Boxer Love Story: Becky (Matta) Ball '75 and Pat Ball '75

Pat had just transferred from Washington State University and he was in culture shock after discovering things in Forest Grove were radically different from Pullman, Wash.

It was Pat and Becky’s senior year when she first saw him at a dance in the fall of 1974, downstairs in the University Center. Pat was leaning against the door into the hallway, looking bored. The next time Becky saw him was when they had a three-week class in January "Teaching Social Studies in the Secondary School" taught by Jane Rink. There were about four people in the class. They met at the library one evening and after a few days Becky invited Pat to her little rental house for dinner. He was a heavyweight wrestler for Pacific and Becky thought it would be a nice meal, but wouldn't you know she fixed the one thing for dessert that he won't eat: tapioca.

Becky and Pat continued dating after graduating in spring 1975, got engaged at Poppio's Restaurant in 1976 and were married the weekend of the infamous Portland Trail Blazers championship win in 1977. On the rehearsal evening, they had to wait for the organist and Rich Osburn, their minister, who were listening to the semi-final game on the car radio before the rehearsal could start. Fortunately for the guests who were Trail Blazer fans their wedding was June 4 but the final game was June 5. They married in 1977, this year will be their 37th anniversary.

“I'm quite sure we won't be competing against the Blazers for a celebration,” said Becky.

By coincidence, Becky’s parents met while at Pacific University, too. Her dad was one of the WWII vets who took advantage of the GI Bill for his education. Her mom and he started dating after meeting in a botany class. They were married while still in school, in 1950 (Herbert Matta ’51 and Evangeline (Morgan) Matta ’51).

Read more Boxer love stories at pacificu.edu/lovestory.

Feb. 11, 2014