Don Matthews has passed

//Don Matthews has passed

Don Matthews has passed

We have received the sad news that Don Matthews has passed away. The outgoing and popular CZ rider was a fixture at Northwest regional motocross races, and traveled to several events across the country the past couple of seasons. He was helpful in getting many of our current members involved in the sport, and he also ran for Western Trustee in this year’s election. Don’s brother Eric said, “It is with great sadness that I must (report that) Don had a battle with pneumonia since a few days before Christmas. He withstood a lot of things in his life, but could not compete with this. He died peacefully last night (January 14) at St. Charles Hospital in Bend (Oregon). Godspeed, Don.

By | 2014-01-15T21:22:20+00:00 January 15th, 2014|Uncategorized|16 Comments

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  1. Debbie Poole January 15, 2014 at 11:04 pm - Reply

    This is a loss that defies acceptance; Don was larger than life itself and filled his immediate area, where ever he happened to be at the moment, with optimism, good will, and uncompromising FUN. He had a no-nonsense way of seeing through just about everything. Just seeing him arrive at an event instantly made me feel better, because that is what Don was entirely about; making everything as good as it could be, and helping making that happen. He enjoyed life unabashedly; always seeing the good side of things, ready to fix the bad side of things whenever possible. I am having extraordinary difficulty comprehending a world without Don Matthews in it.

  2. Lynn Williams January 15, 2014 at 11:27 pm - Reply

    very sad to hear about his death he will be missed.

  3. Terry Gates January 16, 2014 at 2:43 am - Reply

    Debbie’s sentiment is right on. I had some great, pure fun times racing with “CZ Don”. He was funny, great sense of humor, and passionate about bikes and racing. Thanks for the fellowship and racing fun Don, you were truly the essence of vintage motocross. A class act. RIP my friend

  4. matt james January 16, 2014 at 6:04 am - Reply

    The world will not be the same without Don. It makes you wonder.

  5. Gary Cochell January 16, 2014 at 6:52 pm - Reply

    Great guy, sorry to hear.

  6. Ellen Voermans (aka Roebuck) January 16, 2014 at 7:23 pm - Reply

    Don was such a big teddy bear of a man and I will miss his big laugh and his kind spirit. The world is a little diminished for losing him.

  7. Ed Sims January 16, 2014 at 8:23 pm - Reply

    I can’t believe it. I just spoke with Don’s wife Sue last week & Don was getting better. I spent most of last year emailing & speaking on the phone as he helped me get my Twin Port 250 rolling. Don brought me a present in October at Hollister – an OEM rear splash guard/airbox for the Twin Port. He was the nicest of the nice. I am so sorry we lost Don. Sorry, sorry, sorry.

  8. matt james January 17, 2014 at 7:24 am - Reply

    I left may last post with the word wonder. I thought about it and its hard to believe Don has passed.
    One of my memories is showing up to the last race at Chehalis, the premier classic 2012, my daughter and I arrived late so there was no way we were going to make dinner on Saturday eve so we began to unload.
    Everyone was in the barn, Jeff Smith was the featured rider and was speaking. Don came through the pits and said ‘You made it just in time”. That’s how I remember Don, Everyone is welcome even if your late. R.I.P. Don.

  9. Reese Dengler January 17, 2014 at 9:39 pm - Reply


    Don was one of the most generous people I have ever known. In 2007 I broke the gearbox in my 360 Twinpipe CZ at the Chehalis national. The next week I pulled the gearbox cover to see what the damage was. I just happen to talk to Don a few days later and I told him what I had found. Two days later, out of the blue, a complete CZ 380 4-speed gear set and shafts shows up on my door step from Don. He refused to ever take any payment for those parts, which allowed me to get my 360 Twinpipe back on the track.

    Rest in Peace Don.

  10. Eric Matthews January 18, 2014 at 12:51 am - Reply

    On Christmas Eve 2006 Don pulled up to my mom’s house in our dad’s (his now) big Orange Pumpkin. He said,” Eric, don’t tell mom, but look in the van”.

