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.
Quantico National Cemetery
Monday September 11th, 2017
18424 Joplin Road
Triangle, VA 22172
Special Instructions: Private BurialText me the address
Semper Fidelis Memorial Chapel
Monday September 11th, 2017
3:30pm - 6:00pm
18900 Jefferson Davis Hwy
Triangle, VA 22172
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Celebrating the life of Frank Jackson Matthews
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GP Mandis lit a candle for Frank Jackson Matthews
GP Mandis lit a candle on Sep 28 2017 03:46:39 PM
Frank Matthews was one of the greatest Hero's of all time. I am so proud to have met him at the Corps Museum. That day I shook his hand, got a picture of us together, talked of the battle and he also met my father and they had a good conversation. My dad was 80 then and Frank was 90. We had a great day that day. One I will never forget. one of my last best memories of my Father was the day we both met Frank Matthews. I came looking for Frank back earlier this spring but he was not working that day. He and my dad are together now talking about us I know in heaven. Semper Fi Frank Matthews. John Eastes, Fredericksburg Virginia.
Submitted by john eastes on Sep 26 2017 03:36:56 PM
True American Hero! I had the honor and pleasure of meeting Mr. Matthews twice at the Marine Corps Museum. I could have listened to him all day! What an amazing storyteller! Thank you for your service to our country and to our Marine Corps! Semper Fi brother!
Submitted by Jeff Yderstad on Sep 9 2017 09:13:16 PM
We had the honor of meeting Frank several years ago at the museum and learned of his experience on Iwo Jima. We will never forget him. Thanks to him and others like him we have our freedom today.
Submitted by Donn and Cheryl Forsyth Middletown , Pa. on Sep 3 2017 10:45:16 AM
I met Mr. Matthews in December 2015 at the Marine Corps Museum with my parents and husband. He talked at length with my father and I about his job and my grandfathers unit. His knowledge was amazing. We could've talked to him all day!! I went back to the museum at the end of July with both of my children in hopes of seeing Mr. Matthews again and so my children could learn a few thing from him, but I was broken hearted to learn that he was no longer there as his health had declined. I was incredibly sad to hear that news.
Mr. Matthews I pray that you're resting peacefully, and know that people really listened to what you had to say.
Submitted by Deanna Holley on Aug 24 2017 10:54:53 PM
Deanna Holley lit a candle for Frank Jackson Matthews
Deanna Holley lit a candle on Aug 24 2017 10:54:31 PM
I felt honored and blessed to meet Mr. Matthews two years ago at the Marine Corps Museum. He supplied us with information and first hand experience of his life. I have never forgotten him, neither have my family members that we brought to the Museum that day. RIP Frank Matthews.
Submitted by Susie Michadick on Aug 15 2017 12:16:49 PM
Do you remember Frank - It was about 2009 when I saw you leave the Museum - your cover said 'Iwo'. You said something like 'maybe a docent'. You were discouraged. Somehow, I was led to follow you out the door, thinking about 'Iwo'. By the time I'd walked with you to your car, encouraging you to be a docent, you said, 'Ok I'll try'. I was elated - I'd done something for a member of the Greatest Generation! I needed no thanks. Thanks Frank for always being so gracious, so kind, so interesting to Museum visitors. Thank you for your humor. Thank you for saving our country. Your generation made things better for us. I'll always be better in the Museum because of you. Watch over us docents Frank so we can be worthy.
Submitted by Joseph A Hennessey on Aug 15 2017 12:11:19 PM
We, in the DAV Department of Virginia, were saddened to hear of your loss. We pray for peace and strength during this time of loss. It is our hope Frank's life will serve as an example of selfless dedication for many. If we may be of service, in any way, please do not hesitate to call or email us.
Peace and Power,
Charles H. Fuller, Jr.
Department Chaplain, DAV Department of Virginia
Submitted by Charles H. Fuller, Jr. on Aug 12 2017 04:56:12 PM
Saddened to recently discovered my Uncle Jack has passed away.He was quite a unique man, with so many accomplishments in his life. He was a musical genius and I hold dear the recordings and musical scores he sent me over the years. I was so proud my son shared the same honor in life to become a United States Marine. I to this day keep and value the IWO JIWA cap he sent Wes.I believe God's plan for saving his life and giving the longevity was to tell and share the story to new generations about the rare breed of men, whom to this day give the ultimate sacrifice of their lives so we can be free to live ours. Jesus walked the earth and gave his life so we may one day have eternal life.I have peace knowing my Uncle has been reunited with the love of his life and God is smiling saying job well done my faithful servant now may you rest in peace.Love you always my dear Uncle.
Submitted by Deborah Burkhardt on Aug 12 2017 02:07:20 PM
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