Jerry Lee Matthews left this life for his eternal rest on December 22, 2022. He leaves behind family and friends too numerous to count.
Jerry was born in Exeter, California on January 6, 1949 to Lee Roy and Carol Elaine (Sterling nee Mildred Dorthea Vorderstrasse) Matthews. The family including sister Kathleen June moved to Fresno. The family grew to include brothers Kenneth Roy and James Allan and sisters Susan Joan and Lori Jean. He attended Emmanuel Lutheran Church and school. He was active in Boy Scouting and earned its highest rank, Eagle Scout in 1963. An honor that has continued in the family for three generations including his son and two grandsons.
In 1964 he began attending California Concordia High School /Junior College in Oakland, California as a sophomore. It was here he met Carole McMichael, a classmate who would eventually become his wife. They graduated from high school in 1967 and junior college in 1969. Carole continued her education at Concordia Teachers College in River Forest, Illinois while Jerry attended Fresno State College. They were married in San Francisco, California on July 12, 1970. After Carole graduated in 1971, they moved to San Diego for two years where Carole taught school and Jerry drove school bus while finishing his BA at San Diego State College.
They moved to San Francisco where Jerry attended Golden Gate Law School, graduating in May of 1976 just shortly after the birth of their first daughter, Jennifer. In June they moved to Martin, South Dakota where he worked with Attorney Mario Gonzolez. After several months he began working at Legal Aid in Pine Ridge, South Dakota and the family moved to Hay Springs, Nebraska.
During his career as an Attorney, he worked in many capacities including private practice with David Veath in Chadron, Nebraska and his brother, James in Hay Springs, Nebraska and Pine Ridge, South Dakota. He worked on the Pine Ridge Reservation as an attorney for Legal Aid and the Tribal Housing Authority. He also served several years as Chief Judge of the Tribal Court. He met and worked with many who remain friends to this day.
In the 1990s, his long interest in photography led him to begin a second career as a photographer. He became known to many as the “Picture Guy Dude” even to include this name on the sign for his car. He could be found for many years photographing participants and attendees at the annual Lakota Nation Invitational Tournament. He logged many miles taking school, prom, and graduation photos at schools around Pine Ridge, Rosebud and Todd County.
His latest career adventure was helping Mike Carlow set up a marijuana production facility.
He also served his community as a member of the School Board and City Council.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Lee Roy Matthews and Carol Elaine Meyers; and nephews, Dylan James Matthews, Eric Scott Perkins and Kristopher Perkins Bradford.
He leaves behind his wife of 52 years, Carole; son Jeffrey (Andrea) Matthews; daughters, Jennifer (Ricky) Wohl, Theresa “Tessa” (Isaac) Singer, and Elizabeth “Beth” (Charles) Brawner; grandchildren, Jordan (Brianna) Encinia, Kobe Encinia, Hannah Wohl, Deven and Dylan Matthews, Clara and Aria Singer, and Nathan, Keira, and William Brawner. Sisters, Kathleen (Michael) Bradford, Susan
Matthews, and Lori Matthews; brothers Kenneth Matthews and James (BJ) Matthews; nephews, nieces and cousins, and many, many friends from coast to coast.
Honorary pallbearers grandsons Jordan, Kobe, Deven, Dylan; nephews, Michael Bradford, Justin Matthews; sons in law, Ricky, Isaac, and Charles; friends, Bryan Brewer, Mike Carlow, Russ Harford, Joe Swiftbird, Pete Swiftbird, Russ Zephier.
Funeral services will be Saturday, January 14, 2023 at Zion Lutheran Church, 224 S Main St, Hay Springs, at 10:00 a.m. At 2:00 an Honoring for Jerry Matthews will be held at the Old Pine Ridge Gym.
In lieu of flowers please send donations to the Hay Springs Volunteer Fire Department.