    In the van was a (1976) 175 Husky Cross Country bike. ( I had the fifth Husky 125 to come into port, back in the 70’s.

    He fixed it up as you know nobody else could. Beautiful blue mx tank, olins shocks, Husky 250 forks. My first race was a cross country and I put a big knee dent in it on its first outing.

    Then he introduced me to the CZed. It was the one he built for my dad ( who has since pased away). Dad broke a collar bone on it, and so did I!

    But its a beautiful bike ( well it will be again soon).

    I am so glad he got me back into racing again after all these years. He was my confidant, teacher, mechanic and cheer leader. I had to have a high learning curve with the bikes, but he showed great paitence.

    I will miss him dearly.

    April 12th we will have a celebration of Life for Don at his house in Terrebonne. Complete with Marine Corps Honor Guard and Presenting of the Flag ( some may not know, he was a staff sargeant in the Marine Corps). All of his friends are welcome. contact me at for more information as time gets close.

  11. Cliff Mee January 18, 2014 at 5:46 am - Reply

    I am so saddened by the news that Don is gone. We all loved Don and just expected him to be there in the pits the next year. I will always remember that fantastic laugh, you could hear it throughout the pits, and you just knew who it was, our beloved Don Matthews. He was a lineman brother that you never expected to leave this early. You are sorely missed my friend… GOD speed..

  12. Brian Esaary January 18, 2014 at 6:10 am - Reply

    Don was a great guy and a very generous friend. Just last September at Glen Helen, He stayed up and let us in the gate at 11:00 PM. He was always glad to help anyone, while expecting nothing in return. His larger than life presence will be missed. He was so happy traveling with His wife Sue.
    He will be missed.

  13. Ron Greene January 20, 2014 at 11:17 pm - Reply

    I was really sorry to hear the news…..Don parked near us at Lake Sugar Tree and was so gracious in helping when I ran into “CZ” issues… We also exchanged beers……..Caught up with him again at Unadilla and he looked like a kid in a candy store…….great loss to our sport……

  14. Steve Parker #245 January 21, 2014 at 5:42 am - Reply

    Like all of you I just feel like I’ve been kicked in the stomach. Rest in peace CZ Don. A truly great human being.

  15. SIEGE January 23, 2014 at 5:10 am - Reply

    I was shocked the read that we had lost the man – and that morning I struggled with writing a proper caption for the website….

    Don was a magnificent gentleman. He was incredibly kind to everyone equally, and a buoyant personality – always helping me – including his famous quote: ” you can’t sneak up on it” about starting the CZ400 – which he then did in flip-flops, to my amazement.

    in 2004 Don was on my gate at Goldendale, which has a huge long uphill, a very long downhill. he was raising his long travel Evo CZ, and I was on my IT/YZ465, and it was one of those marvelous races where you pass and repass, clinging to the lead by the thinnest of margins, only to watch it evaporate as you get slightly sideways coming out of a corner. I can’t remember whether he won or I won, but it was one of those lovely races which is burned into my memory forever.

    Don allowed me to race his twin pipe CZ at woodland one time, and I remember thinking it was one of the most beautiful bikes had ever been on; smooth and unconcerned…

    those experiences with the man, and those are only the first three that come to mind tonight, paint a small picture of the man. a great sorrow to me, and I to Vintage Racing. I can’t imagine right now that he wouldn’t be there if I pick the phone up….

    God Speed

  16. Matt Itamura April 8, 2014 at 1:38 pm - Reply

    Don was one of the finest humans that I have ever known, kindness, generosity, funny and bigger than life was how I remember Don. He was always a tenacious racer but even more so in how he interacted with his fellow racers. It was great seeing him at the races and how he always helped everyone so they could enjoy the same things as he did on his CZ.
    Don made you feel that you wanted to be a better person, he always brought that out in people, I’m glad I got to know and race with him, he is one of the great ones and will always be thought of that way. I’ll miss his laugh and I’ll miss him.

    God Speed my brother!!

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