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Wilbert Ferris Matthews

Wilbert Ferris Matthews, 96, of Richmond, passed away Wednesday, Aug. 27, 2014 at the Ray County Memorial Hospital in Richmond.

Wilbert was born Dec. 18, 1917 in Mint Hill, to Frank and Ruth (Farris) Matthews.  Wilbert was a retired farmer and businessman.

Wilbert entered into the United States Army Air Corps May 6, 1942 at Jefferson Barracks, St. Louis.  He graduated from Keesler Air Base, Biloxi, Miss., in August of 1942 with Airplane Mechanics Specialty.  His initial assignment was delivery of bombers and transport aircraft to Australia.   He was then deployed to Eastern India and served in the CBI Theater of WWII.  He served as flight engineer and mechanic for C-46 and C-47 aircraft flying supply missions to the United States, British and Chinese troops in South East Asia and China.  Wilbert was awarded many medals which include distinguish flying and several air medals.

Wilbert was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Marion Matthews; brothers, Don and Marvin Matthews; grandson, Ben Matthews.

Survivors include his wife, Donna Matthews of the home; children, Joy (George) Cooper; Steve (Martha) Matthews, John (Diana) Matthews, Roberta Childers (Andy) and Laura Moyer (David), step-son, Newton (Dina) Hughes; 10 grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

Funeral services will be held Saturday, Aug. 30, at 2 p.m. at the United Christian Presbyterian Church in Richmond. Visitation will be Friday, Aug. 29, from 7 to 8 p.m. at the Thurman Funeral Home in Richmond. Burial will be in the Sunny Slope Cemetery in Richmond where military honors will be provided by the Ray County Veterans.

The family suggests memorial contributions be made to the United Christian Presbyterian Church memorial fund.

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