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Wayne Matta was born in Brainerd, Minnesota in 1930 and moved to Seattle in 1944, when he was fourteen years old, when his parents came to the area in search of jobs. He graduated from Renton High School and served in the U.S. Army for four years. After working in the naval ship yard in Bremerton, in 1956 he got a job at American Can Company. Wayne worked as a maintenance machinist at American Can's Seattle plant, and later as a serviceman traveling to canneries around Alaska to work on and repair their canning machinery and equipment. After American Can Company closed, Wayne continued as a maintenance machinist with Alaska General Seafood (AGS) for nine years, and after having a heart attack switched to being a trainer for new mechanics and machinists. Wayne currently lives in Washington.