Jack Junior Kenneth “Ken” Mathews, 96 passed away April 10, 2017, in Vancouver, Washington.
Ken was born on July 29, 1920, in Purcell, Oklahoma to Robert and Hattie (Conley) Mathews. His family moved to Gridley when he was in the eighth grade, and he graduated from Gridley Union High School in 1938. Ken married Florence Elnora Tyler, of Susanville, California on November 10, 1941.
A veteran of World War II and a Purple Heart recipient, Ken served in the Philippines and Japan. He was a member and Past Master of North Butte Masonic Lodge #230 in Gridley as well as Past Worthy Matron of Eastern Star. During the fishing season, Ken could be found on Deer Creek, Hole in the Ground or Snag Lake camping and fly fishing with his family. Ken and his partner Don Mitch owned K&D auto parts on Highway 99 for over 20 years. Upon his retirement Ken and his wife, Florence, sold their home in Gridley and set out on the road in an RV, traveling the United States, Canada and Mexico. Ken was an artist (mainly oils) and a poet and loved going to garage sales looking for pocket knives and wind up clocks. As a young boy he helped his father in his bakery delivering donuts, earning the nickname “Donut”, and was known by his many grandchildren and great-grandchildren as "Cowboy Jack". Always active, Ken grew blueberry bushes next to his home in Vancouver and loved making pies for his neighbors, friends, and family. He liked to tell people he met that he was the father of five girls and very proud of that accomplishment.
Ken was preceeded in death by his wife of 69 years, Florence Mathews; parents; four brothers: George, Terrance ("Woody"), Robert and Earl; sister Eva; daughter Shelia Watson.
He is survived by his four daughters: Myrtis (Michael) Moore, Nora (Thomas) Elliot, Hattie Larrouy, and Carrie (Harry) Freyn. He has five grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
A service in memory of Ken will be held at the Masonic Lodge in Gridley, California in August. Interment in Milford Cemetery, Lassen County, California. The family requests that donations be made in his name to the ALS foundation at https://secure2.convio.net/alsa/site/Donation2;jsessionid=00000000.app257a?df_id=34500&34500.donation=form1&NONCE_TOKEN=747045F62D8C3AA9E5FE9D693139B131 or California Masonic Foundation at https://freemason.webconnex.com/contribute in lieu of flowers.