William Bryce “Bill” Matthews, Sr. of Orange passed away peacefully in his sleep Dec. 29, at 7:50 am. His son and daughter-in-law were at his bedside.

The funeral service will be held at 1:00 pm, Friday, Jan. 2, in the chapel of Claybar Funeral Home in Orange. Interment will follow the service at Orange Forest Lawn Cemetery in West Orange. Preceding the funeral, the family will receive friends for visitation at the funeral home beginning at 11:00 am, Friday. 

Bill was born April 9, 1927 to Louis and Mamie Matthews in Houston. In 1930, the family moved to Nacogdoches County. Bill attended Nacogdoches County schools and after his father died in 1941, the family moved to Orange, where he graduated from Stark High School in 1944. He was a veteran of the U.S. Navy with a brief tour of duty in the Western Pacific and several years of reserve service thereafter. Following his discharge, he was employed by DuPont in Orange, and retired after more than 39 years with the company.

In 1948, he met the love of his life, Margaret Hazlewood. They were married May 20, 1950. Their son, Bryce was born July 9, 1956. After Margaret died Nov. 27, 1992, Bill married Jo Ann Smith on April 30, 1994. They were married until Jo Ann died on A. 5, 2012.

Bill was a devoted member of First Baptist Church in Orange for over 50 years. He and Jo Ann were then charter members of the recently established Trinity Baptist Church in Orange where they were both active until their deaths. They, along with other local couples, worked with the Volunteer Christian Builders organization for some time and were involved in several church building projects across the country. He was a great problem solver, was innovative, and was always eager to help others in need. He had a very full life, and especially enjoyed hunting, fishing, boating, photography, and traveling around the country in his RV.

Bill was preceded in death by his parents, one brother, two sisters, his first wife Margaret and his late wife, Jo Ann.

He is survived by his son, Bryce and wife Marilyn; grandson Matt; two great granddaughters Mattilyn and Felicity; great grandson, Walker Cash Matthews; sister Mildred White and numerous nieces and nephews.

Serving as pallbearers will be Dickey Hazlewood, Randy Hazlewood, Preston Nichols, Willie Morgan, Jerry Hughes, Tommy Lester, and Dan Mohon. Honorary pallbearers will be the Men’s Sunday School class at Trinity Baptist Church.

The family would like to extend a very special thanks to the doctors and their staffs for the excellent care and support they provided over the last year: Dr. Joseph Denton Harris of Southeast Texas Urology Associates, Beaumont; Dr. Timothy K. Colgan of Advanced Cardiovascular Specialists, Beaumont and Dr. Richard W. Smalling of UT Cardiovascular Medicine, Houston. Also, thank you to Oak Village Healthcare and Altus Hospice, both of Lake Jackson.