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Man And Terminally Ill Wife Can't Live Apart. They Perform One Last Act for Love.

Mark and Cecilia Matter, 62 and 63, had been married for 41 years when Mrs. Matter became dreadfully sick. After being assessed by medical professionals, Mrs. Matter was diagnosed with terminal cancer.

However, Mr. Matter couldn’t face the prospect of living without his wife, so the couple crashed their plane on Marvel Dome Mountain, northeast of Bethel, in “an act of suicide.”

Facing the prospect of life without his wife was too much to bear for Mark, causing the pair to form a joint suicide pact. Mr. and Mrs. Matter took off from Aniak, Alaska, only a week before Christmas.

Mr. Matter was piloting his plane, a 1949 Piper PA-11, when he intentionally flew the plane into the side of Marvel Dome Mountain near the family’s mine at Marvel Creek.

Alaska State Troopers have declared the crash, which took the lives of Mr. and Mrs. Matter, to be an “act of suicide,” with the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) finding no mechanical or technical problems with the aircraft, confirming that the probable cause of the crash was “the pilot’s intentional flight of the airplane into terrain.”

Ms. Donna Slough, one of the Matter’s three children, shed some light on the death of her parents, stating that “they were inseparable from the beginning. Dad couldn’t function without Mom… he couldn’t fix himself meals or anything.” Described as the “lifeline of the family,” Mr. Matter did not wish to be alive after his wife passed from cancer, even if it meant not seeing his children again.

The extraordinary couple met in Aniak, where Mr. Matter worked as a firefighter. At the time, Mr. Matter was busy opening up his own mine but he quickly realized that Cecilia was something special.

Within a year of meeting each other, the pair were married, having their three children shortly after. Ms. Slough described what brought her father to Aniak, stating that he “wanted to take on the world.” After the pair married, Mrs. Matter took on the role of making Mark’s business run, which was supposedly “very successful,” leaving Mr. Matter even more dependent on his wife.

According to NTSB region chief, Clint Johnson, in the last two decades, the Matters' crash is one of just three other incidents where the probable cause of death was suicide, and was the only Alaska incident. While the true cause of the crash will never be known, NTSB officials have determined that both Mr. and Mrs. Matter were instantly killed on impact.

The Matters' son, Ivan, has taken over the running of the family mine, a place where himself and his sisters “stayed… all summer long, rain or shine.” Family members and the Aniak community were devastated by the loss of Mr. and Mrs. Matter.

Finding a more positive outlook, Ivan confessed that, in a way, the crash saved his mother from insufferable sickness and saved his father from living without her.

Source: Daily Mail
Photos: Dave Cannon/KYUK, Calleamanecer/Wikimedia Generic Photo, NTSB, Alaska State Troopers

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