Preserving Whitehall's Past  
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Whitehall Historical Preservation Society
P.O. Box 39 - Whitehall, PA 18052-0039
(610) 776-7280
Email WHPS At:
Helfrich Springs Grist Mill - 501 Mickley Road
Peter Grim Homestead - 506 Mickley Road
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Richard Matthews
Richard E. Dick Matthews, 83, of North Whitehall Township, died Wednesday, May 13, 2009 at home in the comfort of his family. He was the husband of Patricia (OBoyle) Matthews. Born in Fullerton, he was the son of David S. and Mary (Linsin) Matthews. He graduated from Whitehall High School in 1944. He was a 1949 graduate of East Stroudsburg College and Penn State University. During World War II, he served in the Army Air Corps as a radio operator. He was a teacher of chemistry and physics at Washington (N.J.) High School for eight years before moving to West Morris Regional High School, Chester, N.J. In 1970 he was appointed the first principal of the newly built Mendham (N.J.) High School. During his high school assignment, he was an instructor in the evening division at Farleigh Dickenson University, Madison, N.J. He studied at the Oak Ridge Institute in nuclear studies at: The University of New Mexico, Rutgers University, the University of Vermont and Montana College at Bozeman. These summer programs were granted by the National Science Foundation summer fellowship programs. In the summer of 1960, he was employed by Bell Telephone Laboratories as a technical writer to work on the Mercury Project space program. In 1961 he was selected one of two New Jersey science teachers to attend the National Teacher-Student Conference on Peaceful Uses of the Atom in Chicago, Illinois. He accompanied seven outstanding New Jersey senior science students to the program. Retiring in 1981 he moved to North Whitehall Township, where he served on the Planning Commission and Zoning Hearing Board. In his retirement years he continued studies in Civil War history, resulting in two published books, magazine articles and many requests for speaking engagements. He reenacted Civil War history with the 96th Pennsylvania Regiment. Richard was an instructor in Civil War history at the University of Delawares Elderhostel summer program and a speaker for The Institute for Learning in Retirement program. He was an invited speaker in three eastern states, local cities, service clubs, schools, church groups and historical societies. He was president of the Eastern Pennsylvania Civil War Roundtable, president of the Whitehall Historical Preservation Society and past Commander of the Post 8344, V.F.W. Survivors: Loving wife, Patricia Matthews; sons, Richard D. Matthews of Dover, Fla., Donald W., husband of Diane (Erskine) Matthews, of St. Johnsbury, Vt.; daughter, Melinda (Matthews) Clarkson, wife of Michael, of Edinburgh, Scotland, United Kingdom; three grandsons, Aaron, Corey, Sam; granddaughter, Linsin Ann Smith. He was predeceased by sisters, Edith Ludwig, Mildred Freeman and Grace Klimek, and brothers, David A. and Donald G. Matthews. Services: An informal memorial picnic will be held in celebration of his life on June 6, 2009 from 1-5 p.m. at 6450 River View Road, Slatington, 18080. Arrangements,Gilbert Funeral Home, Whitehall. Contributions: In lieu of flowers, please donate time or money to the Whitehall Historical Society, P.O. Box 39, Whitehall, PA 18052, or to your personal charity.


Published in the Morning Call on 5/17/2009