EDWIN MATTHEW BOOTHE was born July 24, 1965 to Edwin and Loretta Boothe in Midwest City, Oklahoma. He was the third of six children and grew up in Oklahoma before moving to Overland Park, Kansas with his family
Matthew attended Nall Hills Elementary, Nallwood Junior High School, and Shawnee Mission South High School, from which he graduated in 1983. He enlisted in the US Navy, where he served on the USS Saratoga as a decorated combat veteran. During his time in the Navy, he was stationed in multiple locations, including the Persian Gulf, and lived in Naples, Italy for two years. He achieved Top Secret Security Clearance and was Honorably Discharged before returning to civilian life. He attended Washburn University, from which he graduated in 1992 with a Bachelors of Business Administration, Marketing Emphasis.
Matthew worked for AIG as a claims representative before enlisting in the Peace Corps in 1995, where he served as a business advisor in the former Soviet country of Uzbekistan, helping the transition from socialist to free-market economy. He taught economics and marketing courses at the university level and crafted a grant proposal for a joint venture between the U.S. Agency for International Development and the Turkish International Commerce Agency, which led to the opening of an agricultural and business center in Uzbekistan, providing help to local businesses and farmers.
He founded a new private business college, co-writing a curriculum for the school and increasing enrollment by over 500% over a two-year period.
After returning to the US, Matthew worked for the US Labor Department before moving into medical sales, living in Sarasota, Florida before making a permanent return to live in the Kansas City area.
Despite living the rest of his life in his home country, Matthew never lost his love for travel, and it was a staple of his lifestyle. Family and friends could always count on him either embarking on an international adventure or returning from one, and many agree they only heard half of the stories he had to tell. “There is no good time to read or travel. You have to take the time,” he had said. Matthew read constantly, though he had few books in the home. Once he had read them, he would give them away. He attributed his love of spartan surroundings to his Navy background and remained a minimalist at heart.
Matthew’s love of reading was exceeded only by his love of cinema, and one would be hard-pressed to find a movie that he had not seen. His taste in movies was legendary, and he was always ready to give an excellent recommendation for a foreign Christmas film or the little Irish indie that did what Hollywood couldn’t. In a family full of jokesters and hams, his comedic timing and witty sense of humor stood above the rest.
In 2013, Matthew met the love of his life, Bounthanath “Nat” Vongsalath, and was inseparable from her until his death. He died on November 5, 2023 in Shawnee Mission, Kansas, with Nat at his side. Those who knew him will miss his wide smile, his sharp humor, his tender heart, his generosity, and his genuine kindness and love of his family and friends.
He was preceded in death in 2009 by his father, Edwin Oliver Boothe, Jr. He is survived by his loving partner, Nat, his mother, Loretta Boothe, and his five siblings and their families, including John Boothe (Amy), Elizabeth “Lisa” Moyer (Clint), James Boothe, Daniel Boothe (Mandy), Joseph Boothe (Katie), and nine nieces/nephews and their children.
Matthew’s Memorial Service will be on Friday, Nov. 17, 2023 at 11 a.m. at Cure’ of Ars Catholic Church, 9405 Mission Rd., Leawood, Kansas 66206 with Fr. Richard Storey officiating, followed by a visitation and lunch. Matthew’s burial and military committal service will be on Monday, Nov. 20, 2023 at 11 a.m. at Leavenworth National Cemetery, 150 Muncie Rd, Leavenworth, Kansas 66048.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions to Cure’ of Ars Catholic Church or Heifer International (heifer.org.). Assistance by Funeral Advocates, LLC