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Jonathan Philip's Story

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Jonathan Philip Matson, age 67, beloved husband of Laura Bishop Matson, died unexpectedly of heart failure on January 31, 2017, in his home of 41 years. Born in Greenwich, Conn., he was the son of the late Harold and Ann (Toomey) Matson.
Mr. Matson was president of the Harold Matson Co. literary agency in New York City, where for 30 years he continued his father’s legacy of collaborating with talented and accomplished authors, including Richard Condon, Robert Ruark, and Herman Wouk, to bring critically acclaimed and best-selling books to publication. He graduated from the Darrow School in 1967 and attended Hamline College in St. Paul, Minn., after which he returned to NYC where he began his publishing career at Simon & Schuster. He later worked for 15 years at Harvard University Press as manager of subsidiary rights. He will be dearly missed by his colleague, Ben Camardi, and his clients and friends that include Deborah Cramer, Michael Downing, Raymond Feist, George Michelsen Foy, Susanna Kaysen, William Patrick, Jonathan Shay, and Janny Wurts, among many others.
In 2009, he helped to found Christ the Redeemer Church in Danvers, and took particular joy in belonging to the usher team whose duties mirror the callings of his generous and hospitable heart. He attributed his blessed and happy life to the grace of God.
A lifelong singer and instrumentalist, in 1983 he and friends formed the Walker Creek Band. For over 20 years of marvelous nights (for a moondance), he performed with them across New England. His fellowship of creative, musical, and witty friends and neighbors always supported and encouraged him during his times of illness.
In addition to his wife, Laura, with whom he celebrated their 45th wedding anniversary on January 15, he is survived by a son, Jonathan Philip Matson, Jr., of San Francisco, Calif.; a daughter, Ann Elizabeth Bishop Matson Bailis, her husband, David of Brooklyn, N.Y., as well as their daughter, Skye Matson Bailis. His other survivors include two brothers, Timothy Matson of Thetford Center, Vt., and Christopher Matson and his wife, Colette of Essex, Conn.; two sisters, Katinka Matson and her husband, John Brockman of New York City and Hallie Matson and her husband, David Studley of Mountain Ranch, Calif.; and many treasured nieces and nephews. He was godfather to Philippa Renwick Kennedy of Bedford, N.Y., and Haley Fitch Barraza of Holliston, Mass. He also leaves behind a constellation of extended Matson, Bishop, Fitch and Bailis family members, each of whom were precious to him.
Jonathan’s funeral service will be held at Christ the Redeemer Anglican Church, 188 Elliott St., Danvers, MA 01923 on Saturday, February 11, 2017, at 11 a.m. Relatives and friends are also invited to attend the reception that will follow the service at Myopia Hunt Club in Hamilton. Arrangements by the Campbell Funeral Home, 525 Cabot St., Beverly, MA 01915. If so moved, contributions may be made to The Trustees of Reservations, Essex County Greenbelt or to the Music Ministry of Christ the Redeemer Church. Information, directions, condolences at www.campbellfuneral.com.
Published on  February 8, 2017
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