ROSSVILLE – Lawrence E. "Larry" Matthews, 80, passed away on Sunday (Oct. 7, 2012) at home after a long illness.
Lawrence was the son of Charles W. and Ethel Yeazel Matthews. His mother, Ethel, died when he was 9 days old. His grandparents, John and Dora Williamson Matthews, took him to raise until he was 14. He then went to live with Opal and Clara Matthews Jackson, his uncle and aunt, until he married Ardith Stephenson on June 3, 1951.
Larry worked as a hired hand, and then worked for Vermilion Service Co. In 1957, he had an opportunity to farm with his father. He farmed for 41 years and retired in 1998.
A farming enthusiast, he enjoyed reading farm magazines, collecting toy tractors and attending auctions. He and his wife lived in Oakwood for over 15 years, where he was an active member of the Lone Oak Church of Christ.
Larry missed living on the farm, and in 2011, he and Ardith decided to move back to Rossville to live with their son and grandchildren. His fondness for his homestead was a driving force in his life, and in his heart and mind, he shared the sentiments of George Washington: "I had rather be on my farm than be emperor of the world."
His grandchildren delighted in living with and learning from Larry, who was an ever-present and gracious teacher of life's most important lessons.
He was preceded in death by his parents; siblings, John, Howard and Margaret Hughes; and daughter, Jan.
He is survived by his wife, Ardith; his sister, Eileen (Charles); his son, Bruce (Kari); and three grandchildren, Samuel, Daniel and Mary Audrey.
Visitation will be from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 12, at Wolfe-Blurton Funeral Home in Hoopeston.
Funeral services will be at 7 p.m. Friday at Wolfe-Blurton Funeral Home with Charles Strange of the Lone Oak Church of Christ officiating. Burial will be in Manns Chapel Cemetery.
Memorials may be made in Larry's name to the Lone Oak Church of Christ. Condolences may be sent to the family at www.wolfeblurtonfuneralhome.com .