Tifton Gazette


June 12, 2014

Grady Lee Mathews Sr.

TIFTON — Grady Lee Mathews Sr., 75, left this earth to be with his Heavenly Father Wednesday, June 11, 2014, at his residence. He had been a resident of Tifton since 1975. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday in the sanctuary of Tifton's First Baptist Church. The Rev. Joseph L. Crumley and Dr. Jackie Sammons will officiate. Mr. Mathews will be laid to rest at Oak Ridge Cemetery. William "Bill" Johnson, Gene Googe, Wayne Matthews, Don Purgason, Harold Abbott, Gene Seigler and Vincent Funk will serve as pallbearers. Honorary pallbearers will be members of the BOCH Sunday school class and the Adult III Sunday school department of Tifton's First Baptist Church. The family will receive friends from 6 until 8 p.m. today in the chapel of Bowen-Donaldson Home for Funerals.

Mr. Mathews was born July 4, 1938 in Douglas, a younger son of Charles Alfred and Annie Mae Hursey Mathews, both deceased.  He was also preceded in death by three sisters, Charlene Mathews, Delouise Parramore and Ann Collier. He attended Coffee County schools and graduated in 1958. In 1959, he married his high school sweetheart, Wanda Marie Joyce of the Hebron Community in Coffee County.

Grady retired in December 2003. He had worked with Harvey's Supermarket for almost 16 years, working as Produce Manager for seven years and as Store Manager for seven years. His last 30 years were spent in general sales and the concrete business, from which he retired in 2003.  After retirement, Grady enjoyed fishing daily, sharing his catch with friends and having lots of fish fries. After a year of retirement, he gained part-time employment at Bowen-Donaldson Home for Funerals for approximately 10 years, until health problems forced permanent retirement.

Grady's volunteer work consisted of Hospice of Tiftarea, former member of Rehoboth 1-F Unit of the Georgia Baptist Disaster Relief and the I-75 ministries at Tifton's First Baptist Church. He enjoyed working in his yard; day lilies were his delight and he shared the bounty of his plants with family, friends and neighbors. He was also a member of the Junior Chamber of Commerce. He was a deacon of Southside Baptist Church in Blakely and Northside Baptist Church in Tifton.

Grady is survived by his wife of 55 years, Wanda Marie Joyce Mathews of Tifton; his daughter and son-in-law, Jan and Keith Jones of Blairsville; his son and daughter-in-law, Lee and Mona Mathews of Tifton; one brother and sister-in-law, George Franklin and Glenda Mathews of Goose Creek, S.C.; and a brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Marshall and Josephine Joyce of Berrien County. Grady has five grandchildren, Shelley Jones Zeigler and husband, Johnathan Zeigler, Kyle Jones and Jessica Jones, all of Blairsville, and Josh and Leah Lamb of Tifton. He also has two wonderful, great-grandchildren, Kahlilah Zeigler of Blairsville and Ethan Lamb of Ringgold. Survivors also include an aunt, Weta Fales of Hazlehurst and an uncle, Elijah Hursey of Douglas. Nieces and nephews remaining are Sylvia and Roy McWilliams, Ashley and Kristie Vickers, Mike and Pam Collier, all of Tifton, Monica and Mike Keen of Goose Creek, S.C. and Van and Brenda Mathews of Richmond Hills, Texas.

Flowers will be accepted or memorial gifts be made to Mountain Area Christian Academy, 14090 Old Highway 76, Morganton, GA 30560-3464.

Condolences may be sent to the family at the online guest registry at www.bowen-donaldson.com. Services for the Mathews family are under the care and direction of Bowen-Donaldson Home for Funerals.

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John Gamble (right) is joined by John Reid at the Tiftarea YMCA Saturday.

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