Gene Matthews Jr.

Gene Matthews Jr. - Submitted photo

Gene Matthews Jr., 85, passed away peacefully on June 13, 2023, to be with his Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. His remarkable life was marked by unwavering faith and devotion to Christ, which served as the foundation for his love, compassion and service to others.

Born on Oct. 27, 1937, in Little Rock, Ark., Gene was the son of Mary Mildred Matthews and Eugene Alexander Matthews. He graduated from Hot Springs High School in 1955. Gene earned his bachelor's degree from Southern Methodist University and his law degree from the University of Texas School of Law. He dedicated the many years of his career as a partner at Wootton, Land and Matthews, specializing in trial law.

Gene actively participated in St. Mary's Catholic Church, serving as president of the Parish Council and Catholic Action Council. He also served as a member of the St. John's School Board. An example of Gene's Christian service to others was he faithfully visited three nursing homes each week for over 30 years.

Gene held several executive positions with local, regional and national levels of the YMCA. As president of the Garland County Bar Association, he implemented a corporate planning process that earned state and national recognition/awards. He also served as president for the Garland County Heart Association.

He is preceded in death by his mother, Mildred, his father, Eugene, and brother, Bertram.

Gene is survived by his three children -- son, Matt Matthews of Temple, Texas, with his wife, Linda, and grandchildren, Alex and Wesley, Wesley's fiancé (Danielle) and great-granddaughter (Olive); daughter, Shauna Douglas of Rogers with her husband, Hal, and grandchildren, Sydney Grace, Alessandra, Esther and Ella; and daughter, Jennifer Lycan of Bella Vista with her husband, Chad, and grandchild, Brooke. Their lives have forever been enriched by Gene's unconditional love, wisdom and example.

Gene cherished every opportunity he had with his family. He was a loving father and doting grandfather, always making the most of the time spent with his loved ones. He maintained lifelong relationships with many of his childhood friends. Gene genuinely loved people and had friends wherever he went, even during his last days in a nursing home near his daughters, Gene continued to exemplify the love, joy and kindness of Jesus to everyone around him.

Visitation will be held from 5-7 p.m. today, June 28, at Caruth-Hale Funeral Home, with a rosary at 6 p.m.

A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at 1 p.m. on Thursday, June 29, at St. Mary of the Springs Catholic Church in Hot Springs, with Father Elser officiating. Burial will follow at Crestview Cemetery. A reception will be held at St. Mary's Parish Hall at approximately 2:45 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests donations be made to the Hillcrest Children's Home in Hot Springs.

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