Welcome to the memorial page for

Lester Hardaway Matthews

March 9, 1918 ~ December 14, 2017 (age 99)

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The life of Lester Matthews has had many interesting turns. He was born on March 9, 1918, into a family of 5 children on a faraway ranch in West Texas. The family had to move to Jayton, TX, when Les reached school age. The first daughter died of diphtheria at an early age. Les had two sisters, May Lou Champion and Sue Fincher, and one brother, Sam Matthews, all deceased.

He graduated high school in Jayton, TX, and completed one year at Texas A & M College prior to answering Uncle Sam’s call to service in the US Army, where he served with the 204th General Hospital on Oahu, Guam, and Saipan for over four years. He and his wife, Val, met on Guam, and were wed at St. Leo’s Church in San Jose, CA, on February 24, 1946.

After living in Texas for one year, they returned to San Jose, where he attended Heald Business College and studied accounting. He worked for 18 years as Office Manager for an auto parts business, and then the family moved to Sonoma, where he owned and operated Les’ Auto Parts until his retirement in 1988. His daughter, Kerry Amormino, worked as his office help and his son, Jon, also worked during his summer vacations. Many Sonomans knew Les and always greeted him with a “Hi, Les!”

Les is survived by his wife, Val Matthews. They were married for 72 years and lived in Sonoma Valley for 50 years. Les was blessed with one daughter, Kerry (Phil Amormino), deceased in 2005, and is survived by their four children: Amy (Joshua Woods), Matthew (Amber Williams), Kelly (Ezra Pucci), and Kathleen (Isaac Herrera). Les is also survived by his son, Jon Matthews, and his wife, Gina, who reside in Aptos, CA, with their three children: Gianna, Jason and Genessa Matthews.  Les was also blessed with 10 great-grandchildren: Grant, Jayton, and Gibson Woods; Ashley and Kayla Amormino; Dominic, Daniel, and Mason Pucci; and Judah and Silas Herrera, who all brought him much joy.

A Southern Baptist, Les embraced Catholicism on December 24, 1970, at St. Leo’s Catholic Church, and was very devoted to his church. He was an active member of the St. Leo’s Men’s Club and its treasurer for many years.

Les’ Memorial is being held at St. Leo’s Catholic Church in Sonoma on Friday, December 22,  at 11 a.m., and his Rosary will be Thursday evening, December 21,  at 7 p.m. at St. Leo’s as well.

In lieu of flowers, Les would want donations to be made in his memory to St. Leo’s Catholic Church in Sonoma. 

Charitable donations may be made to:

St. Leo's Catholic Church
601 Agua Caliente Rd. West, Sonoma CA 95476
Tel: 1-707-996-8422

 Service Information

Recitation of the Rosary
December 21, 2017

7:00 PM
St. Leo the Great Church
601 W Agua Caliente Road
Sonoma, CA 95476

Funeral Mass
December 22, 2017

11:00 AM
St. Leo the Great Church
601 W Agua Caliente Road
Sonoma, CA 95476

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