Obituary of Matthew Herbert Raible
October 21, 2019
Matthew Herbert Raible
May 16, 1948 – October 21, 2019
Matthew was born and raised in Ridgewood, New York. He was a talented accordionist and played the oboe in his high school band. After graduating Brooklyn Technical High School in June 1966 he enlisted in the United States Marine Corp. Besides his military training, he was taught and became fluent in Vietnamese. Subsequently he was shipped off to Viet Nam where he was severely injured in combat in May 1968, eleven days after his twentieth birthday. He spent ten years recuperating at the Bronx Veterans Hospital where he learned to drive and live independently. He went on to find an apartment in Flushing, Queens, where he lived until he died. He lived a full life as a quadriplegic graduating from St. John's University cum laude and then obtaining a position with the Social Security Administration where he worked as a Benefits Authorizer for eighteen years. He retired after his twenty years of combined military service and government employment. He unfortunately spent his retirement years fighting multiple myeloma which eventually took his life. He was, as he liked to say, "never bored."
He was a deeply religious man who found great comfort in his faith. He loved and cared for his three service dogs, Agatha, Tenny and Jason. During his lifetime he traveled to Israel and England as well as throughout the United States where he attended reunions with his Marine Corp brothers. Always up for a challenge he participated in handicapped events like downhill skiing and scuba diving. Not many people knew he was also a gifted artist. He was stubborn, strong-willed and fought until his last dying breath to live life his way.
He is survived by his sister, Siegrid Raible, and his service dog, Jason.
In lieu of flowers donations in his memory should be made to Canine Companions for Independence, Northeast Region, 286 Middle Island Road, Medford, NY 11763.
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I was in Vietnam with Matt, but I didn't get to know him until a reunion in 2003. He and I were the only ones in wheelchairs from L company. He was soft spoken and very organized. He was a good man and an inspiration.
Simper Fi Matt
Posted by: Carl Cotton - Santee,, CA - October 24, 2019
I am very sorry hearing about Matts passing. His passing is a loss to all who knew him. Semper fi Matt! Fidelis Admortum
Posted by: David Johnson - Madera, CA - October 24, 2019
I first met Matt in 1992 when he came to CCI for his very first Service dog. I had the pleasure and honor to continue to work with Matt for 27 years and quickly came to cherish our friendship.
Matt, I know you will get this: Release! and may you find peace...
Posted by: ELLEN TOROP - RONKONKOMA, NY - October 24, 2019
You will be missed my friend and Combat Bud.
I enjoyed my time with you at our reunions and pushing you around Philadelphia. You are one Hell of a Marine and will be guarding the Gates to Heaven....Semper Fi, Art
Posted by: Art Riordan - Vero Beach, FL - October 24, 2019
Posted by: Edward Beisel - Kansas City, MO - October 25, 2019
I got to know Matt at our reunions and was inspired by his indomitable courage. If he ever felt sorry for himself he never showed it. Matt and his dogs were always a big hit at the reunions. I'll never forget the time he gave me a tour of his custom van with its special hand controls. He'll be greatly missed.
Rest in Peace, Marine. Semper Fi
1st Platoon, Lima Company
Posted by: Joe Renaghan - Glen Cove, NY - October 25, 2019
Corporal Raible was a rifleman in 1968. I was his company commander. He was a squared away Marine, he was smart, and he could type so the 1st Sergeant transferred him to the company office. His performance was exemplary, but he was loyal to his fellow Marines and he wanted to be with his platoon.
He made several requests for transfer, all denied, and finally he submitted a formal request to see the Commanding General. I sat down with Matt and explained that he had a long year ahead of him in Vietnam and there would be plenty of opportunity for combat action. But right now the Marine Corps needed him here in the Lima Company office. He said he understood and he tore up his request to see the General.
That was Matt. Loyalty first. A team player.
In May we were alerted for a major operation to stop a large NVA unit from attacking Danang. We were shorthanded and when Matt volunteered, I said OK, I can use another radio man.
Matt was in the middle of some heavy fighting and even when we were not engaged, we were under regular sniper fire and mortar attacks. On May 26, two days before we were to be relieved by another company, we moved into a tree line to take a break from the 120 º heat. Matt took off his helmet and dropped his gear under a tree when a mortar round detonated in the limbs above him. His body was showered in shrapnel.
I lost contact with Matt for a few years after Vietnam but we were reunited in 1996. My wife Marilyn and I have many fond memories of Matt from our frequent reunions. Matt could be stubborn, but he was also one of the most courageous and loyal men I have ever known. He is respected and admired by his fellow Marines.
I shall miss him.
Posted by: John Ernest - Mission Viejo, CA - October 25, 2019
In May of 1968 Matt was a radio operator assigned to me, the Executive Officer of Lima Company, 3rd Battalion, 27th Marines in Vietnam during Operation Allen Brook. I left the battle wounded by an enemy rifle shot. Matt later left, I believe, due to heat exhaustion, carrying a 25 pound radio in addition to what many other Marines carried in combat. After brief hospitalization, Matt was released to light duty in our headquarters area but repeatedly requested to return to the fight in which we were engaged. His bravery and loyalty cost Matt the use of his legs for the rest of his life. Matt and I corresponded over the years. He lived a brave and compassionate life and frequently visited reunions of our unit. Semper Fidelis Matt. Well done.
