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Died June 19, 2011

Chief Master Sgt. Lee G. Mattice III, 43, and Tyler D. Minton, 17, were called home suddenly June 19, 2011, near Marysville, Calif., where they both drowned during a family kayaking trip.

Chief Mattice was assigned to the 9th Maintenance Group at Beale Air Force Base, Calif.


Tyler was a junior at Wheatland Union High School in Wheatland, Calif. He was to graduate with the class of 2012.

Lee was born May 8, 1968, in Woodland, Mich., to Lee G. Mattice Jr. and Joann LaFrance.

He graduated from Lakewood High School in 1986.

Tyler was born April 25, 1994, at Ramstein Air Base, Germany, to Rhonda Hamby Minton Mattice and Stephen Minton.

Chief Mattice served in the United States Air Force for 23 years, enlisting in 1987 as an aerospace ground equipment mechanic. He had many varied assignments throughout his career, most recently serving as the superintendent of the 12th Aircraft Maintenance Unit in the 9th Maintenance Group at Beale Air Force Base.

Chief Mattice had deployed in support of numerous operations, including Operation Northern Watch, Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom. His most recent deployment was with members of the 99th Reconnaissance Squadron in support of U-2 operations.

Lee met Rhonda Minton at Ramstein Air Base, Germany. They were married in Las Vegas, Nev., Dec. 28, 1996.

Lee was a great military man, but he always put his family first. He believed this helped him take care of his military family and his mission.

He is survived by his lovely wife of 15 years, retired Master Sgt. Rhonda Mattice; his sons, Theron Mattice and Andrew Minton; his daughter, Kaitlin Mattice Berlowitz; father, Lee Mattice Jr.; stepmother, Rosemary Cronin Mattice; brother, David Mattice; and sisters, Elizabeth Mattice, Susan Foreman and Debra Wild.

Tyler was full of life and loving hugs. He loved his friends and family. He enjoyed the great outdoors, hiking and scuba diving. He was very affectionate and was not afraid to express his feelings.

He will be greatly missed by all of his friends both in California and North Carolina.

He is survived by his mother, Rhonda Mattice; father, Stephen Minton; brother, Andrew Minton, Andrew's wife, Kelsey, and their son, Asher. He is also survived by his half-sister, Hanna Minton; as well as his stepbrother, Theron Mattice, and stepsister, Kaitlin Mattice Berlowitz.

Additional family includes maternal grandparents, Norman and Sandra Hamby, and paternal grandparents, Samuel and Beverly Minton.

Services for Chief Mattice were held at Beale Air Force Base, Calif. The memorial service was held June 28, 2011, at 8:30 a.m. in Dock 2, and the funeral service was held June 30, 2011, at 3 p.m. at Valley Chapel.

Services for Tyler were held in Wilkesboro, N.C. The memorial service was held June 24, 2011, at Fishing Creek Arbor Baptist Church, and the funeral service was held June 25, 2011, at Scenic Memorial Gardens.

The family has requested memorial donations, in lieu of flowers, be sent in honor of Lee and Tyler to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), 745 Sutter St., Yuba City, Calif., 95991.


Published in Obituaries on July 7, 2011 1:48 PM