February 6, 1934 - October 5, 2021 Portland, Oregon - Sue Charles Mathews, 87, of Portland, Oregon, died peacefully on October 5, 2021, at her home with her four daughters at her bedside. She met her lung cancer diagnosis with determination and grit more than three years ago, all the while collecting more memories with her six children and eighteen grandchildren, travelling across the country and abroad.Sue was born February 6, 1934, in Los Angeles, California to Alta Berry Charles and Benjamin Cliffe Charles. As her parents were frequent to move, Sue was raised in several neighborhoods in the West L.A. area. She attended The Westlake School for Girls and completed high school at the Brownmoor School in Scottsdale, Arizona. She matriculated to the University of Southern California. After her second year at USC, in the summer of 1955, she accompanied her Aunt Melba Berry Bennett on a European tour. She travelled across the Atlantic on the Queen Elizabeth ocean liner and returned on the Queen Mary. Arriving on the east coast prior to their cruise departure, Aunt Melba and Sue were greeted by Eugene Rowland Mathews, the 23-year-old eldest son of Robert Rowland Mathews and stepson of Joan Selden Mathews of Greenwich, Connecticut. Both Melba Bennett and Robert Mathews had significant ties to the pressing Eisenhower campaign, albeit on opposite coasts. While a casual presidential campaign meeting was of interest and purpose, for Sue and Gene it led to a magical introduction where a first date became a forever. Sue returned from her summer travels abroad turning away suitors, as her heart had already been taken. Gene had career plans in Hollywood, and soon, after completing his desired studies at Columbia University, he rapidly made his way to the West Coast to woo his future bride and to pursue his career in Film and TV.Sue and Gene were married on May 29, 1956, and over the course of the next seven years, they had completed their family. They raised their six children in the West San Fernando Valley home they owned for forty-one years. While Gene made his career in Film and TV production as an editor, Sue raised their six children in the accompaniment of several loving dogs and a few birds. She was an endless means of support and love to her husband and children, instilling in each of us kindness, forgiveness, loyalty and determination, generosity, drive and humor, and of course, selflessness. After Gene retired from his Hollywood career, Sue and Gene began a retirement business breeding and showing Arabian horses. They displayed great passion for the breed as they immersed themselves in this arena for 22 years until Gene's death in 2002. Ever resilient, Sue sought a new chapter in her illustrious life, moving to Portland, Oregon, where she could remain close to family on the west coast and thrive in her small retirement community, participating in the choir, listening to live jazz, and going to her community church. Family meant everything to Sue. She was a loving and devoted wife, daughter, sister and, above all, a wonderful mother to her two sons and four daughters. She found great joy in supporting her children's academic, athletic, and professional pursuits, and enjoyed very close bonds with them and their spouses. Sue was a 1950's Debutante, a mid-century mother, comfortable on horseback or in an evening gown, who was mostly content relishing the simple joys of sharing a movie, a meal, a game, or good conversation with those she loved. Everyone who knew Sue was touched by her positivity, resilience, and her charm.Sue is survived by children, Kelly Mathews Kapich (Jack Kapich) of Simi Valley, CA.; Anthony Blake Mathews (Jennifer Lynn Mathews) of Newport Beach, CA.; Tracy Mathews Barrow (Paul Barrow) of Manhattan Beach, CA.; Whitney Mathews Kaplan (Hugh Kaplan) of Johns Creek, GA.; Terry Mathews Eames (Darin Eames) of Portland, OR.; and Douglas Charles Mathews (Laci Rae Mathews) of Nashville, TN. She is also survived by her eighteen grandchildren, Amy Kapich Fraser (Tim Fraser), Peter Kapich, Blake Mathews, Alex Mathews, Nicholas Mathews, Christopher Barrow, Timothy Barrow, Matthew Kaplan (Tyler Kaplan), Michael Kaplan (Hannah Kaplan), Ellie Kaplan, Scott Eames, Kevin Eames (Lauren Eames), Tony Eames, Jeffrey Eames, Kathryn Eames, Harrison Mathews, Chase Mathews, and Emma Mathews.Sue was widely beloved, and will be deeply missed. A memorial service will be held at Wee Kirk o' the Heather at Forest Lawn, Glendale, CA. on December 9, 2021. The family requests donations to be made in Sue's honor to Mychal's Learning Place by visiting www.Mychals.org
Published by Los Angeles Times from Oct. 15 to Oct. 17, 2021.