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Thread: R.I.P. Harry Paul Materne III (matt56)

  1. #1

    Default R.I.P. Harry Paul Materne III (matt56)

    Harry Paul Materne III
    11 January 1956 - 15 February 2020

    User Name: matt56
    Number of posts: 4,108
    Aerial Victories: 74


    Harry Paul Materne III was a wargamer and friend to many people. He put together his knowledge of history, his skill as a modeler, and his wonderful personality to make our hobby better for all involved in our field.

    Matt was destined to be a hobbyist. Matt’s father would build WWI plane models back in the days before lozenges decals. He would pencil out the pattern on the wings and hand paint them with beautiful results. In high school Matt was an avid gamer. He played the Avalon Hill Games many of us cut our teeth on. Dayton was the home of the Der Kriegspielers Figures. Matt painted and played 25mm Napoleonics.

    Matt moved on to bigger things when he joined the army after high school. He loved German classes in high school and continued this love in the army. Matt was sent to Military Defense Language School in Monterey, California. After this and other training he was sent to Berlin as a member of the Army Security Agency. He was stationed in Berlin from August of 1974 to July of 1978. While he was there he perfected his German language skills and developed a great love of German as well as a fondness for white ketchup. Matt also put together an amazing collection of Imperial German WWI aviator badges while there.

    Matt came back to Dayton to attend college planning to finish college in the officer training program and then rejoin the army. After completing jump school he was involved in a terrible car accident that prevented him from continuing his military career. He picked up the pieces and went back to college to earn a degree in education. During this time Matt and I met and ended up sharing a house together on Highland Avenue. With all our militaria, skins from Africa, Matt’s framed military prints, and a mannequin dressed in a grenadier guards uniform our abode was nicknamed “Highland Barracks”. There were many epic parties held at the barracks from what I can remember.

    Matt was always involved with things that related to his military service and his love of history. He was a member of the Royal Canadian Legion serving in the Color Guard and was a Post Officer. He was involved with a WWII living history group that manned various planes at airshows wearing uniforms from the period. Matt and I started doing display work at the WWII Victory Museum in Auburn, Indiana. A crew of us dressed and displayed almost 200 mannequins at the museum. Matt’s knowledge of German language and uniforms made him an invaluable resource. He also was a talented artist. Matt painted various size figures. Anyone who saw his 54mm busts were amazed with their historic accuracy and phenomenal paint job.

    In the Wings of Glory hobby group he was known throughout the world for his advancement of the hobby. In 2017 Matt and I picked up the planning for the Origins Game Fair. Matt did most of the heavy lifting, entering games and coordinating with Ares to build a great relationship. In 2018 Matt again went to bat getting all the games entered, coordinating with Ares, and making sure the Lend Lease visit went seamlessly. In 2019 he again took on the task of running Origins. Matt and I ran various games for Ares at GenCon in 2019. Matt was in the process of putting together the 2020 Origins event. Sadly, he was not able to complete this task.

    All through this time Matt used his creativity to construct boxes for people to store their supplies and chitties. To call them boxes is a disservice. They were ingeniously made and always decorated with a stunning paint job. Matt sold some of these boxes, but donated many to the Lend Lease raffles, as well to the Doncaster and Prague events. The boxes can be found all over the world.

    He and his son Graeme went to England in 2019. There he met many of the UK wing members. He got to spend time with Simon Comben who had come to the 2017 Origins event. Simon and Matt hit it off instantly. Graeme follows Everton FC and Simon got them tickets for a match and some great memorabilia.

    For all Matt did in the field of history, the one true love of his life was his family. Matt met Karleen, his future wife, while he was a high school German / English teacher and she was an art teacher. I was in their wedding and it was a beautiful and joyous affair. They complimented each other and truly faced life together. Both of his sons were the apples of his eyes. Graeme is a Graduate Assistant at Bowling Green University working on a masters in Music Composition. Graeme also loves games like his father. Owen is an incredibly talented dancer going to the University of Oklahoma. Matt and his family miss each other in a way no words can describe.

    I will miss Matt in ways I haven’t even realized yet. Several people that knew us well have said to me, I have lost a brother. They are so right. As I get older and grow in my dislike of cold, I sometimes think of leaving wintery Ohio. I knew I would never leave as I saw Matt and I gaming, going to militaria and game shows, and enjoying each other’s company for the rest of our lives. Matt always endured my eccentric behavior well. I always felt like a better person around him as he always was one to do the right thing.

    As I stated in my first post sharing the news of his passing, I feel like I have lost a part of my soul. When looking at the scribble I have put down here it makes me think of all the great times we had. Sometimes we would look at each other when a situation was transpiring in front of us, one or the other would make a single word comment, and we would both bust up laughing. I will always miss that. Godspeed Matt. You will be missed, but never forgotten.

    James F. O’Neil II

    Besides being a personal friend, Matt was also one of the few people that I relied on to keep the site running on a day to day basis. He was typically the person the site to greet our new US members as he handled new memberships for the US. He was also often the man behind the scenes approving the various medals that people requested. He did all those things and always asked if there was more that he could do.

    All that he did here on the site paled in comparison for what he did for the Lend Lease program over the last several years. When I was no longer able to attend Origins I started to slowly turn that project over to Matt and he ended up pretty much running the show. He compiled the data to generate the top 5 members for the LL program each year. He presented the top 5 to the LL voting committee, coordinated with the selected member and arranged their travel plans with them, and became one of their personal guides while they were here. He also managed the raffles to raise the funds to make the LL program work.

    Simply put, Matt was Mr. Aerodrome USA.

    Keith Upton

    The matt56 memorial medal has been minted in his honor and is awarded to those members who participated in the fundraising raffle to help cover the cost of the Celebration of Life his family is hosting for him. If you would like to contribute to this fund, you can do so via this link.

  2. #2


    Donation sent.
    Blue skies, Harry.
    <img src= border=0 alt= />
    "We do not stop playing when we get old, but we get old when we stop playing."

  3. #3


    Rest in peace Matt, you will be very much missed.

    Never Knowingly Undergunned !!

  4. #4


    You'll always be with us. Clear Skies Matt.

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