Mary Matthews, widow of Billy W. Matthews, sent me a note in response to the postcard I sent about the upcoming reunion. Unfortunately, Billy has passed away.
Billy Matthews reported to VP-4 as an Ensign in 1950. He was a pilot assigned to Crew 8 and served as Legal Officer.
Billy “Bill” W. Matthews, 87, of Beaumont, died Tuesday, February 9, 2016, at Christus Hospital – St. Elizabeth. He was born on October 25, 1928, in Atkins, Arkansas, to Tempie Bowden and Roy Matthews. Bill graduated from Little Rock High School and Arkansas Tech before joining the United States Navy where he became a Naval Aviator and obtained the Rank of Lieutenant. After active duty and while continuing to serve in the reserves, Bill attended Southern Methodist University where he met his wife of sixty years, Mary Prentiss. He was a member of the Delta Kappa Epsilon fraternity. Bill concluded his studies at the University of Houston where he obtained his degree in pharmacology. Bill dedicated his professional career to Walgreen’s where he served as a pharmacist and store manager for thirty-three years. He was honored by Rotary International as a Paul Harris Fellow. Bill was also an endowed member of the Scottish Rite of Free Masonry and a devoted member and servant of Trinity United Methodist Church and the Hamaco Sunday school class for fifty-three years. Bill’s passions included flying, which he continued privately with family and friends long after his twenty year naval service; playing bridge competitively and socially, and traveling with family and friends. He loved nurturing his two sons as they matured through scouts, sports, education, and life’s great lessons. His philanthropy was most felt in his hometown of Atkins where he supported Boy Scout Troop 228 and funded the renovation of the civic center which bears the name of his grandfather. Bill cherished his relationships established as a youth in Arkansas but even more dear, were the many Beaumont friends he and Mary came to love over the past fifty years. Survivors include his wife, Mary Prentiss Matthews of Beaumont; sons, William Whit W. Matthews and his wife, Shana Brock, of Windermere, Florida and Ross P. Matthews and his wife, Rebecca Hedges, of Houston; and grandchildren, Ellen E. Matthews and Olivia K. Matthews, both of Houston. He is preceded in death by his parents. A gathering of Mr. Matthews’ family and friends will be from 5:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m., Friday, February 12, 2016, at Broussard’s, 1605 North Major Drive, Beaumont. His funeral service will be 1:00 p.m., Saturday, February 13, 2016, at Trinity United Methodist Church, 3430 Harrison Avenue, Beaumont, with interment to follow at Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Beaumont. Complete and updated information may be found at: broussards1889.com.
VP-4 1975 – 1978
VP-4 Veterans Assn Database Manager