Matthew Davis Ausland, age 50, passed away suddenly on Wednesday, July 6, 2016 in Bandon, Oregon, while on a family vacation. Matt was born on May 20, 1966 in Umatilla, Oregon to parents Craig and Sandi Ausland. He was the first of four children. From an early age Matt had an earnest desire to learn more about God and lived his life following Jesus. He was taught humility and the importance of hard work during his childhood growing up on his parents’ 42-acre farm in Chewelah, WA. These were qualities that he exemplified throughout the remainder of his life. Fishing, horseback rides, and backpacking were some of his favorite activities growing up. Matt played football and basketball in high school and it was there that he met the love of his life, cheerleader Sunni Dai Kircher. The high school sweethearts married in 1987.
In 1984, Matt began college at Eastern Washington University where he majored in History and minored in Physical Education. Matt returned to Eastern following his graduation in 1988 to earn his teaching certificate. Matt worked as a substitute teacher as well as various jobs before he was hired by Anacortes Middle School. As a teacher, Matt was encouraging to his students as well as genuinely passionate about the subjects he taught. In 1996, Matt and Sunni had their daughter Madeline and their second daughter, Cassandra, was born in 2000. After both his daughters were born, Matt continued his education to earn a Masters Degree.
Matt was known by the people around him for being kind and accepting to all he met and always willing to lend a helping hand. He had an array of interests ranging from animals to video games. Any and all history and current world news was fascinating to Matt, he could answer any question you had about anything. Matt was very sentimental and treasured his parents and siblings, consistently checking in on everyone despite the long miles that separated them all. Matt was a loving and involved father. He volunteered as a coach for all of his daughters sports growing up and attended every extracurricular event they participated in. As a husband Matt was supportive of anything Sunni put her mind to and their marriage was one of mutual respect and admiration. The faithful family dog, Cookie, had a healthy “fear” but undying love for Matt that was established after he trained her as a puppy.
Matt treasured the many lifelong friendships he made wherever he went, from church to his coworkers to his neighbors. He often organized and participated in sports pools with his friends and relatives, which he utilized as a way of keeping in touch with people. Matt was personable and approachable, always drawing in people who wanted to talk to him. Matt’s sudden death was a shock to all who knew him due to the fact that he was very disciplined in regards to exercising regularly and keeping a healthy diet. He is survived by his wife, Sunni, daughters, Madeline and Cassandra, parents, Craig and Sandi, Bandon, OR, three younger siblings and their spouses, Kirk (Kim) in John Day, OR, Meg (John) in Sumas, WA, and Bart (Melissa) in Colville, WA. Matt was blessed by numerous aunts and uncles, nieces and nephews, cousins, friends, and of course, Cookie.