David Matheson Death – On Tuesday, David Matheson, a key leader for the Coeur d’Alene Tribe and a member of the tribal council, passed away suddenly. Matheson had lived his entire life in the native town of Coeur d’Alene and was 71 years old when he passed away. Matheson was reportedly a “Mover and shaker of incalculable proportions.” as stated by the Coeur d’Alene Tribe. “He always told great stories, he was so articulate. I know that he always presented this vision of our ancestors in that we’re here for a purpose, and I truly believe he served his purpose,” said Laura Penney, the CEO of Coeur D’Alene Casino and a Coeur D’Alene Tribe member.
Coeur D’Alene Resort and Casino
Over the course of the last three years, Penney has held the position of Chief Executive Officer at the Coeur D’Alene Resort and Casino. She claims that if it weren’t for Matheson, she wouldn’t be where she is now. “He’s been a long time mentor of mine, always encouraging me to do well and to have a dream and follow that dream,” Penney said. Even though there was a high unemployment rate on the reservation, Matheson reportedly employed more than ninety new employees for the casino while he was the casino’s first chief executive officer.
Throughout his career, Matheson held a number of positions, including that of chief of the Bureau of Indian Affairs and special assistant in the United States Department of the Interior. However, the thing that his friends remember him for the most is as a passionate spirit who had a kind and kind heart. “Dave Matheson is actually the reason I came to work here. I went to school down at the University of Idaho and Dave came to speak in one of my business classes and he spoke so eloquently and so passionately about working at the casino,” said Yvette Mett, a Coeur D’Alene Tribe member.
In 2018, Matheson was re-elected to the tribe council, where he continued to serve his community by participating in a variety of charitable activities. Mett stated that not only was it a significant loss for himself, but also for his family as well as Dave’s family. “Without Dave, I don’t think things will ever be the same for the tribe. On Saturday morning at 10 o’clock, there will be a memorial service held in honor of Matheson at the Coeur’s Center, which is located in Worley.
PC: Spokane Coeur d’Alene Living magazine
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