Cover photo for Irvine Matchett's Obituary
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1946 Irv 2024

Irvine Matchett

March 10, 1946 — March 19, 2024

It is with great sadness that I announce the death of our beloved brother, uncle and friend, Irvine Matchett at my home in Sunny Corner at the age of 78. Irv chose to complete his life journey in my home where he was regularly visited by family and old friends. My home is on the site of the original Matchett Ferry property. Irv loved his Irish heritage and no visit to him would be complete without a history lesson on our ancestor’s journey from the Emerald Isle to the banks of the Miramichi. 

Irv was born on March 10, 1946, in Red Bank to Norman and Lillian Matchett. He is survived by three sisters: Edie MacDonald of Moncton, Norma Beauchamp (Guy) of Warwick Road and his eldest sister, Molly Jardine (Benny Estey) of Warwick Settlement. He was to lose three sisters, Mary, Dot and Theresa and three brothers: George, Art, and Mick as well as one brother-in-law: John. Irv was also to lose a niece, Marion, and two nephews, Robert and Ricky. These losses in his family were to weigh heavily on his heart. 

Irv is also survived by his former wife and a lifelong friend, who he always referred to as Deborah Gale Whitney. 

Irv was a proud graduate of North & South Esk High School (NSER). He earned his bachelor degree at Saint Thomas University. He started his career at the Royal Bank in Newcastle, but it wasn’t long before he would pursue a love affair with teaching. 

Irv’s whole career was spent at NSER. He loved working side by side with his sister Mary. As many hours as Irv put into teaching in the classroom, he put an equal amount into his role as teacher advisor to the Senior High Student Council. It was rare to find him at home in the evenings or weekends as he took students on skiing trips, field trips, coached sports, ran the winter carnival and the pageant, supervised school dances, introduced curling as an activity, held rock-a-thons, bike-a-thons and walk- a- thons to raise money. Many of the outings were paid for out of his own pocket so that every student, regardless of their family finances, could attend. Irv remembered growing up poor and he never wanted a student to be unable to participate because of lack of money. As one might imagine Debbie was his support, greatest champion and always a ready supervisor for all of these activities. 

Irv was his family’s rock. Every achievement made by nieces, nephews and cousins made him proud. His mother was his love and he cared for her needs after his dad’s death until her passing. His father, a carpenter, was his role model and he was able to recount many stories of working in the woods together and how, in making the tea, he started to smoke during those days. He and his beloved older brother, Mick would build a reputation in the community of being fantastic carpenters and could be found during the summer months building houses, decks, completing projects for the church and of course, family members who often had a project waiting. 

When you didn’t find Irv swinging a hammer you would invariably find him swinging a golf club and he spent many happy days, summers and years at the Miramichi Golf and Country Club. And while I don’t understand a handicap, I do believe he had a good one. My uncle lived a full and rich life of music, friendships, and faith and that continued until his passing. I want to thank Father Dan Melanson for administering Last Rites on the night before his passing and to his lifelong friend, Louis Hogan for his words of solace and encouragement to him. His nieces and great nieces were by his side and that always made Irv happy. 

This end of Irv’s life journey was made much easier on him and on us because of Dr. Samad and his staff in Moncton. We will always be grateful to Dr. Kris whose care and compassion to Irv (and me) during this stage was beyond compare. The lovely lovely nurses with Extra Mural, Brianna the social worker, Holly the Respiratory Therapist, the EMTs with the Ambulance Service who answered our frantic calls and to the pharmacist staff at Jean Coutu, God Bless you and Keep you. You are God’s angels on Earth. 

At Irv's request, there will be no visitation. A funeral service will be held at St Thomas Roman Catholic Church, in Red Bank, on Tuesday, March 26, 2024, at 11 am, with Father Dan Melanson officiating.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Miramichi Food Bank, or to a memorial of one's choice.

Funeral arrangements are in the care of Northumberland Funeral Home & Crematorium, 102 Pleasant St, telephone (506) 622-7741. Where your loved one never leaves our care. 
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Irvine Matchett, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Funeral Service

Tuesday, March 26, 2024

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Atlantic time)

St Thomas Roman Catholic Church

19 St Thomas St, Red Bank, NB E9E 1B2

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