Ronald Jack Matthews, 74 years of age, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, May 19, 2021, at McLeod Hospice House in Florence, South Carolina.
He was born November 5, 1946 in Charleston, South Carolina to the late J.C. and Mary Jane Anderson Matthews. He was a 1966 graduate of J.C. Lynch High School in Coward, SC. Ronald proudly served in the U.S. Army in Vietnam from 1967 – 1968.
Ronald married his high school sweetheart, Linda Lee of Coward, SC on June 5, 1970, and two children, Roxanne and Chad, were born from this union.
He retired from the salvage yard business, in which he worked for his beloved father in law, the late Wilbur James (W.J.) Lee of Coward, SC, who was like a father to him.
He was a loving husband, father, brother, and friend to all. Ronald was known for his patience and generosity. He cared and provided for his family and friends beyond measure; no one ever wanted for anything.
Ronald wholeheartedly loved his wife, whom he lovingly referred to as “Luce” (for Linda Lucy), and adored her cheeseburgers, cakes, and country cooking. He appreciated her outgoing personality (there was enough in her for the both of them), as he was a man of few words. He was proud of Roxanne’s success in her career, marriage and motherhood, and lovingly referred to her as “his little girl,” even after she crossed the 40-year-old threshold. Chad was his best buddy; they enjoyed hours of heart-to-heart conversations on the golf course, in the truck, and in front of the TV. Chad was more than just a son; he was his best friend. Ronald loved his son-in-law, David, and was more than happy to give him Roxanne’s hand in marriage, with a hearty thank you for getting her off his payroll. His only grandchild, Conner Jack (Ronald’s namesake), brought him many smiles, especially on their fishing excursions at the pond, where Conner appeared to enjoy playing with the night crawlers more than actual fishing. He also enjoyed pulling Conner in a Radio Flyer wagon behind his John Deere lawnmower. Ronald enjoyed fishing trips to Florida with his siblings Glenn, Barbara and Rose, from which legendary fishing tales abound. He also adored his faithful companion, a miniature dachshund, Mr. Bojangles, who was constantly by his side and helped him heal from many health issues.
Ronald loved to fish, and won multiple Bass Masters tournaments, which have been memorialized in Florence Morning News clippings he clipped and laminated. He also loved to golf, and enjoyed many competitive rounds on the links with Chad. Ronald remained competitive to the end, even recently calling a round short to go home to “rest,” although we have a sneaking suspicion it was because Chad was playing so well.
His family has wonderful memories of many summers spent at Santee, where he taught everyone to swim, ski, and fish. He was happiest on the water in his boat, of which there were many over the years.
Ronald was a natty dresser with an enviable closet (many clothes still new with tags), and he loved to plant a huge garden each summer, including corn, butter beans, squash, okra, tomatoes, string beans, and peas.
In his later years, he developed a love for birds, especially hummingbirds. He would spend hours in the sunroom watching over the bird feeders he had placed around the yard.
Ronald was a cheerful giver, and served as church deacon for over 30 years. He taught his children that no one was better than anyone else, and believed every person has value. He stressed the importance of hard work, honesty, and family first. His favorite saying was, “every day is a good day; some are just better than others.”
Ronald courageously battled many serious medical issues over the years, and is now free from pain and suffering.
Ronald is survived by his devoted and loving wife, Linda; daughter, Roxanne M. Ancheta (David); son, Chad Wayne Matthews; a grandson, Conner Jack Ancheta; three siblings, Glenn Matthews, Barbara Sauls and Rose Kinsey; and many cousins.
A graveside service will be held Friday, May 21, 2021 at 10:00 AM at Elim Baptist Church Cemetery, 1303 Olanta Hwy., Effingham, SC. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in memory of Ronald J. Matthews to the McLeod Hospice House at McLeod Foundation c/o McLeod Hospice, P.O. Box 100551, Florence, SC 29502. The family is grateful to the entire staff at McLeod Hospice House who provided Ronald peace and comfort in his final days.
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