Ann Matthews passed away Sunday May 10, 2020 at the age of 93. Anna Elizabeth Kestner Matthews was born on October 10, 1926 in Connellsville Pennsylvania to the late John and Jessie Brooks Kestner.
Ann grew up along with her late brother, John and late sister Jean (twins) in a loving family with strong Christian beliefs and faith. She often told how she remembered everyone was welcome in their home. Friends, neighbors and relatives were constantly coming by. It was not unusual to have a family member living with them for a while when they needed loving care or shelter. Ann enjoyed talking about all the wonderful picnics, birthday celebrations and family reunions that took place during her years growing up. She also remembered always attending church and Sunday school, because it was a top priority every Sunday morning. Ann was active in her church and community and participated in hospital volunteering, Sunday school teaching, girl scouts, Eastern Star activities, bible study fellowships, garden clubs and neighborhood bridge clubs.
Ann had a special place in her heart for loving children. When she was a small child she would play teacher with her dolls and later, after graduating from college, she had the privilege and took pride in her years of teaching school. She graduated from Connellsville High School in 1944 then attended Hood College in Fredrick,Maryland and later graduated from Indiana University of Pennsylvania with a BS degree in Education. She began her teaching career in Connellsville teaching 2ndgrade at the South Side School which she attended as a child. She later taught in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and Cleveland, Ohio.
Ann married the love of her life, Charles “Ray” Matthews, on June 30th, 1951. Ann and Ray met on a blind date in 1947 while they were both in college, she in Indiana and he in Pittsburgh. They sent letters to each other almost every day. Ray kept and treasured those letters and never discarded them. When they first married, they lived in a tiny, very cold, upstairs apartment in Cleveland. Once Ray accepted a position with General Electric, they settled in Boardman, Ohio in 1954 and soon after their son Mark Raymond was born. In 1978 a job promotion took them to Dallas, Texas where they lived for 32 years.
Ann was an active member of the First United Methodist Church in Boardman, Ohio and also in Dallas, Texas. She served as Church Receptionist for 17 years in her Dallas church where they had a large Christian School. She became kind of a second grandma and special friend to many of the children who attended the school. This brought much joy into her life especially because she lived so far away from her own grandchildren in Ohio. The bonds of these friendships were strong as she enjoyed the letters and photos from her dear family of friends from Texas almost daily after they moved back to Ohio.
In 2009 Ann and Ray moved to a condo in the Fairlawn Retirement Community in Archbold, Ohio to be closer to their family. Before they made the move to Ohio, Ann was a little concerned they were too old to make new friends, but just the opposite happened. They were touched how the neighbors and church familywelcomed them and became new close friends. Ann especially enjoyed and cherished the extended and closer time she was able to spend with each of their four grandchildren saying “God was gracious to grant me the privilege and time to do this”
While Ray and Ann lived in Dallas they would travel to Ohio at least every October to spend time with the grandchildren. The grandchildren called her CandyGram because she always had little bags of candy to give them. This practice of giving candy extended to the many friends and professionals who touched her life daily while living at Fairlawn.
Ann was a classy lady. Presentation was extremely important in what she chose to wear, (2” heals even after hip surgery and a pretty pin or handmade scarf on her house coat), in how she kept her home impeccably clean (bending over with excruciating pain to pick up the tiniest speck off the floor) and with the gifts she gave to her friends and family, (all had to be given in a pretty little bag or basket). She was also a very devoted mother, grandmother and friend who would hand write very lovely and thoughtful letters with crippling and painful arthritis. She was a teacher to the end, setting a great example of how to love and nurture everyone she met.
Ann was preceded in death by her father John Kestner and mother Jessie Brooks Kestner, her husband Charles Ray Matthews, her brother John Kestner (Sonia) and sister Jean Hawk (Foster). She is survived by her son Mark Matthews (Ruth Giffin Matthews) and grandchildren Clayton Matthews (Hannah Wright Matthews), Christopher Matthews (Abigail Mason), Alexander Matthews and Kelly Matthews.
A small family gathering will be held Wednesday, May 13th, 2020 at the Grisier Funeral Home in Archbold. A celebration of her life will be held at a later date.
Online condolences may be made to the family at www.grisierfh.com. Grisier Funeral Home in Archbold has been entrusted with the arrangements.