Charles Mathias, 103, of Nipomo, was born in Monte Vista, Colo., in February 1910, and died Monday, Sept. 22, 2013. He lived a full and active life as a farmer, cattle puncher, professional musician, high school teacher, principal and landscape designer. Charles graduated from Colorado State University and retired from Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, where he was in charge of landscape design and maintenance. Charles was a founding member and past president of the Western Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture, where he initiated the arborist certification process, which is still in use today. He had also been president of the board of the United Methodist Church in San Fernando, Calif., and Black Lake Mobile Home Owners Association in Nipomo. At 102, he was not only the oldest active member of the Retired Active Men's Association, but continued to play saxophone in their musical combo. He loved to dance, hike, fish, travel and play bridge. Charles is survived by his wife of 75 years, Velma; son, Edward; grandsons Brent and Kirt; and granddaughters Sarah and Lauren. He was predeceased by his parents, Chester and Nanella; and siblings Frank and Lucy. A memorial gathering for friends and family will be held at 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 12, 2013, at the home of Ed and Ann Mathias. Call Ed at 801-8682 for details. In lieu of flowers, consider contributing in his name to The Britton Fund (which promotes arboriculture research and education in the west - see thebrittonfund.org) at 31883 Success Valley Dr., Porterville, CA 93257.
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Published in San Luis Obispo Tribune on Oct. 5, 2013