FIT FOR DUTY – Thirty-seven recruits graduating from the Alaska Department of Public Safety Training Academy's Law Enforcement Training Session 1802 take the oath of office this afternoon at the Sheet'ka Kwaan Naa Kahidi. The audience was told that during the rigorous 16-week session recruits lost a combined 200 pounds of body fat. The graduates will be taking law enforcement positions around the state from the North Slope Borough Police Department to statewide Alaska Wildlife Troopers to the Ketchikan Police Department. Speaker at the ceremony was DPS Deputy Commissioner William Comer, who graduated from the academy in 1985. (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.


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