Cover photo for James F. Matthews's Obituary
James F. Matthews Profile Photo

James F. Matthews

February 2, 1961 — February 21, 2019

Jim Matthews, who quietly and courageously fought the beast called cancer for nearly five years, died February 21, 2019 at his West Toledo home. He had just turned 58.

Jim loved to play golf, loved cheering on the Buckeyes, but more than anything, he deeply loved his family. He married his cherished Mary-Beth McLaughlin in 1996, and together they raised their two beautiful daughters, Caitlin Suzanne and Colleen Marie.

While Jim will not be physically present to see Caitlin graduate from John Carroll University this spring or Colleen collect her degree from The Ohio State University next year, boy did he enjoy visiting them both! Whether it was a Homecoming tailgate or Parents Weekend, Jim was so proud to be there for his girls. They are so grateful that their dad was able to meet so many of their friends and their families.

Born Feb. 2, 1961 in Toledo to the late James and Suzanne Matthews, Jim graduated from Start High School in 1979 and earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Toledo. He took such joy in taking care of his family and home, especially his lawn. For many years, he worked in landscape sales and his own yard was as finely manicured as a putting green. He would paint Script Ohio on the front lawn when the Buckeyes took on That Team Up North and chose a guest each year to dot the i. Jim and Mary-Beth hosted many a fine OSU-Michigan party.

Jim was friendly to all (“Jim Matthews, Toledo, Ohio, damn glad to meet you!”), loyal to his friends, and uninhibited around most everyone. If he thought it, he said it. You couldn’t hold him back. A funnier man you would be hard-pressed to find.

He leaves behind Mary-Beth, Caitlin, and Colleen. He also is survived by his sister, Carolyn (Mike) Challender; brothers, Joe (Jeanette) Matthews and Steve Matthews (Deb McGee); nieces, Suzanne Reineke (Weston Reinbolt) and Jacquelyn Reineke; nephews, J.P. and Jack Matthews, and numerous aunts, uncles, and cousins. His sister, Catherine Reineke, preceded him in death last year.

Friends may visit with the family from 2:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. on Sunday, February 24. 2019, at Urbanski Funeral Home, A Life Celebration Home, 5055 Secor Road, Toledo (419) 475-5055. The family will be receiving friends on Monday, February 25, 2019 from 11:30 until noon in Christ the King Catholic Church, 4100 Harvest Lane where the funeral mass will begin at noon.

Memorial contributions may be made to Good Grief of Northwest Ohio, 7015 Spring Meadows Drive West, Holland, OH 43528, an organization that provides support to grieving children and their families. You may also make donations through the Good Grief website, To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of James F. Matthews, please visit our flower store.


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