Remembrance of David Mattichak

A Lifetime of Giving

Compiled by Kemper Eagle

One of Massanutten Chapter Trout Unlimited’s longtime Chapter volunteers and leaders, David Mattichak, 86, passed away Saturday, May 10, 2014, at his Port Republic home. His parents, Nicolaus and Rosalie Kopystyvanski Mattichak, immigrated to this country from Austria Hungary, now a part of western Ukraine. Dave was born in 1927 in Pennsylvania to a family of seven boys and seven girls. His father died when Dave was a teenager, and he helped provide food and money for the family by hunting, fishing, and trapping.

Dave received his Doctoral degree in pharmacy from the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science in 1949. Upon graduation he was employed as a pharmaceutical chemist in the research department of a drug firm, doing basic research on product formulation. His laboratory found that a throat lozenge failed to achieve the predicted benefit because the binder used absorbed the active ingredient and failed to release it. A change of binding agent solved the problem. After a stint in the military, Dave entered into the retail business as a pharmacist. He served a productive life as a pharmacist for CVS. He developed a product for poison ivy relief (Les-Ivy) that was marketed nationally. He wrote and published a booklet, Please Help Me Stay Healthy, in 2008, which examined the uses of both accepted medical and alternative medicine remedies.

Dave was a passionate beekeeper, a lifetime member of the Shenandoah Valley Beekeepers Association. Some of his research results on bee colony collapse were accepted by Virginia Tech.

Dave was a founding member of the Massanutten Chapter TU. Dennis Patzig, former Massanutten TU Chapter President, who provided much of the information used in this remembrance, had Dave present more than one show to MTU from a collection of over 100 photos of wildflowers with interesting information about each flower. He was an outstanding photographer.

Among his many interests was woodworking. Dave built pulpits for several local churches. I was fortunate to meet and work with Dave twice on MTU workdays—little could I guess from his energy and positive attitude that he was 80+years old! Dennis Patzig, Dave Fox, Jerry Black and Dan Downey knew Dave as an accomplished angler as well.

From Dan Downey: Dave was a bit eccentric, and everyone enjoyed his quirky ways and jokes. One time he blasted rock music from speakers in his garden to drive the birds away from his berry bushes, much to the dismay of his neighbors. Up on Gum Run when we were doing a workday for MTU he sat on the stream bank and ate his lunch only to discover at the end of lunch he was next to a rattlesnake! He was an inventor and is “famous” for the “mattpad”, a fly drying patch which was little more than a chamois cloth with a safety pin. Although he was reduced by old age and not around much in recent years he was always a reliable participant in MTU activities.