Bernard Wayne Mathews. 79
Bernard Wayne Mathews, affectionately known as Bernie, died Friday, June 30, 2023, at Linn Haven Rehab & Healthcare in New Hampton.
He was born on Feb. 19, 1944, in Vancouver, Washington, the son of Christopher and Margaret (Slifka) Mathews.
A Celebration of Life will be held Sunday, Aug. 6, 2023, from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Chickasaw Event Center in New Hampton.
The interment will be at a later date.
Hugeback-Johnson Funeral Home and Crematory in New Hampton has been entrusted with arrangements. Online condolences for the Mathews family may be left at www.hugebackfuneralhome.com.
Bernie spent his formative years in Cresco, where he embraced the joys of small-town life and cultivated his love for hard work and community. A proud graduate of Notre Dame High School in Cresco in 1962, he immediately embarked on a path of service and dedication, working for the Street Department for the city of Cresco.
In 1965, Bernie’s life took a turn when he met and married Sharon Lowe of New Hampton. Their union was blessed with four children — Kim, Sheila, Chris, and Danny, who filled their lives with laughter, love, and unforgettable memories. Despite their eventual divorce, the bond they shared as parents remained strong.
Bernie’s industrious spirit led him to the John Deere Tractor Works in Waterloo, where he started working in 1965. For 30 years, he poured his heart and soul into his work, earning the respect and admiration of his colleagues. His dedication and commitment were a testament to his character, and he retired in 1995 with a legacy of excellence and integrity.
On May 19, 1995, Bernie embarked on a new chapter in his life, marrying Sandra Reicks at the Little Brown Church in Nashua.
They made their home in New Hampton, where they shared a life filled with joy, love, and shared passions. Bernie’s adventurous spirit found a perfect outlet in fishing, classic cars, and truck pulling with his sons. The couple’s 1962 Chevy Monte Carlo, a treasured purchase, became a familiar sight as they cruised around town, embodying their love for adventure and each other.
Described as handy, adventurous, and analytical, Bernie was a man who embraced life to the fullest. He had a knack for fixing things, a testament to his handy skills that were invaluable to his family and friends. His adventurous nature led him to explore new experiences, while his analytical mind helped him navigate the complexities of life with grace and wisdom.
In every aspect of his life, Bernie Mathews was a symbol of strength, resilience, and unwavering love. His legacy will continue to inspire those who knew him, reminding them of the power of hard work, the importance of family, and the joy of living life to the fullest. He will be deeply missed by his family, friends, and all those whose lives were touched by his presence.
Survivors include his wife, Sandra; two daughters, Kim (Dan Beach) Mathews and Sheila (John Milliron) Ross; two sons, Chris (Kari) Mathews and Danny (Jessie) Mathews; nine grandchildren, Paige (Jeremy) Greene, Evan (Josh Brannen) Shares, Nichole Schmidt, Cody Schmidt, Ashlee (Tucker) Cooper, Lexi Ross, Levi Mathews, Zeb Mathews and Danica Mathews; seven great-grandchildren; brother, Eddie (Karen Heier) Mathews; sisters, Pat (Bob) Gallager; brothers-in-law, Dave (Faye Kozelka) Reicks and Dean Reicks; sisters-in-law, Pat Ahern, Barb (Dave) Schmauss, Lori (Dave Goodell) Reicks, Sharon (Bob Cox) Reicks and Debbie Reicks; many nieces and nephews; his former wife, Sharon Rowe; and his good dog, Sadie.
He was preceded in death by his parents and his in-laws, Denny (Katy) Reicks, Bill (Sandy) Reicks, Mike Reicks, Al Reicks and Mark Ahern.