Captain Robert A. Matthews, Jr. Captain Robert A. Matthews, Jr. (USNR, Ret.) died peacefully at his home in Springfield on Sunday, May 6 at the age of 86. Husband of the late Sarah P. Matthews.He was also predeceased by his sister, Elizabeth M. Bodine of Plymouth, MA. Capt. Matthews was born in Holden, MA and lived in Morristown, NJ where he graduated high school. He enrolled at University of Pennsylvania in Physical Education and was accepted into the V-12 Program in 1943. He was commissioned as an Ensign in 1944 at Northwestern University Midshipmen School.During WWII, he commanded an LCT for two years in the South Pacific and Aleutian Islands.He returned to the University of PA where he completed his Bachelor's Degree in 1948 and eventually went on to pursue post graduate work in education. In 1946, he joined the Navy Reserves and remained active until 1975. Following graduation he coached freshmen wrestling and Varsity Lacrosse at U of P until 1959.During that time, he was also a teacher and football coach for Southeast Catholic/Bishop Neumann High School. In 1959, he left those positions to join RCA as a Contract Administrator. In 1988, he retired as Contract Manager from RCA (GE). Subsequent to that, he worked as a Contract Manager for Boeing Helicopters, where he retired in 1995.He briefly taught business courses at DCCC. Capt. Matthews was a member of Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion, Reserve Officers Association, Retired Officers Association, and General Smedley Butler Marine Corps.League where he served as Commandant for one year. He was a Legion of Honor member of the Chaplain of the Four Chaplains, as well as a plaque owner at the US Navy Memorial.He received a VFW Americanism Award, Marine Corps League Distinguished Service Award, the Marine Corps League Distinguished Citizen's Award, and received the Man of the Year Award from the 7th District VFW in 2002. He was inducted into the Pennsylvania Sports Hall of Fame in 2004 for his excellence in football, wrestling, and lacrosse.Survivors: his children; Robert III (Lois) of Brookhaven, Michael (Amy) of Coopersburg, Mark (Joan) of Springfield, and Barbara Damon (Dave) of Springfield; also survived by his sister, Janet O'Connor of Califon, NJ; 11 grandchildren and 3 great-grandchildren. Services:Relatives and friends are invited to his funeral on Saturday, May 12 at 9:30am in Holy Cross Church.Funeral Mass: at 10:30 am Interment: at SS. Peter and Paul Cemetery. In lieu of Flowers, family prefers donations to the Wounded Warrior Project, PO Box 758517., Topeka, KS 66675.
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Published in The Daily Times on May 9, 2012