FLYING JELLYFISH – Nova Galanin plays the role of an aerial jellyfish in the original Sitka Cirque production of "Tides" Sunday at the Performing Arts Center. The show was supported in part by a grant from the Alaska State Council on the Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts and produced by Friends of Sitka Circus Arts. The next production will be August 17, a show titled "Summer Student Showcase Mythology." (Sentinel Photo by James Poulson)

Bruce Mathews


Bruce Mathews

Former resident Bruce Mathews died peacefully at his home in Pencil Bluff, Arkansas, on Oct. 17, with his family by his side. He was 90.

He was born July 26, 1927, to Carson and Etta Hayes Mathews in Felsenthal, Arkansas.

He joined the Merchant Marines as a stewards mate in 1943 and graduated from the U.S. Maritime Service Training in St. Petersburg, Florida, in 1945. He was a merchant mariner for an additional eight and a half years and from 1953 to 1955 he served in the U.S. Army, stationed in Whittier, Alaska.

On July 4, 1953, he married Ruth Bidwell in New York City, New York.

He lived in Alaska for 44 years, in Sitka, Bethel, Glennallen, Anchorage and King Salmon, working in the communications industry.

He retired in 1997 and moved back to his home state of Arkansas to be closer to his brother and sisters, and to get out of the cold in Alaska.

Preceding him in death were his parents; his wife, Ruth Bidwell Mathews; daughter Connie Beckman; grandson, Joshua Beach; brothers M.C., Pete, Fletcher, Dillard, Cordell and Jerry Mathews; and sister Virginia Perryman.

Those left to cherish his memory are his son, Ronald Mathews (Kathryn); daughters, Janet Julsen (Kurt), Debbie Mathews, Joyce Gilmore, and Geri Beach (Michael Eells); grandchildren, Cory and Joseph Call, Brian and Mariah Julsen, Heidi and Zachary Mathews, Jynal Radziukinas, Joshua and Brent Kimzey, Ashley Allison, Paolo, and Antonio and Corrado Gilmore; and numerous great-grandchildren.

The funeral was scheduled today at  Young’s Chapel in El Dorado, Arkansas, with Ron Mathews officiating.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to a local hospice.


An online guest registry is available at

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