John William "Bill" Mathews

Obituary
7 entries
  • "Our sincere condolences to the entire Mathews family. The..."
    - George and Margaret Fisher
  • "I'm so sorry to hear of Bill's passing. I enjoyed time with..."
    - Eddie Cole
  • "Mr. Bill Rest in Peace. I worked with Mr. Bill at LWCC, one..."
    - MeMe Barbay
  • "My sincere coldolences for your loss. Coach Mathews was a..."
    - Jerry Saia
  • "Sharon and family, it is with a heavy heart I read of..."
    - Barry Amedee
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Bill, 71 years young, played his last inning on earth on June 4th, 2018. He took one for the team, took two and hit to right, and he saw the ball and hit it all the way to heaven. Now, he is sliding into home and will be chalking the field of dreams with our Lord and Savior. Play ball! A native and lifelong resident of Baton Rouge, Bill was truly everybody's all-American. He lit up every room he entered and was known to entertain friends with his vivid stories and colorful sense of humor. His energy and love for life were contagious, and all who knew him considered themselves better for it. As a 1965 graduate of University High School, Bill lettered in Football (starting quarterback), Basketball, Track, and Baseball. Throughout his time as an athlete at U-High, he played on District Championship teams for Football, Baseball, and Track and was on the State Track Championship team. In addition to teams for U-High, Bill was on All-District and All-State teams for Baseball. After high school, Bill attended LSU, where he was a proud member of Sigma Chi and graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Accounting and Business (1971) and a Masters Degree from the Graduate School of Banking (1984). While a student at LSU and throughout his life, Bill Mathews was forever a U-High Cub. He coached dozens and dozens of youth teams of all ages and was a positive and powerful influence on thousands of young athletes, being a role model for them on the finer points of the game and in the art of living a meaningful life. His various areas of volunteerism included Middle School Football and Baseball Teams, Summer Baseball Teams, Girls' Spring Basketball, High School Summer Baseball, T-Ball to 4th Grade Spring and Summer Baseball Teams, and chaired the U-High Chain Gang for every football game for over 27 years. Because of his extraordinary contributions throughout his life, he was inducted into the U-High Athletic Hall of Fame in 2005. Upon graduating from LSU, Bill began a very successful professional career in banking and finance. Throughout his decades of service, Bill worked at Baton Rouge and Livingston banks as a Manager, Vice President, and Commercial Loan Officer. Following his banking care, Bill worked for more than 25 years at Louisiana Workers' Compensation Corporation. In addition to his exemplary professional career and his service at U-High, Bill was a dedicated volunteer throughout the Baton Rouge area. First and foremost, he was a lifelong daily volunteer for the Baton Rouge Ballet Theatre. As well, he worked with Kiwanis Clubs in Baton Rouge and Denham Springs. Bill was also an active member and volunteer for the Baton Rouge Chamber of Commerce, Boy Scouts of America, LSU Alumni Association, the Baton Rouge Kids' Clinic Board, and the American Legion Baseball League. Because of his athletic and coaching contributions to the thousands of young people whom he mentored, Governor Bobby Jindal appointed Bill to the Governor's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. Throughout his lifetime, he remained an active baseball player, playing with the BR Merchants, joining the New Orleans Pelicans, and the Ancient Athletes of Baton Rouge. Every year for the past 21 years, he grinned like a little boy again when he and his closest baseball buddies, the "Boys of Summer," planned their annual trip to Spring Training of Major League Baseball. An active member of University Baptist Church, Bill lived the life of a Godly man of Christian faith. He served in all positions of leadership at UBC – Chair of Deacons, Church Moderator, Treasurer, Trustee, Sunday School Director and Teacher, and Chair of the Child Development Center (founded by Bill and Sharon). He also sang in the church choir. Joining his love of sports with his love of Christ, Bill started and managed sports teams at UBC, including High School Basketball, and Boys' and Girls' Softball. Bill deeply respected his country, believed in civic responsibility, and cherished the special freedoms he possessed as an American. He was proud to have been an integral part of the campaigns of President George W. Bush and of his U-High friend, Richard Baker. Bill led an extraordinary life, and everyone who met him was drawn to his wit and wisdom. He had a warm and outgoing personality and never met a stranger. His many, many friends will miss him. He is survived by his loving wife of 48 years, Sharon Rea Walker Mathews. Having known him since the 1st grade, she says, "My heart is broken, but I know as always, he is waiting for me." She deeply appreciates everyone's prayers and considers it a miracle that, given his health, he was able to live so fully for the last 3 years. Now, she hears him reciting the scripture he quoted daily, "This is the day that the Lord has made; I will rejoice and be glad in it." Sharon wants everyone to know that she is the one who will rejoice each day that she was blessed with "My Bill." Bill was a devoted and loving husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, cousin, and friend. Along with his wife, Bill is survived by his daughters Rebecca Rea Acosta (Marc), Elizabeth Rea Mathews, Anna Rea Schmaltz (Jason); Brother, Robert Dale Mathews (Carroll); Grandchildren Marc Acosta, Jr., (11), Elizabeth Rea Acosta (9), John William Schmaltz (5), and Naomi Rea Schmaltz (3); Brothers-in-Law Dr. A. Delmar Walker, Jr. (Maureen), Steven L. Walker, Gary J. Walker, Sr. (Kathi); Nieces and Nephews Austin Mathews, Michael Mathews (Margo), Katherine Landry (Jeremy), Matthew Walker, Dr. Gary Walker, Jr., Rachel Norris (Thomas), Clayton Walker; Cousins John Hamilton, LeShele Hamilton, Dr. Benji Harlan (Connie), Greg Williams (Becky), Dr. James Williams (Marti). He was preceded in death by his parents, John William and Marjorie Dale Mathews, uncle Dr. James E. Williams, and cousins Dr. Brian Williams and Johnny Hamilton. The family wishes to thank the many medical professionals from Baton Rouge, New Orleans, and Houston, who helped give Bill the best quality of life possible during the last three years. In lieu of flowers, the family requests support for the Coach Bill Mathews '65 Baseball Scholarship Fund by donating online at www.lsufoundation.org/billmathews, or mail your donation to the LSU Foundation benefiting the University Laboratory School at 3796 Nicholson Drive, Baton Rouge, LA 70802. A celebration of Bill's remarkable life will be held on Saturday, June 16th 2018, at University Baptist Church, 5775 Highland Road. Visitation will begin at 9 am and the message and service will start at 10:30. "That man is a success who has lived well, laughed often, and loved much." ~Robert Louis Stevenson.
Religious Service Information
University Baptist Church
5775 Highland Rd
Baton Rouge, LA 70808
(225) 766-9474
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Published in TheAdvocate.com from June 11 to June 16, 2018