Robert A. Matthews (Colonel, United States Army, retired) died in hospice on Monday, September 9, after a brief hospitalization for congestive heart failure. He was 94 years old.
A memorial service will be held on Sunday, October 6, at 3 p.m. at Emmanuel Presbyterian Church. The family requests that in lieu of flowers any memorial donations be sent to the Northshore Scholarship Foundation, P.O. Box 173, Bothell, WA 98041 to support the Pat Matthews Masters of Education Scholarship at UW Bothell, which Bob established in loving memory of his beloved wife.
Bob Matthews was born to homesteaders Claude and Ruth Matthews in Boise, Idaho, in December 1918. He was the youngest of six brothers and outlived them all. His long military career started with a stint as a non-commissioned officer in the Field Artillery. During WW II Bob commanded an airborne mortar battery in the 101st Airborne and was besieged with his division at Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge; he served in Korea as a "straight-leg" infantryman.
He and his family were in Heidelberg when the Berlin Wall went up, and the family took many Sunday drives that combined tourism with the practical purpose of learning evacuation routes across the West German countryside.
During the 60s he earned his Green Beret and served in the operations branch of the Special Forces school at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, prior to a posting overseas to New Delhi, India.
Bob retired to Bothell, Wash., in 1968. He returned to school to gain a teaching degree, which led him to a new career in tutoring. He and his wife Pat Matthews joined Emmanuel Presbyterian Church in 1968, where he remained active until his dying day in community activities and organizations, such as Kiwanis, the Northshore Senior Center, the Seattle Welsh Choir, and the Seattle Rose Society (in which he combined his longstanding interest in roses with a developing interest in photography). He enjoyed lively political contentions with his friends and associates at the Foundation House at Bothell.
He was widowed in 1998 and is survived by six children, seven grandchildren and three great-grandchildren, including Robert Ivan Matthews (Donna McKay), Patricia Williams (Bill Williams; Dan Williams, Abigail Herrera, Aaron Williams), David Matthews (Becky Fox Matthews), Susan Matthews (Maggie Nowakowska), Gwyn Stobie (Bruce Stobie; Duncan Stobie, Alyson Stobie), and James Matthews (Vivian Van Matre; Mackenzie Burton, Isabel Matthews).