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Henry Gwinn Matthews

1930 - 2017 Obituary Condolences
Henry Gwinn Matthews Obituary
Henry Gwinn Matthews

Ripley, tn

Henry Gwinn Matthews, 87, of Ripley, passed away, August 1, 2017, at Lauderdale Community Hospital. Gwinn was born June 19, 1930, and was one of six children born to his parents, Luke and Roxie Matthews. In his early years, Gwinn joined the Army, including 30 years of service in the Army Reserve. Gwinn served in law enforcement as a Ripley Policeman, and then as Lauderdale County Sheriff from 1962-1968. He was a charter member of Ripley FOP Lodge #27. Later he owned and operated Matthews Security Service, assigning guards to several local industries, including The Tupperware Plant in Halls. Gwinn also served a number of years on the Lauderdale County Commission, followed by his election to the office of Lauderdale County Executive from 1990-1994. He was preceded in death by three brothers Gayle Matthews, Dudley Matthews, and Ollie Matthews. Survivors include his wife of 55 years, Johnnie Matthews; two sons, Jonathan Matthews of Memphis and David (Tonya) Matthews of Brentwood, TN; five grandchildren, Jacob, Phillip, Susannah, Charlotte, and Virginia; sister, LaQuinta Stanley; brother, Tollie (Bonnie) Matthews; sister in law, Beauton Matthews; and a host of nieces and nephews. He was a longtime member and deacon of the Ripley Church of Christ, and the Ripley Exchange Club, where he served in a number of offices. He held memberships in both the Tennessee and Lauderdale County Cattlemen's Association. Among Gwinn's greatest interests were his cows, his farm at Hurricane Hill, and his yard work. Visitation will be Friday evening, August 4, from 5 to 8 p.m., and Saturday from 12 to 2 p.m. at Ripley Church of Christ, in Ripley, TN. His funeral will be at 2 p.m., Saturday, also at Ripley Church of Christ. Burial will follow in Ripley Memorial Gardens. Gwinn was proud to live in Lauderdale County, where his warmth, his smile, and his kindness toward others will long be remembered. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to The Lauderdale County Exchange Club Carl Perkins Center, the Dyersburg Army Airbase Memorial Association, or the Ripley Church of Christ. Online condolences may be offered at
Published in The Commercial Appeal from Aug. 3 to Aug. 4, 2017
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