Remembering Mathew Kwartin
Posted on 01/27/2022
Mat Kwartin at the Adopt-A-Drain booth

City of Newcastle staff are heartbroken to have lost one of our own, our enthusiastic and kind-hearted Surface Water Specialist, Mathew Kwartin. Matt passed away suddenly on Friday, January 21, while working at his desk at the Public Works Annex building 

Mat began working with the 
City last April, after a long tenure with the Washington State Department of Ecology. Residents knew Mat from his role as our Adopt-A-Drain champion and by his contagious affirmation that “kids love storm drains.” He took joy in helping both children and adults become passionate stewards of their environment, which was a natural extension of his earlier career in education. He was a longtime classroom teacher for the Mercer Island School District, where he taught science; prior to arriving in Washington, he taught social studies and literacy in Colorado. 

“I remember when first interviewing Mat how his eyes lit up when he spoke about his love of teaching, and how he channeled that passion into stormwater education,” said City M
anager Rob Wyman. After the Art Walk at Newcastle Commons, where Mat ran the Adopt-A-Drain booth, several residents personally reached out to the city manager to compliment the way Mat interacted with the kids in attendance, and how he gladly took the time to educate them about how the water that goes down our storm drains affects our whole ecosystem. 

Many staff members, as well as Mayor 
Newing and Deputy Mayor Sherlock, attended the celebration of his life on Wednesday, January 26, where his positive impact on his family and community was evident. He leaves behind his wife, Lara, and their children, Hunter, Lauren, and Cameron, about whom he always spoke with pride and love. His humor, warmth, and enthusiasm will be missed. 

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