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Robert Leon Mathews Sr.

Updated: Dec 27, 2023

06-12-1941 to 12/14/2023

Robert Leon Mathews Sr. was born June 12, 1941, in Knoxville, Tennessee. Most who knew him referred to him as “Sonny” or “Sonny Boy”. He graduated from Austin High School and soon after high school, he enlisted in the Army and served as an Infantryman with the 2nd Infantry Division.


During his tour in the Army, he gained an interest in engineering. After his enlistment, he entered an apprenticeship through the University of Tennessee as a mechanical engineer for Y-12 National Security Complex (NSC). He completed the program and had a successful career with Y-12 NSC retiring after 34 years of service.


Robert married Jewell Parker on August 26, 1964. Together, they have four children: Lydia, Robert Jr.(deceased), Darrell, and Charles (Chucky).


Outside of his family and occupation, Robert was active in several organizations to include the American Legion and the Elks Lodge. Robert was a honored member of the Tennessee Valley James E. Derrick Lodge #1152. He served in many elected positions such as Esquire, House Chairman, and Grand Exalted Ruler of the I.B.P.O. Elks of the World Conference in Atlanta 2010.


He is preceded in death by his father Clifford Jackson, mother Ruby Matthews, son Robert Jr., siblings: Elizabeth, Harriette, Jerald, and Miriam “Suzie” Sanson, and grandsons: Paul “PJ” Evans Sr., Robby Mathews, Larenz Mathews. Left to cherish his loving memory, wife, Jewell Mathews, children: Lydia (Enrico) Finch of Knoxville, Darrell (Lizel) Mathews of Atlanta, GA, Charles “Chucky” Mathews and Robyn Mathews of Knoxville, siblings: Linda Brabson of Knoxville, Charles “Chipper” (Patricia) Mathews and Sheila Phillips of Chattanooga TN, and a multitude of grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and other family members and friends.


Visitation will be on Jan. 3 at 3:00 pm at Jarnigan and Son Mortuary; funeral services will be held on Jan. 4, at 11:30 also at Jarnigan and Son.


Interment: East Tennessee State Veterans Cemetery, 2200 E Governor John Sevier Hwy, Knoxville, TN 37920, Thursday, January 4, 2024, at 2:00 pm.


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