Frank Jackson Matthews



Frank Jackson Matthews, 91, passed from this world and began a new journey on Monday, August 7, 2017. His final days were spent at home in Stafford, VA surrounded by the love and care of his family. He was born in Preston, Georgia in 1926 to Presbyterian Minister Curtis Jackson Matthews and Mary Lee Doster.

Frank Was a veteran of the Marine Corps serving in both World War II and Korea. He was a flame thrower in the Battle of Iwo Jima where he spent thirty days on the island and was wounded several times. Following his wartime service the decorated veteran completed a degree in music at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, then returned to the Marine Corps. He completed his officer training at Quantico and served during the Korea conflict. Frank went on to earn a Masters degree at the University of Louisiana and also served in the Army National Guard as a Captain and Enlisted Detachment Commander at Fort Polk.
In 1958 he married Margaret Gay Murphy and together they raised two daughters. The couple lived in California for many years where Frank taught piano to young students and created a new generation of musicians. Frank’s love of music and music composition was lifelong. He was a talented composer, gifted pianist and an innovative and inspiring piano teacher to his many students.
Most recently he served his country and his fellow Marines by working as a docent at the National Museum of the Marine Corps where he greeted visitors in the World War II Gallery and shared his memories and vast knowledge of the Battle of Iwo Jima. As a docent he was known for his ability to uplift other veterans, encourage today’s young Marines, and delight visitors with his wry sense of humor. He was frequently heard saying “there are two genuine artifacts on display here today from the battle of Iwo Jima… the flag, and me!”
Frank was preceded in death by his beloved bride Margaret, his parents and his sister June Milam. He is survived by his daughters, Janet Matthews Gardner (Rich) with whom he made his home and Madeline Matthews Falling (Tom) who resides in California. He was blessed with seven grandchildren, five great grandchildren and several nieces and nephews.
There will be a private interment at Quantico National Cemetery on Monday, September 11, 2017. A memorial service for friends and family will be held at 3:30 p.m. Monday, September 11 at the Semper Fidelis Memorial Chapel located on the grounds of the National Museum of the Marine Corps, Triangle, VA. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Marine Corps Heritage Foundation in memory of Mr. Matthews at 18900 Jefferson Davis Hwy. Triangle, VA 22172.