ATHENS- John H. “Jack” Matthews, age 88, of Athens, died Thursday morning, Nov. 28, 2013 at his home. He was an American novelist, short story writer, essayist, playwright and Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Creative Writing at Ohio University. He published seven novels, seven collections of short stories, a novella and eight volumes of essays. He was an avid book collector, and many of his book finds served as a basis for his essays and the historical topics he explored in his fiction. He was also the recipient of numerous literary and professional awards.
He was born July 22, 1925, in Columbus, the son of the late John H. & Lulu Grover Matthews. He received his B.A. in classics and English and his M.A. in English from The Ohio State University. He was a U.S. Coast Guard veteran of World War II serving aboard the Cutter Maclaine in the Northern Pacific Theatre on anti-submarine patrol out of Sitka and Juneau, Alaska. He was a member of the Athens Rotary Club, where he was a Paul Harris Fellow, and the Aldus Society.
Jack is survived by his loving wife of 66 years, Barbara Jane Reese Matthews; his children- Cynthia Ann Warnock, married to Wyman Warnock of Dacula, Ga., Barbara-Ellen Matthews-Saunders, married to John Saunders of Chesterhill and John Matthews, married to Cathy Hart Matthews of Lore City; seven grandchildren- Jed (Lori) Warnock, Casey (Kelley) Warnock, Catherine Warnock, Smith (Natalie) Weir, Eric (Sarah) Platt, Jack (Lindsay) Matthews and Clay Matthew and his fiancé Casey Passen; six great grandchildren- Brandon, Ansley, Hailey & Peyton Warnock and Aidan & Noah Weir.
Besides his parents he is preceded in death by a sister, Dorothy Matthews Donahue.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, Dec. 7th at 2 p.m. at Jagers & Sons Funeral Home, Athens, with Pastor Lynn Miller officiating. Friends may call Saturday noon until time of service. Military rites will be conducted at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in Jack’s memory to the Athens Rotary Club, P.O. Box 681, Athens, Ohio 45701. Please share a memory, a note of condolence or sign the online register book at www.jagersfuneralhome.com.