Homer Mathews, 93, of Wilmington passed away peacefully at his home late Saturday night, November 9, 2019 with his wife, Bonnie by his side. He was a devoted and proud family man.
Survivors include his wife, Bonnie Mathews, daughter, Carol (Ronald) Ferguson; son Bill Mathews; five grandchildren, Butch Gilbert of Wilmington, Jami Roby & Scott Dunning of Wilmington, Jodi Jarvis of West Chester, Emily & Shawn McPherson of Lima, and Peter Kramme of Wilmington; 12 great-grandchildren; three great-great-grandchildren; two stepsons, Patrick & Kitty Maher of Hillsboro and Andy Maher of Hillsboro; three step-grandchildren, Jon & Stephanie Maher of Wilmington, Mary Beth (Travis) Hammerling of Centerville, and Jordan Maher & her partner, Carlos Ramirez of Moraine; four step-great-grandchildren; and his brothers and sisters, Harold Mathews of Washington C.H, Betty & Bill Dillard of South Charleston, Dorothy Gifford of New Carlisle, Shirley Beeler of Chino Hills, CA; and Glenn Mathews of Kentucky.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Ray and Addie Mathews; a sister, Helen McIntyre; a brother, Jim Mathews; and a close nephew, Jim Price.
Mr. Mathews served in World War II with the United States Marine Corp infantry regiment of the 29th Marines (Sixth Marine Division). He fought in the Battle of Guam and the Battle of Sugar Loaf Hill in Okinawa. One of his greatest privileges in life was meeting J.W. Denver Williams Jr. on Okinawa the night before Williams was killed in battle. He admired Mr. Williams so much for wanting to stay with his regiment and not taking the opportunity to go home following an injury he sustained in a recent battle. Homer admired Williams for being a devoted Marine.
When he returned from the war, Homer became known for his perfection in pitching fast-pitch softball. He was a sought-after pitcher by local teams as well as teams in Dayton, Cincinnati, and surrounding areas. He was nominated for the Clinton County Athletic Hall of Fame on numerous occasions but declined because he believed there were players more deserving of the honor than he.
Mr. Mathews retired from the Irwin Auger Bit Company in 1989 as vice-president of manufacturing. He traveled all over the world helping to set up manufacturing plants and acquiring equipment for Irwin. Around 2007, he went back to work part time for several years as a driver for Airborne, picking up employees or driving pilots to and from motels or home. He also drove a van for the Clinton County Veterans Office. He loved these jobs and was often a requested driver.
While working at Irwin, he took a course of training for membership in the Ohio State Highway Patrol Auxiliary and worked several years at the OSP Post in Wilmington.
He trapped turtles for many years from ponds and lakes in the county. He also loved hunting, salmon fishing, and trips to Canada with the guys to fish for walleye.
He was quite a horseman and loved riding with a group of friends on various trips and trails. One of his favorite rides was in the Smokey Mountains. Homer also loved the freedom and fun of motorcycles. At age 92, he was always threatening to take his stepson’s motorcycle for a ride.
One of his greatest loves was golf. Quite a golfer in his day, he finally put away his clubs at age 92 when illness prevented him from playing the game. He always enjoyed golfing with friends at various courses in the area.
Almost weekly, he could be found at a card table at the American Legion playing point rum with his friends. He so enjoyed card playing and building friendships with the other vets throughout the years.
Homer had a soft side and often lent money to someone who was “short” until a check came. If you needed to build or repair something, he was there to help you. He would come and mow your yard if you were sick or would take donuts to the VA or the Foster J. Boyd Cancer Center.
Mr. Mathew’s family would like to express their appreciation to Dr. Collins and the staff of Foster J. Boyd Cancer Center and Clinton Memorial Hospital for the excellent care received, and to Crossroads Hospice for making him and his family comfortable in his final days.
The family will receive friends from 9:00 AM – 11:30 AM, Saturday, November 16, 2019 at the Reynolds-Smith Funeral Home, 327 N. South Street, Wilmington, Ohio followed by a service at 11:30 AM, Saturday. Interment will be in Sugar Grove Cemetery with military honors provided by the American Legion Post 49 Honor Guard.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Homer’s memory may be made to the American Legion Post 49, 140 E. Locust St., Wilmington, Ohio 45177, Crossroads Hospice, 4380 Glendale-Milford Road, Cincinnati, OH 45242, or St. Jude Children's Research Hospital, 501 St. Jude Place, Memphis, TN 38105.
To send flowers to Homer's family, please visit our floral section.
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
501 St. Jude Place, Memphis TN 38105
American Legion Post 49
140 E. Locust Street, Wilmington OH 45177
4380 Glendale-Milford Road, Cincinnati OH 45242