Jack R. Matthews

Torrington, Wyoming / January 4, 1936—December 1, 2017

Jack R. Matthews, 81, died Friday, December 1, 2017 in Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Monday, December 11, at the First Wyoming United Presbyterian Church with Kate Morrison officiating. Burial will follow in the Valley View Cemetery in Torrington. Visitation will be Sunday from 1 to 4 pm at the funeral home.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Torrington Shrine Travel Fund for families, P.O. Box 2129, Casper, WY 80602 or donor’s choice.

Arrangements are under the direction of the Colyer Funeral Home and friends may send their condolences to the family at www.colyerfuneralhome.com .

Jack was born January 4, 1936, in North Platte, Nebraska, son of Harold A. and Doris M. (Baty) Matthews. Jack lived with his family in North Platte until they moved to Torrington in 1947. Jack graduated from Torrington High School in 1955. Jack met Joanne Harris in high school and the two were high school sweethearts. The couple married in 1963, living in Torrington and having one daughter, Thyra. During high school Jack excelled at sports – playing football, basketball, and track, receiving several awards during his playing years. After graduation Jack enrolled at Scottsbluff Jr College in the fall semester and played football. His love of sports was with him throughout life as he coached and refereed several sports over the years.

Jack enlisted in the Army in 1956 and spent 2 years on active duty, being stationed in Germany for a time. After Jack left full time service, he remained in the National Guard for another 27 years, serving as the unit’s culinary specialist for many years and achieving rank of Sgt. 1st Class. He retired from the Guards in 1996.

When returning to Torrington after his active duty military service, Jack worked for Coca-Cola Bottling Co. and attended EWC, earning his Associates Degree in 1962. From 1962-65 Jack worked at Wyoming Lanes and Farmers Ins. Group. In 1967 Jack started his longtime career with the Torrington Job Service office, working there for 28 years, retiring in 1995. During his time there, he was appointed as the office manager in 1971, and earned his BS in Human Resource Management through Westminster College. After retirement, he spent many years working his “other jobs”. Jack and Joanne owned and managed the Chicken Hut in Torrington for 27 years and they also owned and maintained many rental properties around town.

Jack and Joanne enjoyed their retirement by spending time with their grandchildren and sharing in their school activities, going on cruises and tours all over the world with many good friends, fishing, participating in Shrine activities, and caring for elderly relatives and friends who needed assistance. Jack was a long-time member of the Shriners International, Royal Order of Jesters, Scottish Rite Masons and the local Torrington Masonic Lodge. He was a 32 nd degree Mason, past Director of the Jesters and very active in raising funds for Shriners Hospitals for Children. He was also involved in Eastern Star and Job’s Daughters over the years.

Survivors include daughter, Thyra (Rodney) Welsh of Omaha; brothers, Bernard (Dorothy) Matthews of Wheatland, Jim Matthews of Torrington, and Daryl (Laurell) Matthews of Fresno, California; sister, Jerina Curran of Torrington; grandson, Evan Welsh of Omaha, Nebraska; granddaughter, Abigail Welsh of Omaha, Nebraska; and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

Preceding him in death were his wife, Joanne; his parents; and brothers, Donnie and Robert.

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