Cover photo for Matthew Eugene Collins's Obituary
Matthew Eugene Collins Profile Photo
1986 Matthew 2023

Matthew Eugene Collins

February 28, 1986 — October 10, 2023

Lacey, Washington

Matthew Eugene Collins, age 37, former Grants Pass resident, died October 10, 2023 at his home in Lacey, Washington.

Matt was born in Chicago, Illinois to Sarah Seavers Collins and Dr. Elbert Collins. When he was six months old, the family moved to Grants Pass, Oregon. Matt graduated from Grants Pass High school, attended the University of Oregon and graduated in 2009 from Clark Honors College with a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and minor in Chemistry.

Matt joined the United States Army in 2010 and earned the coveted Green Beret in 2013 after the notoriously arduous qualification course. He married Rachel Smith in 2011 in Fayetteville, North Carolina, and they welcomed their son Gabriel in 2015. Matt served 12 years as a Special Forces medic and intelligence sergeant, with combat deployment to both the Philippines and Afghanistan. To his brothers-in-arms, Matt will be remembered as an exemplary Green Beret, a proud combat diver, a dedicated mentor, and a steadfast teammate. Over the course of his time in service, he earned the Combat Diver Badge and was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for Meritorious Service and the Combat Infantryman Badge in Afghanistan.

Matt fiercely loved those closest to him, and always looked for a way to put a smile on people's faces. He was at his best when he was teaching at the Dojo, writing, cooking, lifting weights, and listening to Dave Matthews. Despite his tough exterior, his care and patience with children and animals was a beautiful sight to behold. His contagious smile, warm presence, and passionate nature touched countless hearts, making him an irreplaceable part of our lives. He will be greatly missed by all who loved him.

Matt was preceded in death by his half-brother Benjamin Busby-Collins, his uncle Eugene (Muggs) Seavers and Aunt Carole Collins. He is survived by his precious son Gabriel, mother Sarah, father Elbert, sisters Tess Collins and Quin Collins Pehrson (Greg), nephew Mason Pehrson, former spouse Rachel Collins, and many Aunts, Uncles, and Cousins.

A military service will be held at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Washington and a private celebration of life with close family and friends in December 2023.

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