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Don Wade Mathis

May 24, 1945 ~ December 3, 2021 (age 76)


Obituary, a word that I hoped would not be used as long as I live for my beloved husband of 55 years, U.S. Navy Commander, Don Wade Mathis. He was born May 24, 1945 in Henryetta, Oklahoma. He died on December 3, 2021 at Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa, Florida after a long valiant fight for his life. His home was Henryetta, Oklahoma until he graduated from Oklahoma State University in 1968, when he joined the Navy and began his career. In 1976 he was assigned to Panama City Beach, Florida as Captain of a hovercraft at the Navy Base. A house was purchased that became our home from 1976 to the present. During his 23 years of Navy service, he traveled extensively to many areas, some being Antigua, Key West, Bermuda, Newport, Iceland, San Diego, Hawaii, Italy, Boston, Jacksonville and finally back to Panama City Beach. He made sure that his family traveled everywhere he was assigned, except for the times he was away at sea. Even then, we lived at the home port, so we were with him when the ship came back to port.

His great joys were hunting and fishing in Kentucky with his buddies of many years, James, Phillip, Bruce, Mike and anyone else who was there, going to Wewahitchka to relax and fish and work on projects, going to Colorado to trout fish in the beautiful rivers and visit with family and friends, and visiting Brandon, Florida to visit Ty's family and fish in the lake on their beautiful property. While staying home in Panama City Beach, he was happy just staying at home and working on his various projects. All who met Don loved his friendliness and great sense of humor. He was a friend and mentor to many, always ready to help those who needed him, no matter the task. His smile was simply contagious. He is certainly missed by all who knew him.

Don was preceded in death by his parents, Ed and Mattilee Mathis and brothers Doug and Dean.

He is survived by his wife, Ramona Wheeler Mathis, son Wade Mathis and partner Becca Emanuel, son Ty Mathis and wife Lacey Parker, son Dusty Mathis and wife Hayley Holt, brothers Bill Mathis and wife Sandy and Jack Mathis and Patricia, a sister Joyce Winebarger and husband Steve. He is also survived by nine grandchildren; Brandon, Ramona Cheyanne Findley, Gavin, Colby, Alena, Isla, Shannon and RD. Missing him are numerous great grandchildren, nephews and nieces.

A memorial service will be held 11:00 a.m., May 24, 2022, at the Wilson Community Center and Church.


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May 24, 2022

11:00 AM
Wilson Community Center and Church

Wilson Community, OK
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