Donald Hoover Mathes passed away peacefully into heaven on November 7, 2018, at the age of 89. Donald had made it clear to his family that he was not afraid of dying because he knew and trusted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior.
He was born February 27, 1929 in Coleman Texas to Donald Edgar Mathes and Anna Marie Shepherd Mathes. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his spouse, Patricia Marie Mathes and sister, Margaret Mathes Basquez. He is survived by his three children Donald Duncan Mathes and daughter-in- law Jennifer Mathes of Charlottesville, Virginia; Patricia G. Mathes of Dallas, Texas; Charles Allan Mathes and daughter-in-law Marti Mathes of Houston, Texas. He is also survived by nine grandchildren including Jonathan, Abigail, Daniel, and Megan Mathes of Charlottesville, Virginia; Ashley, John Anthony, and Julianna Burnett of Dallas, Texas; Alexander and Christopher Mathes of Houston, Texas.
Donald was raised predominately in Houston, Texas, but lived in multiple locations before and during World War II while his father served in the army as a tank battalion commander in Europe. He graduated from Rice University in 1951 with a degree in mechanical engineering. He met Patricia Marie Golden while at Rice and they married in 1954. He spent seven years working for Aramco in Saudi Arabia before returning to Dallas, Texas and working in the aerospace industry. He was involved in the development and production of various military jets used during the Vietnam War, including the A-7 Corsair II and F-8 Crusader. Donald also was actively involved with the Dallas Police Reserve. At the end of the Vietnam War, he switched back to the petroleum industry, eventually moving to Norway to work for Stat Oil for 15 years. He retired in 1997 and returned to Coleman, Texas. After a major stroke in 2013, he moved to Charlottesville, Virginia to be under the care of his family.
Donald will be remembered for being kind hearted and for his multiple stories of family history and adventures, including riding his Vincent Black Shadow motorcycle straight through and all night from Staunton, Virginia to Houston and riding his motorcycle across the Arabian Desert. He was a member of the Sons of the American Revolution and a direct descendant of Stephen Hopkins who both helped establish the Jamestown Colony and then returned to England and brought his family back to America on the Mayflower.
A graveside service for Don will be held on 2:00 p.m. December 1, 2018 at the Coleman City Cemetery Pavilion. All are welcome to attend. Services are under the direction of Stevens Funeral Home, Coleman.
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