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Mabel Souza Mathews

1935 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Mabel Souza Mathews Obituary

Mabel Mathews passed away peacefully on July 14, 2016 in Marysville, CA. She was born Mabel Souza Flores to Azorean-Portuguese emigrants Manuel and Mary Flores on March 29, 1935 in Gridley, CA. She attended Manzanita Elementary School and graduated from Gridley High School in 1953. It was at Gridley High where Mabel met her husband Jimmie Mathews. Mabel and Jimmie were married for almost 59 years prior to his death on May 1, 2016.

After high school, Mabel began her life-long career in nursing. She graduated from Highland Hospital School of Nursing in Oakland, CA in 1956 and earned the designation of Registered Nurse. At 21, she returned home and began working at Gridley Hospital. She also held positions at Rideout Hospital in Marysville and worked for Dr. Robert Berry in his private practice.

In the 1970's, Mabel turned her focus to teaching, holding positions at Marysville High School in its Health Careers program and Yuba College where she taught in the Licensed Vocational Nurse (LVN) program. Later at Yuba College, Mabel instituted numerous allied health courses in medical terminology and ward clerk education. Through Mabel's teaching, hundreds of local students began their health care careers. She was very proud to have been a positive influence in the lives of so many. It was also in the late 1970's that Mabel returned to college, earning a bachelor of science in Nursing (BSN) from California State University, Chico. Mabel concluded her career as a public health nurse for Yuba County. She retired in 1996 as the Deputy Director overseeing the Child Health and Disability Prevention (CHDP) program.

Mabel was an activist for vulnerable populations. As a nurse she advocated for more care for children in underserved communities. As a devout Catholic, she also worked to provide assistance to the indigent. A volunteer and philanthropist, Mabel gave expertise and donated money to care for others.

Mabel exuded strength and kindness and was sought out by many for advice, although she was quite humble about this. She enjoyed the company of others, and loved a good conversation about current events. While she could be very serious, she could also be quite silly, making herself and those around her laugh.

Family was Mabel's priority in life. She and Jimmie moved to Yuba City in 1958 and raised three boys – James, Steve and Jeff. Summers were spent at Childs Meadows near Mount Lassen. She enjoyed nature walks, campfires and spending time with family and friends. In retirement, Mabel and Jimmie enjoyed numerous outings in their motorhome along the West Coast, enjoying nature's beauty along the way. The highlight of her life was spending time with her grandchildren and great grandchildren. She had a unique connection and special relationship with each of them and loved them with all her heart. She also had numerous nieces and nephews whom she loved as if they were her own children.

Mabel is survived by her brother Anthony Flores of Elk Grove; three sons - James Mathews (Sheila) of Plumas Lake; Steve Mathews of Cedarville, CA and Jeff Mathews (Jemy) of Yuba City; seven grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. She is preceded in death by her husband Jimmie Mathews; her parents Manual and Mary Flores; two brothers, Albon Flores and Frank Flores (Irene); two sisters, Olivia Vieira (Tony) and Angelina McCarty (Bill); and daughter-in-law Bobbie Mathews (Steve).

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Isidore Food Locker or the Christian Assistance Network (CAN).

Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Ullrey Memorial Chapel, 817 Almond Street, Yuba City. Family viewing will be at the chapel on Tuesday, July 26 from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm; public viewing from 4:00 pm to 6:30 pm followed by the Rosary at 6:30 pm. Catholic Mass will be held at St. Isidore Catholic Church, 222 Clark Avenue in Yuba City on Wednesday July 27 at 10:00 am with a reception in the Parish Hall immediately following Mass from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm. Graveside services will follow at the Gridley Cemetery at 2:00 p.m.

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Published in Appeal Democrat from July 22 to July 24, 2016
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