Matthew C. Eames
Matthew C. Eames 1960 - 2016 Matthew C. Eames, 56, a native Idahoan and former senior advisor at the U.S. Department of the Interior who was instrumental in the successful enactment of a number of Federal water laws, died Dec. 23 at Manor Care Health Services Fair Oakes in Fairfax, Virginia, where he had been a resident of the memory care unit since 2012. The cause was complications from frontotemporal dementia (FTD). Mr. Eames joined the Interior Department in 2002 as chief of congressional and legislative affairs for the Bureau of Reclamation. Two years later, he was named director of congressional and legislative affairs for the department. Mr. Eames graduated from Boise State University in 1983 with a B.A. in Political Science. The next year, he joined the Boise-based food and agribusiness company J.R. Simplot as a legislative analyst. In 1985, he headed to Washington, D.C. to work for then-U.S. Representative Larry Craig, a Republican from Idaho's first district. Mr. Eames returned to Idaho in 1987, serving as vice president of the Idaho Association of Commerce and Industry until 1991, when he accepted a job with the Idaho Power Company as a senior legislative affairs representative. On Christmas Eve 2010, Mr. Eames, then 49, was diagnosed with FTD, a rare form of dementia that disproportionately strikes both men and women younger than 65 and affects personality, speech and muscle function. An accomplished athlete with a passion for basketball, Mr. Eames continued to play on a men's recreational league with St. James Catholic Church in Falls Church, VA after his diagnosis until he moved to Manor Care. Photographs of family and friends covered the walls of Mr. Eames's room at Manor Care, along with posters of his favorite Beatles albums. "Matt's greatest strength was his zest for life, coupled with a strong sense of purpose," says his brother, John. "It brought him marriage, family, friends, and a successful career." Mr. Eames is survived by his wife of 27 years, Cathleen [Turski] Eames and their beloved daughters Melina, Hayley and Emily; his mother, Norma of Rigby, ID; sisters, Cheryl and Mary Lee; brothers Mark (Cherrie) and John (Eileen); and five nieces and nephews. His wife says Mr. Eames would most want to be remembered for "his love of his country, his family, his friends and that, in some way, he made a difference in this world while he was in it."
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