Frances Nadine Jay Matthews

Frances Nadine Jay Matthews was born in Terre Haute, IN on November 20, 1923. When she was born she had 3 half-sisters who were ages 12, 14 and 16 and they had decided that when the baby was born her name would be Betty. All 3 were in school at the time Frances was born and when they got home they were told that the baby had been born and that her name was Frances Nadine. The girls said they didn't like this name and refused to call her Frances and called her Betty. From that time on she was known as Betty Jay.
At the age of 5, she was whisked away by a neighbor and brought back home after the birth of her baby brother. She asked where the baby had come from and was told that the doctor had brought him in his little black bag. Frances started jumping on the bed screaming that they could just put him back in that bag and take him back because she didn't want him. That was the 1st and only time that her father ever spanked her. Her parents and older siblings spoiled her so now she was jealous. What makes the incident so funny is that her younger brother grew up to spoil her just as much as the rest of the family.
The family moved around wherever their father could find a job as a coal miner in Indiana and Ohio eventually settling in Fort Branch, IN.
On Sunday, January 11, 1948 her younger brother, Julius Junior brought home a friend from his Air Force Base. This young man was named Robert Alva Matthews. They met on that Sunday and were married the following Saturday, January 17, 1948. Frances and Robert were married for almost 43 years before his death in December 27, 1990.
As an Air Force wife, Frances lived throughout the United States. She was the mother of 4 children; Rory, Janice, Kevin and Susan. Susan was her youngest daughter and passed away due to breast cancer at the age of 44 in October 11, 2004. When Susan passed away Frances and her son Kevin accepted the guardianship of Susan's 2 sons and with Rory's help raise these boys who were in high school and junior high at the time.
Frances loved children and made friends easily throughout her travels. She usually worked as a child caregiver and in later years as a caregiver to a gentleman who had a stroke.
Frances enjoyed cooking, baking, bowling, playing Pinochle and Bingo, and acting as a Girl Scouts leader for both her daughters.
She was a member of the Eastern Stars when Robert was a Mason and Shriner. In 1972, she became a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and continued to practice her religion until she became bedridden.
Frances was also preceded in death by her parents; sisters, Thelma, Una and Sister; and brother, Julius Junior.
A graveside service will be at 10:00am on Tuesday, June 24, 2014 at San Joaquin Valley National Cemetery, 32053 W. McCabe Rd., Gustine, CA.
She will be sorely missed by her children; 8 grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren and numerous nieces, nephews and friends.


Funeral Home

Stratford Evans Merced Funeral Home
1490 B Street Merced, CA 95340
(209) 722-4191

Published in Merced Sun Star on June 21, 2014