William McKinley ("Bim") Matthews Jr.January 28, 1927 ~ May 11, 2017 (age 90)
A Celebration of Life for Mr. William McKinley "Bim" Matthews, 90 of Dayton, OH and formerly of Decatur, AL will be noon, Friday at First M.B. Church in Decatur and inhumation to follow in Decatur City Cemetery. The family will receive friends one hour prior to funeral at the church. Public viewing will be Thursday from 2-7 at Reynolds Funeral Home.
William McKinley Matthews Jr., affectionately called “Bim”, was born to the late William McKinley Matthews, Sr. and Lillie Ellis Matthews. He was the eldest child born to their blissful union. He married Bernice Dickinson and remained happily married for 33 years, until her passing. This union was blessed with two children, Patricia Diane Matthews and William McKinley Matthews, III. In 1989, he was blessed with the opportunity, to meet and marry, Patricia Bray Allen. This joyful union between, he and Patty remained until he departed his life peacefully, on May 11, 2017, after an extended illness.
Bim attended Decatur Public Schools and then went on to study at Selma University and Alabama State University, in Montgomery, AL, during this time he was called to serve in the United States Army and later was honorably discharged. He then returned to Alabama State where he received his Bachelor of Science Degree.
Bim spent most of his life in Alabama, where he was an educator (teacher, principal and guidance counselor), TV personality, an entrepreneur, and restaurant manager in the food industry. He served as a factory worker and many other jobs until he retired. While living in Decatur, AL, he was an active social and civic community leader. He was a loyal member of First Missionary Baptist Church where he served as a member of the Deacon board.
After retiring he moved to Dayton, OH where he was a faithful member of Mt. Enon Missionary Baptist Church. He was active with the Senior Citizen Center where he was President for many years. Bim worked part-time as the church custodian until his illness no longer allowed him to do so. However, his heart and mind was always with each and every one of the ministries he was affiliated with.
Bim was an easy going man that loved life and was not afraid to try new things. He loved his family and enjoyed working with people. He enjoyed cooking on the grill, gardening and playing cards. He had the gift of hospitality and always made those that he came in contact with smile.
His adventurous spirit lead to a love of travel, and after marrying Patty in 1989, they became tremendous fans of the cruise lines. The two of them often, cruised the Caribbean Islands, Europe, and Hawaii. They enjoyed seeing the world and were captivated by the different cultures of people, everywhere they visited.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Bernice (Dickinson) Matthews, his parents and three brothers; Herbert Matthews, Ollie Matthews and James Russell Matthews and a beloved son-in-law H. Allen Evans. He leaves to cherish his memory a loving wife of 28 years Patricia (Bray) Matthews of Dayton, OH; three daughters; Patricia (Matthews) Evans of Woodbury, MN, Desiree’ Dickinson (Nate) of Oakwood, OH and Jennifer Allen of Dayton, OH., three sons; William McKinley(Gloria) Matthews III of Decatur, AL, Boris Strong of Charlotte, NC and Donald Dickinson of Washington, DC., two sisters; Delores Thompson of Huntsville, AL and Vivian Horton of Decatur, AL.; four granddaughters; Teryn Evans of Woodbury, MN., Kelly (Sean) Penn of White Plains, NY, Alexandria Anderson of Oakwood, OH. And Lord Allen of Dayton, OH., five grandsons; Patrick A. Evans of Woodbury, MN, Joshua Few and Anthony Anderson of Dayton, OH., Joshua Matthews and Jacob Matthews of Decatur, AL., four great grandchildren and a host of nieces and nephews that endearingly call him “Uncle Bim”.