Longtime Oregon wheat farmer David A. Matheny, who was featured in the Herald 12 years ago when he was severely injured in a horseback riding accident, died Monday at his home in Lexington, Ore.
Matheny, 65, was thrown from his horse in September 2001 while riding in the mountains south of Heppner, Ore., and broke a vertebra leaving him paralyzed from his mid-chest down.
A Tri-City Herald reporter chronicled Matheny's life in the year after his accident in a series of stories. He spent nearly a year in a Portland hospital, a rehab center and skilled nursing facilities before finally returning home.
The Pendleton native grew up on the family farm, graduated from Oregon State University and took over the dry-land wheat farm in 1986, according to the East Oregonian newspaper.
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He has been an avid supporter of the Heppner Booster Club, a longtime member of the Heppner Elks Lodge, a director on the Morrow County Grain Growers board, a member of the Oregon Wheat League and an active member of the Trinity Lutheran Church of Hermiston.
A memorial service is planned at 11 a.m. Friday at New Hope Community Church in Hermiston. Sweeney Mortuary in Heppner is in charge of arrangements.