atthew Silber, the cartoonist whose work had become a popular fixture in The Landmark’s editorial section over the last 10 years, died unexpectedly Sunday at the family home in Liberty.
He was 41 years old.
Family members said Silber laid down on the couch for a nap Sunday afternoon. Josiah, the 14-year-old son of Matthew and his wife Dawn, later could not wake his dad. Josiah immediately dialed 911 and summoned a neighbor for help.
It was the second death to strike the family within a week. Dawn’s father, Daniel Lemasters, died on Jan. 28 and his funeral was held the day before Matthew died. Matthew Silber was a graphic artist by trade. He worked for Shear Madness Haircuts for Kids franchise as a graphic designer.
An editorial cartoon designed and produced by Silber had appeared on page 2 of The Landmark nearly every week since 2009. He enjoyed hearing any and all feedback his work garnered, and took delight when readers would send in suggestions for a future cartoon.
Silber’s final cartoon appears on page 2 this week. He had submitted his latest piece to the newspaper on Friday afternoon, and in an email exchange discussed the topic for his next cartoon.
Silber’s work for The Landmark was often awarded in the editorial cartoon category of the annual Better Newspaper Contest held by the Missouri Press Association, including one particular year when his three entries grabbed first, second and third–a clean sweep of the category.
Matthew grew up in Camden Point in northern Platte County and graduated from North Platte High School.
He enjoyed history and had authored and illustrated a paperback book entitled Platte County’s History Illustrated 175th Anniversary.
His historical illustrations in that book originally appeared in The Landmark in 2010-2011.
He was a member of the Platte County Historical Society board of directors.
Though he was most recently a resident of Liberty, he considered Platte County his home. As he wrote in the introduction to his aforementioned book:
“The hills of northwestern Missouri are where I’ve spent some of the best years of my life–and I’m proud to claim Platte County as my home.”
A student of history, Matthew particularly enjoyed the historical time frame of the Civil War. He was a member of Sons of Confederate Veterans Hughes Camp and enjoyed taking part in Civil War re-enactments with the 10th Missouri Dismounted Calvary.
Matthew is survived by his wife, Dawn, son, Josiah Silber; parents, Rick and Mary Silber, brothers, Clayton (Sydney) Silber, Nathan (Tori) Silber, and Daniel Silber; grandmother, Dorothy Silber; mother-in-law, Janice Lemasters; several nieces and nephews.
Matthew’s complete obituary is printed inside this issue of The Landmark, as is the obituary for his father-in-law, Daniel Lemasters.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: For more thoughts on Matthew’s time with The Landmark, see the Between the Lines column entry dated 2/6/19)