Harold “John” Mathews, 76, entered into life eternal on August 26th, 2020. John was born on February 5, 1944, to John W. and Dorothy D. (Grove) Mathews in Coldwater, Michigan. John grew up on the family farm where his mother was born. As a young man, he was active in FFA and farm life in Michigan, where he enjoyed farming row crops and raising sheep and hogs. As a young child, he followed his father every day as he did the farm work. His father always said that Johnny knew the workings of the farm so well that he could almost put him in charge of the operation at six-years-old. He was such an expert farmer at a young age that he went to the local bank when he was 15-years old and secured a loan to buy hogs, no questions asked. He was a very active member of Branch County 4-H, and, at a young age, became an expert mechanic, learning this talent from his older brothers and his father enabling him to restore his first car, a 1955 Chevy. John attended local rural one-room schools through the sixth grade. He graduated from Union City High School in 1961 and then attended Michigan State University to pursue a degree in Agriculture. After college, he joined the Peace Corps where he served in Nigeria teaching farming practices and developing water supply to support agricultural infrastructure in the area. After coming home, John joined the Michigan State Police and served several years as an officer at the Ypsilanti post. Later he was a small business owner for many years and enjoyed traveling and maintaining relationships with friends across the United States. John married his wife, Lorienne G. (Smith) Mathews on July 25, 1984. John and Lori moved to Weston, MO in 1985 where they raised their four girls, Sarah, Christine, Molly, and Mariah. John was incredibly proud of his daughters and was often a fixture at ball games, violin and piano concerts, dance recitals and later loved spending ‘Dad’s Day’ on campus with each of his girls while they were in college. If you knew John, he was a man who led with a quiet strength. If you were lucky enough to sit down with him and get him talking, you realized that he was an incredible storyteller with a sharp sense of humor and had an amazing talent for dropping ‘one-liners’ on the unsuspecting audience member. He was a country music fan, and among his favorites were Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, and Patsy Cline. John was a member of the Knights of Columbus and he loved hunting, fishing, black coffee with a doughnut, geography, travel, and was a huge military history buff. A devoted husband, father, grandfather, brother, and friend, he was always happiest when he was with his children and grandchildren. John and his quick wit and boundless love will be deeply missed by so many. He was preceded in death by his brother Blaine A. Mathews, and parents Dorothy and John W. Mathews. He is survived by his wife Lori, brother Blaire G. Mathews, sister Mary J. Alaniz, and children Sarah (Jacob) Adkins, Christine (Kevin Holmes), Molly (Jacob Rose), Mariah Mathews, Patrick (Kryste) Hanes, Margery (Casey) Pierce and grandchildren William and Charlotte Adkins; Ryan, Justin, and Colin Hanes, and Brynn, Deacon, Kat and Harrison Pierce.
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A visitation will be held at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Weston, MO from 5:00-7:00 pm on Friday, August 28, and a Rosary to begin at 6:30 pm. Funeral Mass will be at Holy Trinity at 10:30 am on Saturday, August 29. Interment will follow at Pleasant Ridge Cemetery, Weston, MO. Masks and social distancing will be required. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Holy Trinity Catholic Church in John’s name.