Matthew Glover

October 1974 - November 18, 2022

Matthew H. Glover was easily recognized on the trail by his barefoot sandals, on the dance floor in a Hawaiian shirt, or most notably on his bike in a bright orange vest. Having lived in North Pole, Alaska for over 20 years, he died on November 18, 2022, following unexpected complications from a cycling accident five weeks earlier. He was 48 years old.

Matt was born October 1974 in northern California to Walter and Arleen Glover. In 1993, he graduated with honors as Valedictorian of his class from Tulelake High School. He was recognized by the Academy of Achievement as one of 25 students selected from across the nation for his exceptional accomplishments as a young leader. Matt went on to major in Fire Science and Liberal Arts, graduating with two Associate degrees from Butte College. Serving as a volunteer firefighter and EMT with Butte County Fire Department for several years, he would go on to work for the U.S. Forest Service, fighting fires in Lassen, Sequoia, and Fremont-Winema National Forests.

In 1999, his work as a wildland firefighter would take him north to Alaska where he eventually settled, working the first few summers fighting fires and winters driving a school bus. In 2001, he transitioned to a career with the Alaska Railroad Corporation. First hiring out as a brakeman and later becoming a locomotive engineer, he earned his 20 years of service in the fall of 2022.

Matt met his wife, Ariane, in 2013 at a local hike with the Fairbanks Area Hiking Club. Discovering a shared love of the outdoors, dancing, and reading, they would be married four years later. In a place where men are known as “odd goods,” Matt was the exception. He was an amazing husband, confident lead on the dance floor, trustworthy captain on a tandem bicycle, and creative cook in the kitchen. Quiet in a crowded room, those closest to him enjoyed his witty sense of humor and knowledgeable insights. To all who knew him, as an acquaintance or friend, his smile and laughter were contagious.

There was no place Matt was more happy than on two wheels. Commuting to work on his pink, steel-frame road bike or green, steel-frame Surly touring bike, respectively dubbed the Pink Panther and Dr. Frankenstein, he often rode over 5,000 miles a year. Summer cycling included riding with his wife and favorite stoker on their vintage 1978 Santana tandem bicycle, Sunday rides with the Fairbanks Cycling Club SCUM riders, and the occasional local or travel destination century (100+mile ride). In winter, he enjoyed riding his fat bike (Fatniss Everdeen), snowshoeing with the dog, and keeping the wood stove burning bright. When Matt wasn’t riding or tinkering with one of his many bikes, he could be found hiking, running with the dog, ballroom dancing, canoeing, or reading the Sun Magazine. He also enjoyed local theater, supporting Fairbanks Drama Association and other local productions. His hunting endeavors were self-described as “taking [his] gun for a walk” while picking blueberries.

Matt had a great love for family and was affectionately known as “Seal Meat” by his nieces. Uncle Matt will be greatly missed. Matt is survived by his wife, Ariane; mother, Arleen Glover; sister, Julie (Glen) Koehnlein; maternal grandmother, Geneva Harris; nieces, Esther and Hannah Koehnlein; and furry loved ones, Lily and Antics. Matt was preceded in death by his father, Walter Glover.

Matt’s body was laid to rest at Recompose in Seattle, where his body will be composted into soil. The majority of the soil will be donated to a 700 acre land conservation area on Bells Mountain, located in southern Washington. Managed by a land trust, Remember Land, the forest is a legally protected wilderness that will remain in perpetuity. There, his body will give life in new forms.

Services will be held in the summer of 2023. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to a GoFundMe supporting safe bicycle routes and infrastructure in Interior Alaska.

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Recompose is a licensed, full-service, green funeral home in Seattle offering human composting. As the first human composting company in the world, we are a trusted leader in ecological death care. We are Seattle’s only human composting provider and serve clients across the U.S.

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