Obituaries » Michael Clark Mathis
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September 28, 1940 - November 13, 2014
Burial Date November 20, 2014
Funeral Home Rose-Neath Many
4PM until time of service at St. Mary’s Catholic Church-Rambin, LA
Michael Clark Mathis, 74, passed away peacefully in his sleep in the early morning hours of 11/13/2014. Born in Lafayette, LA on 9/28/1940, Mike was a beloved son, husband, father, Pepaw, uncle, storyteller, Boy Scout, handyman, fisherman and practical genius. Michael attended Mansfield High School, where he was a star athlete and part of the 4 man team that broke the state record in the mile relay. He was an Eagle Scout, member of the Order of the Arrow, and a Boy Scout Leader, attending the World Jamboree with his troop. In Mansfield, he met and married the love of his life, Lynda Sue Evans, and then attended Louisiana Tech University, where his relay team set several state records that remained unbroken for decades. He was an avid camper and fisherman, and he especially enjoyed bass fishing. He taught his children to love the outdoors and lead many family camping trips as “Lash LeRoux.” He owned and operated two Gulf service stations in Mansfield, then moved to Shreveport and worked as a long-term health care administrator. During his health care career, he worked in Louisiana, Nevada, Oklahoma and Arkansas until his retirement to the family camp at Toledo Bend Reservoir. He and Lynda enjoyed a large and boisterous family life, with 7 children, 10 grandchildren, and an open door policy for anyone in need. He was a prolific storyteller, especially talented at enriching any tale with colorful drama and details. He reveled in his physical strength and loved to arm wrestle – he was the undefeated family champion. As a young man, he was a talented artist, painting several landscapes, still life’s and many rock creatures. Later in life, he carved intricate folk-art walking sticks for friends and family members. He was hearty and hale, working on his latest lake project, happy, active and loving life until the very night he left us.
Mike’s tremendous success in life was hard won and a direct result of the love and support of his devoted wife, Lynda. While at Louisiana Tech, he experienced a sudden and dramatic loss of his central vision, which was never recovered. He struggled with alcoholism in his early adult life, but became a friend of Bill’s and was proudly sober for the last 33 years of his life. Lynda was his partner in studying to become a health care administrator, reading to him and helping him memorize the material for his college classes and certification, all while working night shifts as a nurse and rearing seven children. They are both true heroes to our family, and a model for others who struggle with the unpredictable twists that life can give.
Mike is survived by his wife of 53 years, Lynda Sue Evans Mathis, his seven children, Marjorie Christine Mathis of Many, LA; Daniel Evans Mathis (Lucia Jesko) of Henderson, NV; Elizabeth Kathleen Mathis Goerner (Philip Goerner) of Kingwood, TX; Marilyn Carol Mathis Asher (Frank Asher) of Tucson, AZ; Michael Stuart Mathis (Alyson Jordan) of Lake Charles, LA; Stephen Patrick Mathis of Las Vegas, NV; Rosemary Alice Mathis of Many, La and Stowe, Vermont, his 10 grandchildren, and his brother, Robin Eugene Mathis (Linda LeBlanc) of Moss Bluff, LA.
He is preceded in death by his infant daughter Cynthia Anne; brother and sister-in-law, James and Jan Mathis of Lake Charles, LA; father Walter Clark Mathis of Fordyce, AR; stepfather Harry
Clotfelter of Greenville, Illinois; and mother Edwin Margery Robinson Mathis Clotfelter of Many, LA.
Visitation and Vigil will begin at 4:00 pm on Wednesday, November 19, with a Rosary at 6:00 pm, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Rambin, LA. Family and friends are invited to spend the night sharing stories and keeping Michael company until the Celebration of Life services at 10:00 am on Thursday, November 20, also at St. Mary’s. Michael will be cremated, with a private family ceremony to inter his ashes at St. Mary’s Cemetery and at the family camp at Toledo Bend.
The honorary pallbearers are his grandchildren: his grandsons – Lt. Justin Calabretta, Jared Mathis, Evan Mathis, Alex Mathis and William Mathis; and granddaughters – Elise Fleming, Katelyn Mathis, Madison Cleveland, Taylor Cleveland and Cameron Goerner.
In lieu of flowers, the family encourages folks to donate to the Boy Scouts, the Lion’s Club Camps, or the charity of your choice.