The Honorable Judge Mathew Paul Harter, age 56, died Wednesday, November 9, 2022 in Las Vegas, Nevada. He was born April 11, 1966 in Reno, Nevada to Alan Raymond and Mary Ellen Harter. On March 2, 2002 he married Brandie Grilz in the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter- day Saints Las Vegas Nevada Temple. Together they raised eight beautiful children.
Mat grew up in Las Vegas. He graduated from Bonanza High School in 1984. After high school he earned his Bachelor’s Degree from University of Nevada, Las Vegas before earning his Juris Doctorate, Cum Laude from Western Michigan University (formerly Thomas M. Cooley Law School). He then began practicing law in Las Vegas in 1994. Mat felt a deep conviction to advocate for those who didn’t have a voice.
In 2008, he successfully ran for District Court Judge in the Family Law Division, Department N. He served in that position until the time of his death. Mat was devoted to the work; he especially loved Wednesdays when adoptions were finalized. Mat was thought of fondly by the bench and bar. He always asked what everyone was up to outside of work life. He was a stern, no nonsense judge, who provided rulings that were necessary for the safety and well-being of children. There are many memories of hearings he conducted that positively impacted the direction of litigants' lives. Mat never knew how many children he helped, but harsh realities of the position brought much sorrow and heartache. Mat felt that this work was part of his life’s purpose. It was through his faith in Jesus Christ that he found the strength to complete daily tasks and make the difficult decisions.
Mat’s dedication to his work was only exceeded by his love for his family. His world revolved around Brandie and his kids. He would find his greatest life lessons and joys with his wife and children. He contributed to the community by coaching Little League. He also enjoyed Las Vegas outings, hours at the lake, rides on the ATVs or sitting around the house playing games or watching movies. Mat LOVED spending time with his family.
Nearly surpassing Mat’s adoration for his family was his love for the San Francisco Giants. He was dedicated to physical fitness and enjoyed being outdoors. His favorite place was anywhere with a beach. He always enjoyed a good laugh, a cold glass of milk over ice, fast cars and Skippy low-fat peanut butter.
Mat’s sparkling blue eyes and “schmirk” will be deeply missed, along with his dry sense of humor and quick wit. Life won’t be the same without his casual saunter and unique perspective of the world. We look forward to the time when we can be reunited with our Mat. Until then, we know that he will be patiently waiting on that white bench in heaven with those who went before.
Mat was survived by his wife Brandie; five sons and three daughters: Alexa Harter of Beaverton, OR; Jefferson (Jasmine) Harter of Thailand; Dakota McFarland of Las Vegas, NV; Gage (Jin) Harter of Portland, OR; Grahm Harter of Hood River, OR; Paige Harter, Ryan Harter and Chloe Harter all of Logandale, NV; five grandchildren: Juno, Suvi, Vally, Eywa, Shon; his mother, Mary Harter of St. George, UT; three brothers: Steve (Shelly); Mark (Valerie) both of Las Vegas; Craig (Robin) of Ivins, UT and sister-in-law, Lynne Harter of Temecula, CA. He was preceded in death by his father Alan Harter, his brother Stanley Harter and his best friend William “Marshal Bill” Datthyn.
Visitation will be held Wednesday, November 16, 2022 from 6 - 8 p.m. at the Moapa Valley Mortuary, 5090 N. Moapa Valley Blvd., Logandale, NV and again from 9:30 - 10:30 a.m. prior to services at the church. Funeral Services will be Thursday, November 17, 2022 at 11 a.m. at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Logandale Stake Center, 2555 St. Joseph Street, Logandale, NV. Friends and family are invited to sign our online guestbook at www.MoapaValleyMortuary.com
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Crisis Support Services of Nevada, cssnv.org, 775-784-8085