Wayne Matley, Valley rancher, dies at age 82
Wayne C. Matley, 82, a member of a pioneer Reno and Lassen County, Calif., ranching family and resident of Carson Valley since 1963, died at Valley Meadows Center in Gardnerville Feb. 25.
The family ranch, the Matley Brothers Ranch, was situated on Mill Street in Reno, and most of what was the ranch is now covered by the Reno-Tahoe International Airport.
His father, John Matley, raised Percheron horses until after the First World War, when the family switched to white-faced Herefords. Matley Lane in Reno is named for the family.
Mr. Matley’s grandparents, James and Martha Steinberger, came west from Iowa in 1861 and settled near the present site of Janesville, Calif. They moved to Reno in 1897 and bought the Eastman Ranch. Steinberger died two years later, and his daughter, Martha Annie, married John B. Matley, who had been employed on the ranch.
The couple had eight children, including Mr. Matley, who was born Feb. 1, 1916 in Reno. The five Matley brothers worked the family ranch and were closely associated with the development of the family’s properties in Reno.
At the age of 22, Mr. Matley left for Hollywood and a singing career. He trained for light opera and auditioned in San Francisco several times. In 1947, he was invited to join the San Francisco Civic Light Opera Co., but he chose to marry his sweetheart, Alouise Herbert, and settle down in Nevada.
He sang, however, for weddings, funerals and other celebrations, his son Bruce Matley said, and appeared in productions of Reno Little Theatre. He made one recording. As a result of his own interest in singing, Mr. Matley encouraged his children to develop their talents in art and theatre.
The Matleys continued to live and work on their ranch south of Gardnerville until the present time. A cattle rancher, Mr. Matley raised Arabian horses in his later years.
Mr. Matley served on the Douglas County Planning Commission.
He was a past member of the Elks Lodge in Reno and enjoyed spending time with his family, playing golf, hunting and the outdoors. He was a Catholic.
He was preceded in death by two brothers, John C. Matley and Theodore Matley, and a sister, Isabelle Murphy.
Survivors include his wife Alouise A. Matley of Gardnerville; sons Bruce Matley of Fallon, Kenneth Matley of Sacramento, Randy Matley of Boise, Idaho, and Douglas Matley of San Francisco; daughter Tamara Matley of Rochester, Minn.; and two grandchildren.
A mass of Christian burial was held Feb. 27 at Our Lady of the Snow Catholic Church in Reno with Father John Corona officiating. Burial followed at the Masonic Memorial Gardens Cemetery in Reno.
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