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John Palmer Matthews


1938 - 2017 Obituary Condolences Gallery
John Palmer Matthews Obituary
John Palmer Matthews

AGE: 80 • Neptune

John Palmer Matthews, lovingly known as Big Daddy, 80, of Neptune, NJ, died peacefully at Meridian at Wall on April 9, 2017.

John was born in Livingston, NJ on January 13, 1938 to John and Mildred Matthews. He graduated from West Chester University in West Chester, PA in 1959, where he was an accomplished Varsity swimmer. He taught elementary physical education in the Ocean Township School District retiring after more than 30 years in 1999 where he remains remembered and beloved by all his students to this day. He also coached soccer and track and various sports camps. After retiring he volunteered at his grandchildren's schools and taught physical education. He was a communicant at Holly Innocents Church.

John was known as an avid jazz fan dating back to the Birth of the Cool and the legendary jazz club Birdland in NYC. Among his favorite artists were Miles Davis, Cannonball Adderly, and Jimmy Smith. He attended countless live performances throughout his life. His jazz CD collection is extensive and his knowledge of the genre was unsurpassed. His headphones were never far out of reach when gardening, landscaping, grilling, or relaxing. As a lifelong Giants and Yankees fan, John enjoyed many championships in his lifetime, but also remained modest because he sat through some lean years by both teams. He was a calming influence to watch a game with because his highs never got too high or his lows too low.

He is survived by his lovely wife of 53 years, Barbara (Nulty) Matthews, daughter, Deirdre, and her two children, Jack and Regina, daughter, Melissa, and her partner, Scott Santoro, sister, Judith Breekland, of Ridgefield, CT and sister, Joanne Horacek, of Rockaway and one niece and three nephews.

He was predeceased by his parents, Jack and Mildred Matthews, his son, Kyle, and his brother, James Matthews.

Visitation will be on Tuesday, April 11 from 4-7pm at the Reilly Bonner Funeral Home, 801 D Street, Belmar NJ. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Wednesday at Holy Innocents RC Church in Neptune. For the Mass time please visit our website. Committal will be at Saint Catharine Cemetery , Sea Girt.

In lieu of flowers donation can be made in his name to the .

For further information or to send condolences to the family please visit reillybon nerfuneralhome.com.
Published in Asbury Park Press on Apr. 10, 2017
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