Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Local News

October 7, 2008

General District Court Judge Matney passes away

TAZEWELL, Va. — General District Court Judge Gregory Stephen Matney was remembered Tuesday by friends and co-workers as a “wonderful judge” and “excellent attorney.”

Matney, who took the oath of office on May 22 to fill a vacated judgeship in the 29th Judicial Circuit, passed away Tuesday morning following a brief illness.

“I think that in his illness he did more to show all those around him how to live than almost anyone I’ve ever met,” General District Court Judge Jack Hurley said. “He and I would be in different counties pretty much by necessity everyday. But I would call him frequently to see how he was feeling. Without exception, even when I saw him last Thursday, he told me he was feeling fine and great. He loved being a judge, and he was an excellent jurist. He was patient with the litigants. He was genuinely liked by all of the attorneys. The loss is much more than on a professional level, but very much on a personal level. I will miss him as a friend first. For over 20 years, I knew him.”

“It is a sad day,” Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court Judge Henry Barringer said. “He and I went to high school together. He and I started practicing law at about the same time, and were involved in politics together. He was a gem of a person.”

Matney, a former police officer, went on to practice law for more than 21 years before accepting the judgeship last May.

“There were quite a few afternoons that he and I got together and talked law,” Barringer said. “I kind of miss those. He would give me a call, and say what’s going on — let’s get together. Some of the things we did in politics, we both enjoyed that when we were involved (in politics). We both enjoyed the process. I know Greg and I competed for the Republican nomination for Commonwealth Attorney. I won the nomination, but ultimately lost the race. But he was very supportive of me afterwards.”

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