Nelson's Story

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Services to honor and remember Nelson Nathanial Mathews will be 1 p.m. Tuesday, April 12, 2016 at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Claremore. Interment with military honors will follow at Oak Hill Cemetery in Oologah. Family will receive friends for visitation from 4-7 Monday evening at Rice Funeral Service. Nelson passed away Friday, April 8, 2016 in the Jack C. Montgomery VA Medical Center in Muskogee. He was 67.
Nelson Nathanial Mathews was born April 18, 1949 in Demning, New Mexico to Athel and Katherine Modene (Brunson) Mathews. His first years were spent in New Mexico, but upon the age of two, he joined his grandparents, Otis and Ora (Lee) Brunson and his Aunt Joyce (Brunson) Hinds and Uncle Bill in Claremore, Okla. Together, they raised and nurtured young Nelson, preparing him for life's journey.
Nelson attended school in Claremore and was a member of the graduating class of 1968. Immediately upon graduation, he married his best friend and high school sweetheart, Kathy Johnson, in an Aug. 31, 1968 wedding ceremony. Shortly thereafter, he was drafted into the United States Marine Corps. (Nelson was the only Rogers County resident to be drafted in this unprecedented action by the USMC.)
Following his service in Vietnam and upon being honorably discharged, Nelson joined his wife in Houston, Texas where they each found employment in the oil and gas industry. After several years in Houston and upon the brink of an oil bust, the young Mathews family returned home to Claremore where they knew they could depend on a strong support system of family and friends regardless of their finances.
What young Nelson may have once lacked in monetary wealth he certainly made up for in the richness and blessings he received through his relationships with both his family and his friends. Extremely likeable and friendly, Nelson had relationships that spanned his lifetime. Indeed there are numerous people today who regard Nelson as a best friend.
And as it would turn out, upon their return to Oklahoma, Nelson found employment in the aerospace industry. He worked first for Rockwell, then Boeing and later retired from Spirit Aerosystems. Kathy said of her husband that he was always a good provider. It was a few years ago that Nelson opted for an early retirement to enjoy treasured time with those he loved.
During retirement, Nelson, along with Kathy, enjoyed traveling and were heavily involved in car clubs. A member of the "Route 66 Cruisers" and "Tornado Alley" they always looked forward to participating in the shows — where accomplished mechanic, Nelson, could proudly display a few of his rebuilt classics.
A man who was loyal to his family, his friends and his nation — he was always appreciative of those who served in the military and in public safety. He was also proud to be a member of the Patriot Guard Riders and always took time to honor fallen veterans. He was sure to attend services of those veterans who had no family as they were honored by the Ft. Gibson National Cemetery.
Nelson continued to move and stay active for as long as he possibly could. His dedication to his family, friends, community and nation will not soon be forgotten. He leaves to cherish his memory a family grateful for his impact.
He is survived by: his wife, Kathy Mathews of the home; son, Adam Mathews of Chelsea; daughter, Sarah Mathews of Bushyhead; son, Sam Mathews of Claremore; nine grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; his little Dotson buddy, Mickey and a host of aunts, uncles, cousins, other relatives and friends.
He was preceded in death by: his parents and siblings: brother, Daniel Wayne Mathews and sister, Nora Dean McNeil.
Published on April 11, 2016
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