Richard Patrick Mathew passed away on June 26, 2019, at the age of 88. He was born on a small farm in Smith County Kansas, on October 21, 1930, to Cecil Mathew and Loretta (Gouldie)-Mathew. He learned to work with horses and do farms chores at a very early age. He was a skilled rider and was often seen galloping down the country roads standing upright on his Shetland ponies bare back. Sadly, his father died when he was nine years old and shortly thereafter, the farm’s hired man was drafted into military service. Richard, already familiar with working hard, took over the farm hand’s duties. In 1943, the family moved to Bellaire Kansas. In 1950 they moved to Hays Kansas, where he joined the Kansas National Guard a few days before his 20th birthday. In 1954, the urge to “go west young man” overtook him and he moved to Steamboat Springs Colorado where he worked for a short time at the local ski resort as a cook, a trade he learned while going to high school. Later that year, he moved to The Dalles, Oregon to work as a carpenter and welder building The Dalles Dam. A bit of a workaholic, he often held several jobs, including selling shoes at Williams clothing store and working as a short order cook at Johnny’s Café in downtown The Dalles. He transferred to the Oregon National Guard and continued to serve, retiring with over 23 years combined military service. Upon the dam’s completion in 1956, he went to work for the Oregon Highway Department maintenance crew. For the next several years, Richard was a “swinging bachelor.” His vine broke on November 15, 1963, when he married Pat Cox-Krause and immediately became a full time father for her 3 children ages 11, 9 and 7.
He was a wonderful husband and loving father. The family would spend summers water skiing on the Columbia and camping throughout Oregon with annual trips to Puget Sound for gathering clams and oysters. Every summer they would spend a couple long weekends at Fort Stevens State Park to dig razor clams and play in the ocean. He was an avid hunter and fisherman and looked forward to his annual deer and elk hunting trips and especially loved deep sea fishing for salmon and halibut. He was an amazing cook, soup and chili “enough to feed an army” were his specialty. He was also a master on the gas grill.
In 1972, then Governor Tom McCall and the Oregon Legislature decided to remove over 10,000 roadside advertising billboards. Richard, who was now the ODOT regional sign foreman, was promoted and moved to Salem to work as the Assistant Sign Permits Supervisor. In 1978, he became the ODOT Sign Permits Supervisor. He wasn’t very well liked by the outdoor advertising companies that were forced to remove their now illegal roadside advertising. Richard retired from ODOT in June 1986 with 30 years of service. He and Pat moved back to The Dalles and bought a 300 acre farm and began raising Arabian horses, goats, sheep and chickens. He and Pat worked on Habitat for Humanity projects. They also traveled to Belize to work with some friends in the Peace Corp. Richard and Pat loved to dance. They also loved to hop in their truck with their fifth wheel trailer in tow and take off to unexplored regions of the country. They visited every state at least once.
In 1996, Richard and Pat along with their horses, goats, mule, chickens and dogs moved back to the Willamette Valley to be closer to their children and grandchildren.
Richard was a quiet and kind man with a strength and persistence that carried him far in life. He was witty, funny and compassionate. He liked people and people liked him. With his quiet warmth and personal interest, he developed friendships wherever he went.
He is survived by his wife Pat; his 3 step-children Ruby Haskell, Rick Krause (Shelly Ellingson) and Ron Krause (Vernona); grandchildren LeAnne, Robert, Brittney, Ryan, Shawna, Jason and Georgia; and 11 great grandchildren, Jordan, Andrew, Tyler, Tristen, Zoe, Lily, Jared, Chase, Lexi, Kaley, and Drew and 2 great-great grandchildren, Liam and Arlen.
He remained close to his family in Kansas throughout his life. He is also survived by his sister’s children, Joelle Alsheimer, Curtis McCall, Joni Bellerive, Shawn McCall, Patricia Dunlap and Shane McCall.
Richard is preceded in death by his parents Cecil and Loretta (Gouldie) Mathew, his step-father, Lloyd Lala, his sister Elaine McCall, son in law Lindsey Haskell and an older stillborn sibling.
At his request no public services will be held. Please sign his guestbook https://www.dignitymemorial.com/obituaries/salem-or/richard-mathew-8761493