Bill Mathews, age 74, of Oak Hill, passed at home on Wednesday, May 26, 2021. He was born in Orlando to Nellie Ruth Perry and William Franklin Mathews II and had been a lifelong Central Florida resident.
Bill was a 1965 graduate of Edgewater High School in Orlando. After high school, Bill enlisted in the United States Air Force as an Aircraft Fuel Systems Specialist and was a Vietnam veteran. Prior to his departure for Vietnam, he was engaged to Lana Harrison, a high school classmate. He wrote a letter to her everyday in 1968, they married in 1969. Bill graduated from FTU (now UCF) with a degree in business. They went on to have two daughters Lisa and Melinda.
For over 30 years, Bill and his brother John were the owners of JB Mathews Company, a nationally recognized garage door business. Their management grew the business and to this day a subsidiary of the company is owned and operated by his nephews.
In his spare time, Bill enjoyed everything outdoors. His gardens were impressive and he loved to share his harvest. You would often find him on the back of his John Deere tractor mowing, planting, or just riding around.
As an outdoorsman, he was passionate about fishing his entire life, he was one of the founding members of Central Florida Offshore Anglers (CFOA). An outstanding offshore fisherman, he won many tournaments and awards, often competing with his oldest daughter Lisa. When not fishing, Bill spent many hours at the Deseret Ranch. He maintained a hunting camp for over 20 years and shared his love of hunting and guns with his youngest daughter Melinda. His love of the outdoors fostered many strong friendships. He enjoyed great camaraderie over campfires, on horseback, walking fields, in a boat or on the beach.
Survivors include his wife of 52 years, Lana; 2 daughters, Lisa (Matthew) Soep of Groveland, Massachusetts and Melinda (Anthony) Rizzo of Geneva, Florida; 6 grandchildren, Harrison, Luke, Hunter, and Melissa Soep; and Samantha and Ryan Rizzo; sister Mary Mathews (Don) Leonard of Huntsville, Alabama; and brother, John (Debbie) Mathews of Tavares, Florida. Bill was preceded in death by his parents and his sister, Susan Mathews Hough.
Memorial services will be 10:30 a.m. Thursday, June 17, 2021, with military honors at Cape Canaveral National Cemetery, Mims, with Rodger Connor, officiating.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to the Ronald McDonald House, 2201 Alden Road, Orlando, FL 32803.
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