Harold Clayton Mathews, 99, peacefully passed away to be with his Lord and Savior on September 10, 2016. Harold was born in Harvard, Nebraska to Eugene and Sylvia Mathews on June 27, 1917 and moved to Ripon at age one where he attended Ripon Elementary School.
In 1927 he moved to Twain Harte where he graduated from Sonora High School. He loved snow skiing with the wooden skis he made by hand. Harold and his father enjoyed several years of working together as volunteer firefighters. His father, Eugene was a contractor and Sylvia was his architect. He worked in the family business, where he learned his love of carpentry. He began his government career at Camp Knight in Oakland, in March of 1942, as a carpenter. Harold entered the Army on September 12, 1942. June 6, 1944 he landed on Utah Beach at H-Hour on D-Day, the Normandy Invasion (France) of World War ll. His unit was one of the first to land. Harold was a member of the 607th Grave Registration Company attached to the 82nd Airborne Division. In 1946, he went to work at Sharpe Army Depot in Lathrop as the Chief of the Woodworking Section in Sharpe’s Facilities Engineering Division. He was the proud member of the Sharpe’s 3000-Hour Sick Leave Club, missing only one day of work in 39 years. In 1952 Harold married his wife Donna, and built their first home in Ripon were they started their family. He was a faithful long time member of the Heartland Community Church in Ripon where he was an elder, deacon and involved in many activities. He belonged to the Ripon Booster Tennis Club, enjoyed bowling, golf and crafting cabinets and furniture for friends and family.
After his retirement Harold was known as an avid fisherman and pool player for the Ripon Senior Sharks. He enjoyed attending the Ripon High School games, puzzles, Sudoku, drawing and Monday morning coffee with friends at the local cafe. In 2002 he was honored to preside as Grand Marshall of Ripon’s 40th annual Almond Blossom Parade. Harold had a full and wonderful life, his friendliness and positive nature will be missed by all who knew him.
He was preceded in death by his parents and his brother Alvin. Survived by his wife Donna of 64 years, daughter Luann and son-in-law Tim Hawkins of Placerville; son Randall Mathews of Modesto. He was the proud grandpa of two grandchildren and four great-grandchildren. A private memorial service for the family was held on September 15, 2016 at the Sacramento Valley National Cemetery where Harold was laid to rest. Military honors were rendered at the interment. Remembrances may be sent to Bristol Hospice Foundation, 2140 Professional Drive, Suite 210 Roseville, CA 95661
Manteca (Calif.) Bulletin
Saturday, October 1, 2016