Longtime EAA VP Dick Matt Passes Away
Former Hollywood film producer created EAA video department
January 19, 2011 — Dick Matt, who was EAA’s first director and vice president of the marketing and communications departments, died on Sunday at Winter Haven, Florida. He was 84.
Dick, EAA 18259, had been an EAA volunteer since 1963 and joined the staff in 1983 as the organization was moving its offices from the Milwaukee area to Oshkosh. He created EAA’s first video department in the 1980s, signing programming agreements with such outlets as ESPN, Discovery, and others.
“We’re saddened by Dick’s passing, as he was a big part of EAA’s growth and development for many years,” said EAA Chairman Tom Poberezny. “He expanded our marketing and promotional efforts, and took us into the television marketplace to give EAA and aviation greater visibility. Dick also helped create the Paul Harvey Audio/Video Center and built world-class photo and video departments.
“His high level of professionalism and passion for aviation raised the bar for EAA’s efforts in all these areas.”
Dick already had a notable film career prior to coming to EAA. He was a charter member of the Screen Directors Guild, and produced more than 50 short-subject films for Paramount Pictures. Dick also worked with such noted stars as John Wayne, Bing Crosby, Cliff Robertson, and Bob Newhart, and also headed the production team that created the “Hamburger University” educational program for McDonald’s Corporation franchisees.
After Dick’s retirement in 1997, he moved to the Winter Haven area.
Dick is survived by his wife, Yvonne; his daughter, Kristin; and son-in-law, John Burton – who is president of the Sun ’n Fun Fly-In in Lakeland, Florida – and is also survived by three granddaughters.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Monday, January 24, at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 532 Ave. M N.W., Winter Haven.