry to learn of Matthew’s passing today. We served together a long time ago In HMM-164 in Tustin CA.and I still have fond memories of Odie. He told me a very funny story about his time in Iwakuni Japan in SAR during late 80’s. Seems the Japanese thrill seekers were water skiing behind helicopters and it was quite popular at the time. The story went that Odie’s crew tried this water ski adventure with their CH-46 and pulled the maneuver off. As you can imagine they had a lot of fun. Only to find in the following weeks Local Sports magazine, their escapade made the front cover. I’ve never laughed so hard in my life! God Bless….

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