Posted by: Richard McConnell - Black Mountain, NC - October 26, 2019
Matthew, I'm sorry we never met, you sound like an amazing man. Over the years we've heard about Siggys wonderful brother & we know she will miss her caring big brother. Unfortunately, life can be cruel but our wisf for you is to Rest In Peace. Sheila & Al Kasson.
Posted by: Sheila Kasson - Wayside, NJ - October 27, 2019
Well ol boy you beat me to the barn. It was a he'll of a ride wasn't it. I guess we both learned the hard way,don't volunteer. He'll, you know you'd do the same thing over again,that was who you were.
Posted by: Sgt. Ed Mathis - , AR - October 27, 2019
Oh Matt, where do I even begin. Your passing has effected me enormously . You've been one of my best buddies & like a brother to me for 20 years. I keep reaching for the phone to call hoping you'd be up to it or calling your sister to check on how you're doing. I've cried more tears since you're passing away than I have all year. I'm going to miss our calls & your constant support & encouragement. You could also be the most stubborn man I've ever known & how you hated when I'd go all Bronx on you. Just the thought of it makes me smile. There's not enough room here to share all the memories we've shared but thankfully I have them to hold onto. The one thing that helps me through losing you is thinking of you arriving in heaven to the biggest welcome & licks from Agatha & Tenney & that now you're able to run around with them playing. How excited they must have been to see you. I'm so glad you're no longer suffering but it doesn't stop my heart from hurting. You were such an inspiration to me & can still hear your voice telling me to be good to myself. Rest in peace my friend & brother.
Posted by: Joyce Daino - Douglaston, NY - November 2, 2019
Rest In Peace Matt , Your finally out pain. We will missed you Now, God is always with you.
Posted by: Lissa Marquez - Jamaica, NY - November 5, 2019
Mr. Matt Matthew was a tough guy , a special person, that I ever met. For years he was been sitting in his chair., he want still choose to be independent. A charismatic guy , a man of good heart, a good sense of humor, Even the last minute of his life , he want still to live. He said when we were talking and I quote Im so blessed and privilege to live for 70th years of life . Matt I will not forget you , your like a father to me. I salute you as a person , as Marine ,as a brother to your sister Siegrid, I will missed you. Rest In Peace.
Posted by: Lissa Marquez - Queens, NY - November 5, 2019
I met Matt and Agatha in 1995 while working in Social Security. We remained friends after I left. We would call each other and have long chats. A few times each year, he would come out to Ronkonkoma and we would go to different parks and have lunch together. I also remember going with him one time for Aggie's annual rectification and he was worried that she would eat the food thrown on the floor. Luckily she avoided it. I remember meeting Tenney and then Jason several times. I have a picture of Jason I took two years ago when Matt made a surprise visit.
I tried calling Matt today for Thanksgiving. I know he had cancer. He was in the hospital when I last called him. When I couldn't reach him today, something told me to search him on the net where I found his obituary.
On Thanksgiving, I am thankful for knowing such an intelligent and kind friend and I will miss him dearly. You are in my prayers,
Posted by: Alice Stulz - Ronkonkoma, NY - November 28, 2019
I just learned of Matts passing by not being able to reach him via phone after many phone calls to him. Concerned, I Googled his name and read the sad news.
First, my sympathies to his sister, Siegrid Raible, whom I have never met. However, I understand your loss as I lost my brother Daniel post-Viet Nam, Army 101st Airborne Screaming Eagles. As an animal lover I send lots of doggie hugs to Jason. Although I never met Jason, he must have been a great canine, as was Agatha, who I knew.
Now to Matt. I met Matt through a relative and have fond memories of Matt coming to New Jersey to my Moms home. We all had such a wonderful time together and these are the memories I will take with me. Matt loved coming to New Jersey for an alternative motive, my Moms food! Agatha loved her big backyard and frisbees. Summertime would be BBQs and wintertime, feasts of the holidays. Boy, Matt loved food..GOOD food!!
Speaking of good food, I remember the first time I made homemade pierogies at my Moms home and Matt was visiting. I couldnt make them fast enough! Przepyszny (delicious), as it was said by my first generation Polish-American mother. Please have a feast in heaven with her!
Matt was one of my best friends. Although we didnt get to see each other due to geography, we would have long talks on the phone. Oh how we would talk about EVERYTHING! Laugh, complain, and everything in-between. Sigh. For there is silence now.
I know Matt went up the express elevator to heaven. Hes city, Im country, hence an elevator. He is experiencing the peace he so deserved throughout his life. I miss Matt, but will never forget his souls impact on this beautiful planet.
Spokój (peace), my dear Matt, peace,
Posted by: Mary Anne Fieux - Orwigsburg, PA - February 11, 2020
I still miss you my friend. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
Posted by: Alice Stulz - Ronkonkoma, NY - November 27, 2020
I knew Matt from his early days at the Bronx VA. He was in the same room as my late husband. I visited the hospital daily, so saw him often. He was such a quiet gentle soul then. So glad he had a good life and mastered the difficulties of his service injuries.
Posted by: Kathy Sheehan - , - June 11, 2021