Jack Matheis had a kind and gentle spirit and to his final days continued to affirm God's faithfulness and grace to him and his family. Jack, 99, died Sept. 6.
Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, Jack enlisted in the Army Air Forces at the age of 18 and trained to be a navigator on a B-24 bomber. On his 27th mission, just after being promoted to the lead plane, they were hit by enemy fire. Despite being injured, Jack navigated his squadron safely back to their home base in southern Italy. He subsequently received the Distinguished Flying Cross, Silver Star, and Purple Heart awards.
After being honorably discharged in 1943, Jack went on to study at and graduate from Calvin College (now University) and Seminary. He was ordained in 1955 and served Faith Christian Fellowship, Everson, Wash.; Hope Christian Reformed Church, Hull, Iowa; and First CRC, Edmonton, Alta. For the next 17 years he taught Bible, Church History and Reformed doctrine at two schools in Washington state—Lynden Christian High School and Bellevue Christian High School. He retired in 1986.
Jack had many hobbies. He was a semi-professional artist whose paintings hang in many homes. He was an avid reader and writer who authored two books of fiction. He loved chocolate, salmon, French toast, a glass of wine, a Wendy's Frosty (dairy dessert), and a good cup of coffee. He enjoyed watching sports with family.
Jack was predeceased 10 years ago by Jean, his wife of 68 years. He was also predeceased by two sons and two grandchildren. He is survived by five children and their spouses, 11 grandchildren, 13 great-grandchildren, and two great-great-grandchildren.