Thomas Wayne Mathes, 72, beloved husband, father, and Papaw passed away Sept. 20, 2019 in his home after a long and courageous fight with cancer.
A Gloucester resident for 35 years, Tom was born Oct. 14, 1946 in Monticello, Illinois to the late Harley Wayne and Clara (Cissna) Mathes, and grew up in Argenta, Illinois. He married his high school sweetheart Sharon King on Nov. 19, 1966, and together they raised their three children in Mt. Zion until moving their family to Virginia in 1984. They shared an amazing 53 years together.
Tom proudly served his country in the United States Air Force during Vietnam as a bomber mechanic. He was stationed in California, Guam, and Japan. Using the trade skills he learned in the United States Air Force he worked his way through the mechanical field before landing in commercial refrigeration.
Tom loved spending time with his family. Often just sitting and laughing around a campfire together. His love of the outdoors, kept him fishing, camping and enjoying the simple things in life. He spent his off time tending his oriental gardens and breeding Japanese Koi, an interest he developed while stationed in Japan. He also enjoyed breeding different varieties of ducks and chickens. He was a lover of animals –only second to the love of his family. His favorite hobby of all was aggravating his grandkids which they thoroughly enjoyed and aggravated him back.
He was a former member of the Mt Zion Christian Church in Mt. Zion, Illinois and attended Susanna Wesley United Methodist Church in Hayes.
In addition to his parents; a sister, Janet preceded him in death.
Left to cherish his memories are his wife, Sharon; daughter, Tina (Mathes) Kempa and her husband Bryan; son, Jason Mathes and his wife Heather; son, Patrick Mathes; five grandchildren, Whitney, Ashley, Summer, Andrew, and Logan, and two great-grandchildren, Kinley and namesake Charles Thomas. He will be missed by his mother-in-law, Mildred King, and many special sisters-in-law; brothers-in-law; nieces; nephews; extended family, as well as his best friend from childhood, John Kruse.
Funeral services will be held in his home state of Illinois at a date that has yet to be determined.
In the memory of our loved one, contributions may be made to St Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, P.O. Box 50, Memphis, Tenn. 38101.