HURON — Paul Richard Matthes, 85, passed away in his Huron home, Wednesday following a courageous battle with cancer. He was surrounded by his children and his hospice caregivers.
Paul was born May 6, 1924, in Mansfield to Waldo and Marguerite (Dillon) Matthes. Upon his graduation from Mansfield Senior High in January 1943, he joined the Army. In a battle in France later that same year he was injured, earning a Purple Heart. The result of this injuring eventually took his sight. Paul never let his blindness define his life. He married Elaine Miller in 1947, they were married 51 years before her passing in 1998. Paul worked at Barnes Pumping in Mansfield for several years, after losing his job when the line moved to another area, Paul studied piano tuning. He tuned pianos in the Mansfield area for many years. He also restored player pianos; bringing many dilapidated pianos back to life. Paul had many hobbies. He enjoyed woodworking, building furniture and toys for his grandchildren, wood carving, working with copper and tin. He loved music. He and Elaine loved to dance they were members of the Pandora Dance Club in Mansfield. He was a former member of the Masons, a member of the American Legion Post 0083 and of the Huron Eagles. He especially enjoyed playing his harmonica. He could be encouraged to jam with his lifelong friend, Earl Turner (dec.) to the delight of their families. Paul loved animals. He was close to his “seeing eye” dog, and raised quarter horses. Enjoying the foals each year as well as riding. He loved to fish, a sport he shared with his children and grandchildren. You would always find a radio near Paul so he could keep tabs on all his sport teams. Whether it was the Indians or Reds, Ohio State football or basketball, or the local high teams he followed them all and loved to talk sports. He enjoyed life to the fullest, but nothing gave him more happiness than his grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He shared many laughs with them as they told their stories and listened to his. Paul and Elaine lived many places, they had homes in Mansfield and Lexington, moving to Apple Valley/Mount Vernon in 1977. They also had a home in Bonita Beach, Fla., they enjoyed six months a year. In 1991, they moved to Huron to be near family.
He is survived by his son, Gregg (Carol) Matthes of Berlin Heights; daughter, Gail (Howard) Nauman of Mount Vernon; grandchildren, Jill (Chris) Reiter, Amy (Joe) Okasinski, Joy (Nate) Kurko, Allan Matthes, Benjamin and Emily Nauman; great-grandchildren, Audrey, Zachary, Katherine Reiter, Logan and Elizabeth Okasinski and Adaline Kurko; nieces, Kay (Larry) Bachelder and Susan Spayde; and several great-nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; wife; and a sister, Eileen Brubaker.
Friends may call Saturday from noon until 2 p.m. at the Morman-Hinman-Tanner Funeral Home, 38 South Street, Berlin Heights. Memorial services with military rites will be held at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Heartland Hospice, Ste 610, 4807 Rockside Road, Independence, OH 44131. Online condolences can be made at www.mormanfh.com.