Siblings DeWayne Mathews, Sheila Shelby, Randy Milligan, Donna Winters, and Teresa Dutton. Not pictured: Janice Thomas.
DeWayne Mathews, 52, of Harrisburg, Illinois, died on May 1, 2017 at 10:30 p.m. surrounded by his family. Wayne, as he was called, was born on August 15, 1964 in Harrisburg, IL to Freda and Charles “Tommy” Mathews.
He is survived by a daughter, Ashley Lynn Mathews of West Frankfort, IL; granddaughters, MacKenna and Audrey; one brother, Randy Milligan, of Eldorado, IL; four sisters, Janice (Marvin) Thomas of Cave In Rock, IL, Donna (Corky) Winters of Golconda, IL, Teresa Dutton of Cave In Rock, IL and Sheila (Jim) Shelby of Rosiclare, IL; 16 nieces and nephews, 43 great-nieces and nephews, and six great-great nieces and nephews, and many cousins and friends.
He was preceded in death by both of his parents, Charles “Tommy” and Freda Mathews; grandparents, Bryan and Stella Parkinson; Robbie Smock and Ed Mathews; and one brother-in-law, Terry Dutton.
Wayne spent his earliest years at Yellow Springs in rural Hardin County, where he loved being outside with the family’s farm animals. In first grade, the family moved to Harrisburg to the land that he still lived on. He moved to Hardin County as a young adult. Wayne also lived for a short while in Wisconsin. He had many jobs such as laying carpet, working on barges, but none that he loved as much as he did while working for the Harrisburg Park District as maintenance foreman. We often joked with him, that no one could love their job that much, but he truly did.
Uncle Wayne loved to ride motorcycles and tinkering on old trucks. He enjoyed the outdoors like hunting and fishing. He enjoyed nature so much; he was an active member of the Arbor Foundation. Uncle Wayne loved all music, but especially his 80’s rock music. Any niece or nephew can attest to hearing “don’t mess with my stereo now” at least once in their life! Uncle Wayne always enjoyed the taste of a good beer! Wayne even asked Brother Mike Dutton before being saved, if he could still drink a beer and God still love him. Not everyone knew that he loved gardening and canning, which he picked up from his momma. My uncle Wayne and his siblings never had much growing up, but they knew they would always have each other.
Uncle Wayne was blessed on June 4, 1987 with his one and only child with Melissa Fulford — a daughter which they named Ashley Lynn Mathews. Ashley blessed Uncle Wayne with two beautiful granddaughters, MacKenna and Audrey.
Uncle Wayne started having what he thought was a minor illness in December of 2016. In February, we were told the devastating news of stage 4 lung, brain, and bone cancer. He fought this terrible disease never giving up on faith that he would be healed, and that he was on April 18, 2017 when he accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as his Savior and gained his Ultimate Healing.
Uncle Wayne will be sadly missed and loved by everyone that knew him.
— Written by niece, Meagan Gibbons
Card of Thanks
We would like to extend our heartfelt gratitude to everyone for acts of kindness shown to us and DeWayne during his illness and passing. Special Thank You and Love sent to Pastor Mike and Michelle Dutton and our Church Family at Keeling Hill for all the prayers, support, and wonderful dinner after the funeral. Thank you so much to our employers and coworkers that stood by us through the last four months. Special Thank You to the Hospice employees and DeWayne’s coworkers at Harrisburg Park District. Thanks to everyone for the food, cards, flowers, monetary gifts, and sympathy given. Thank You, Angela Oxford, for all of the love and time put into the memorial video. Words cannot express our gratitude.
God Bless You All.
Janice & Marvin Thomas
Donna & Corky Winters
Sheila & Jim Shelby