Dayton Royce Mathews, age 86, of Jackson, went to be with God on October 8, 2020. His final moments were solemn, peaceful and spent in his home, surrounded by loved ones. Royce was born on February 1, 1934 in Jackson. Royce was a Korean War veteran who spent time patrolling the Czechoslovakian/German border in the European Theatre.
He married Margaret May of Jackson in 1957 and was a devoted husband for 63 years. He worked for Alabama Power Company for 32 years and took great pride in his work, forged lifelong friendships and retired as Lead Lineman to his crew. He was a man of character, integrity, humility and strength with an endless supply of entertaining anecdotes and was an amazing storyteller.
As a younger man, Royce was an avid hunter, fisherman, gardener and cattleman, but in recent days, he was content to sit outside on the breezeway of his home, talking old times with his wife and watching hummingbirds swarm his feeders. Royce will live on in the lives of his family members and those whose lives he impacted through his kindness and words of wisdom and encouragement.
He was preceded in death by his father, Eddie Eli Mathews; his mother, Myrtie Miles Mathews; his brother, John Edward Mathews and sister-in-law, Barbara Odom Mathews.
He is survived by his spouse, Margaret May Mathews; his children, Margaret Shann Mathews, Dayton Adam (Donna C.) Mathews; granddaughter, Madalyn Rose (Chris) Johnson; great-granddaughter, Harper Lane Parnell and nieces, Leigh Anne Reeves, and Laurie Mathews Watson.
A celebration of a life well-lived will be conducted at the graveside on Thursday, October 15, 2020 at 11 a.m. at Leroy Baptist Cemetery with the Revs. Taylor Morgan and Ben Posey officiating and Lathan Funeral Home directing. Out of consideration for everyone’s safety, masks and an adherence to social distancing will be appreciated.
Pallbearers will be Mark Beech, Cay Hawkins, Wayne Jones, Louie Overstreet, Kevin Sullivan and Bill Walker.
Honorary pallbearers will be members of the Senior Three Sunday School Class at the First Baptist Church of Leroy.
Condolences may be offered at www.lathanfuneralhome.com.