Charles Matthews, Jr. died on the morning of Friday, February 24, 2023 after a 2-year battle with leukemia. He was 82. Born in North Carolina on January 12, 1941, Charles was the son of Charles Matthews, an army officer, and Pansey Kimble Matthews, a schoolteacher. Raised all over the southern United States and Europe during the 1940s and 50s, his experience with the aftermath of war and injustice at home informed the rest of his life. He entered UTEP in the fall of 1960 and studied history, working for Raytheon and other scientific research companies in Texas, New Mexico and Colorado during his 20's. After graduation in 1976, he purchased a beloved two-acre plot of land in Albuquerque, NM where he lived the rest of his days.
In 1986 he married Linda Salazar of Albuquerque. In his 82 years he opened his home to countless stray pets and friends of his children who needed a place to stay. Charles' life was marked by unfailing generosity and uncommon kindness. He would give from his poverty, always quick to offer kind words of encouragement with a dash of humor. He was an avid model railroader, supreme home gardener, and 15-year member of the US Air Force Auxiliary, where he attained the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
A thirst for knowledge drew him back to college in his 70s, leaving him 2 courses shy of a BA in political science at UNM. Nevertheless, he attended class with great zeal. He loved his family and his pets with gentleness of spirit. Charles built a home worn with love and abundant in cheer, ever optimistic even in the direst circumstances. Seldom seen without a Coca-Cola in hand, with a television humming in the background, Charles was a calming force to all who knew him, who persisted through cancer with a positive attitude he credited with his long survival.
Charles is survived by his wife, Linda; son, Charles III and daughter-in-law, Lisa, granddaughters, Maria and Amelia of Tucson, AZ; sons, Johnny Ray Edward and Roberto of Albuquerque, NM; daughter, Terresa Salazar, granddaughter, Leondra, great-granddaughters, Leilani and Laila and her partner, Marty of Scottsdale, AZ; nephew, Tino Salazar; and son, Frank Chavez of Glendale, AZ; brother John of El Paso, TX and Gene of Plano, TX. and grandchildren Isaac, Caleb and Vanessa.
The family would like to thank the hematology/oncology service at Presbyterian for helping him in his fight while listening to his stories as well as the nurses and staff at Presbyterian Hospital for their care and attention in his last days.
Funeral services will be held Tuesday, March 21, 2023, 10:00 a.m., at The Cathedral of St. John, 318 Silver Ave. SW. Rest easy Dad and say hello to the dogs for us.