Buford Ray Matlock (1924 - 2012)

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Buford Ray Matlock

Buford Ray Matlock, age 87, had just spoken as a veteran of WWII to the First Cumberland Presbyterian Men's Fellowship when he died Sunday, November 11, 2012.

As a staff sergeant with the 276th M Company, Infantry Division, he was recipient of the Purple Heart and Bronze Star. A native of Jackson, he graduated from Jackson High School (1943) and Union University (1950). He earned a Masters in Education from George Peabody (Vanderbilt University) and lacked only his dissertation to complete doctoral work at The University of Memphis.

Son of the late J. J. and Birdie Bowman Matlock was born on December 20, 1924. Mr. Matlock married Bernice Stafford on April 12, 1947. He was preceded in death by his brother, James W. Matlock. Buford served as a respected and beloved football coach at the Northside and Southside High Schools. He also taught at Tigrett Junior High before serving as Principal at the Alexander Elementary School for twenty-four years. He also served as a TSSAA football official (1965-89). After forty years in education, he retired in 1990. Remaining physically fit, active, and a lover of several sports, he participated in Senior Games at the state and district levels and played softball for years.

Matlock was inducted into the Madison County Sports Hall of Fame in 2000, and the Union Sports Hall of Fame in 2007. He was a faithful, lifelong member of First Cumberland Presbyterian Church where he served as an Elder, and past president of the Lions Club where he was a member for forty-five years.

Affectionately known to his family as "Boo," he is survived by his wife of sixty-five years; daughters, Aletza Matlock Spann (Thomas) and Melissa Matlock Whitaker, and six grandchildren, Tray Spann (Tracy), Blake Spann (Leslie), Lauren Spann, Kristen Whitaker, Kelley Whitaker McClure (Alex) and J. Whitaker. Great-grandfather to Brayden, Lainey and Tillman Spann, and Zane and Xavier Spann, he delighted in his family. Buford is loved by several nieces, nephews and friends, as well as life long companions, William Gregory and Jack Hilliard.

With typical attention to detail, Mr. Matlock directed that his body be used for medical research through Union University.

In lieu of flowers to celebrate a life well lived, his family requests memorial donations to the Union University Athletic Department, 1050 Union University Drive, Jackson, TN 38305; First Cumberland Presbyterian Church, 1730 Highway 45 Bypass, Jackson, TN 38305; Down's Syndrome Association of West Tennessee, 120 Hiscox Road, Jackson, TN 38305; or to Young Life Jackson, P.O. Box 3233 Jackson, TN 38303-2453.

Services will be held Wednesday, November 14th at the First Cumberland Presbyterian Church, with Rev. Terry Hunley and Rev. Merlyn Alexander officiating. The family will receive friends between 1 p.m. and 3 p.m., and the Memorial service following at 3:30 p.m.

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Arrington Funeral Directors
148 West University Parkway
Jackson, TN 38305
(731) 668-1111
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Published in The Jackson Sun from Nov. 13 to Nov. 14, 2012
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