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Mr. Earl Dean Matthews, 88, of Ozark, passed away Monday, May 28, 2018, in Dale Medical Center.
Funeral services will be 11:00 A.M. Friday, June 1, 2018, in the Chapel of Holman Funeral Home and Cremations in Ozark. Interment will follow in Woodlawn Memory Gardens, Holman Funeral Home of Ozark directing. The family will receive friends at the funeral home in Ozark Thursday from 5:00 P. M. until 7:00 P.M.
Mr. Matthews was born in Dale County on a Saturday the 6th of July 1929 to the late Jesse Ewell and Sallie Mae Dean Matthews. Their home was located about one mile north of what is now Hanchey Army Airfield. He began his first year of school in a two-room school house (Dean School House), located about two hundred yards from their home. The following year Dale County consolidated the schools and began busing children to Newton or Ozark. In 1942 the Department of The Army decided to build Camp Rucker. There were hundreds of families that had to relocate and as a result the Matthews family settled in Newton near the high school. Mr. Matthews continued school until the end of the first semester of 1946. At this time he began road construction work, driving a dump truck. He continued this type of work for about two years. America was becoming more involved in the Korean War in 1948 and Mr. Matthews was subject for the draft, so he decided to join the Navy and did so on the seventh of August, 1948. After three months of boot camp in San Diego, California, a fifteen-day leave was granted to come home and then he was reassigned for a twenty-four month tour of duty in Oahu, Hawaii. After this tour he had another leave to come home and then reassignment. This assignment was getting on a ship in Astoria, Oregon and heading for Sasebo, Japan and then to the Korean waters. This tour lasted about thirteen months; he was discharged the first of August 1952. In November of 1952, he began a two-year course in Tractor and Diesel Mechanics at the trade school in Napier Field, Alabama. The eighteenth day of November 1954 he hired on with Spartan Aircraft Maintenance Contractor at Fort Rucker. He worked with other contractors, Aeronca, Hayes, Page, Sikoriski, Northrop and DynCorp until his retirement the first of June, 1991. In 1986, Mr. Matthews and his wife Doris began making woodcrafts in their wood shop and displaying them in several different cities across the state such as the Claybank Jamboree in Ozark. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Doris Amanda Peters Matthews; one brother, Comer Matthews; and three sisters, Grace Cobb, Irene Mallory, and Gladys Stanford.
He is survived by his beloved daughter, Amanda Matthews of Panama City, Florida; nieces, Patricia Nan Kemp, Linda Vitito, Sue Hetrick; and nephews, Allen Matthews and Elbert Matthews.
Flowers will be accepted or memorials may be made to Angel House Bereavement Center, 1015 Grace Avenue -Unit C, Panama City, Florida 32401.