SONOMA, Calif. -- Mary L. Matthews, 78, of Sonoma, Calif., passed away quietly on the morning of March 19, 2007. Mary had suffered two strokes in recent weeks -- the first at home and the second while hospitalized. The family sincerely appreciates the tender and loving care she received from our local hospital.
Mary was born in Red Willow County, Neb., to L.L. and Jeanette May Ballou and was a descendant of a long line of pioneering farmers. Mary was a pioneer in other ways, having an independent spirit, an open mind and a tolerant temperament.
She graduated from McCook Junior College, the first member of her family to do so, at a time when women were not encouraged to pursue their education. She had a long career with the United States Federal Bureau of Reclamation, where she was a financial manager.
She raised four children while working full-time. Her job transfers took her from Nebraska to Colorado, to North Dakota and then back to Colorado, where she retired in 1989.
When her husband of 30 years, Bernard Matthews, retired in 1990, together they began their great adventure and passion of traveling the world. Their destinations included Ireland, Italy, Germany, Spain, Scotland, Morocco and Malta with frequent trips throughout the Midwest to visit their many children and grandchildren.
Mary and Bernard moved to Sonoma in 1997, and she enjoyed the community, the parades and farmers' markets, the climate and making new friends. Mary loved people and they loved her back. She was an excellent storyteller and a fabulous listener, too. She loved animals of all kinds, the story of genealogy, garage sales and she really got a kick out of the California quail which populated her home Temelec. While gardening, cooking, baking and reading brought joy to her life, Mary was most happy when surrounded by her family.
She is survived by her loving husband of 30 years, Bernard Matthews; her only sibling, Bud Ballou of Ord, Neb.; her four children and their spouses -- Pat and Norm Brown of Sonoma; John and Tamie Pew of Lincoln, Neb.; Carol and Mark Zaitz of Denver, Colo.; and Richard W. Pew of Denver. Mary is also survived by her grandchildren, Jeremy, Kelly, Sam, Kashoan, Shanae and Caleb; and her great-grandchildren, Kalen and Korby -- who all loved to hear her stories over and over again.
A great soul has left us behind, but her memory blesses us daily. We were all so lucky to have her in our lives.
We invite friends and family to a celebration of her life on Saturday, April 14, 2007, at 11 a.m., at Temelec Hall, 220 Temelec Circle in the Sonoma Valley Community of Temelec. Lunch will be provided.
Memorial contributions may be made to Pets Lifeline, 19686 Eighth St. E., Sonoma, CA 95476; Sonoma Valley Meals on Wheels of Sonoma. PO Box 622, Sonoma, CA 95476; or to FISH (Friends in Sonoma Helping), PO Box 507, Sonoma, CA 95476.
Cremation by Mission Cremation Service under the direction of Duggan's Mission Chapel.