American Patriotic 10

James Edward Matherley

January 27, 1936 ~ November 20, 2022 (age 86) 86 Years Old
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James Edward Matherley, aged 86, beloved husband, father, brother, and Papa passed away at home in Burton, Michigan on November 20th, 2022. He is remembered with love for his humble wisdom, earnest character, generous spirit, quiet wit, and his enduring love for his family, especially his wife, Bettye Jo. James was born on January 27th, 1936 in Princewick, West Virginia to parents Opie and Marie Matherley. He grew up on what he called a happy street full a love, surrounded by family. Although he left West Virgina shortly after high school he always held the wild and wonderful state close to his heart. On May 28, 1955 he married his high-school sweetheart and best friend, Bettye Jo. He always said it was love at first sight (at least for him, he’d joke). The two went on to celebrate 61 devoted years of marriage before her passing in 2016. His love and admiration for her never faded. The two spent their newlywed years traveling while he served in the Navy. During his eight years of service they lived in Virginia, Texas, Louisiana, and Florida and also proudly welcomed their two beloved daughters, Vickie and Terri. After serving, James took a job with A.C. Spark Plug and settled with his young family in Burton, Michigan. He was the kind of man that never complained and could always be counted on—especially to hold his girls’ shopping bags and pull the car around during one of their shop-til-you-drop sprees. To have known him was to know of his passion for running (and baseball caps, plaid shirts, and well-worn running shoes). He never set out to be a competitive runner, however, when his high school football coach recommended he pick up jogging in the off-season, he quickly caught the bug. He stopped competing after high school and didn’t enter another race until his early 50s. He said being back at it gave him a shot of confidence and there was nothing better than seeing his bright smile after a run. He quickly became a fixture on the Michigan race circuit, often topping his age bracket, for the next 20 years. After he hung up his running shoes, he became another fixture—around the neighborhood— on his daily walks with his treasured pup, Lily. Together they would check in on the neighbors and lend a helpful hand wherever he could, even in his final days. Because that is just who he was—and exactly why he was adored by all who had the good fortune of knowing him. James is survived by his daughter, Vicki Shoesmith (Glenn), his sister, Shirley Ingole (Roger) as well as four grandchildren: Brandon Perry (Chelsea) , Andrea Littell (Harrison), Melissa Stinson (John), and Adam Bailey (Brie). He is also survived by nine great-grandchildren: Christopher, Dolores, Benaiah, Gideon, James, Jack, Conner, Olivianna, and Rowan. He was preceded in death by his wife, Bettye, his daughter, Terri, his great grandchildren, Franky James and Shiloh, his siblings, Shelvia Kidd, Darrell Matherly, Rick Matherly, his parents, Opie and Marie Matherly. A private memorial for immediate family will be held at Great Lakes National Cemetery in Holly, Michigan. A second memorial will be held in the spring at his family’s cemetery in Princewick, West Virgina. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to your local humane society in his memory.

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