Frank Matthews

Frank Matthews was born and raised in Omaha, and, with his wife of 67 years, raised eight children in the Dundee neighborhood.

Frank Matthews was detail-oriented in all aspects of his long, rich life.

The former president of the Omaha Bar Association enjoyed a distinguished law career of 40 years. He and the former Helen Spencer, his wife of 67 years, also raised eight children in the Dundee neighborhood.

“Dad had insatiable curiosity and tireless discipline; he mastered many skills,” his family said in a statement. “He was humble, kind, respectful, generous, possessed of deep intellect, gentle wit and abiding humor. Above all, he was a devout Catholic, a devoted husband and an outstanding father, grandfather and great-grandfather.”

Matthews, 97, died in his sleep April 12 at an assisted-living center in Omaha. Earlier that day, he worked out with his personal trainer of six years and finished his 2018 tax return, said a daughter, Anne Weitz of Omaha.

A funeral Mass will be held at 11:15 a.m. Monday at St. Cecilia Cathedral. Memorials are suggested to Creighton Prep, Community Alliance or the Stephen Center.

Weitz said her father’s death was a shock to his family, despite his advanced age, because he remained vital to the end. He had “a great curiosity and discipline with everything he did” whether it was serving on the Omaha Public Schools board, flying a plane, woodworking, sailing, home movies, speed walking or raising horses, she said.

Matthews was born and raised in Omaha and was “an Omahan through and through,” Weitz said. He graduated from St. Cecilia Elementary School in 1935 and from Creighton Prep in 1939. He met his future wife at Georgetown University in 1941. They were at a football game when news of Pearl Harbor broke.

He enlisted in the U.S. Army and trained as an artillery instructor, serving from 1942 to 1946. He studied Chinese, served six months in India and was bound for China when Japan surrendered.

Frank and Helen married in 1944. Following the war, they settled in Omaha, where Matthews earned his law degree from Creighton Law School in 1948. He was a practicing attorney in the firm of Matthews and Cannon until retiring at 65 to travel the world with his wife.

In 2015, St. Cecilia Elementary named Matthews its first recipient of the Bernadette “Bonnie” Pryor Distinguished Alumnus Award. Pryor was the school’s principal from 1972 to 2007.

Matthews was preceded in death by his wife and a son, Francis P. Matthews III. In addition to Weitz, he is survived by daughters Micki Colquhoun of Camden, Maine; Eileen Hansen of Ketchum, Idaho; Molly Multedo of Santa Fe, New Mexico; and Joan Miller of Omaha; and sons Tom of Omaha and John of Elkhorn.

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