Artis William Matthews Sr., was born on July 24, 1930 in Eclectic, Alabama to Adolphus and Leola Matthews. He was the third of six children. At a young age he received Jesus Christ as his personal Savior and was baptized at Union #2 Baptist Church located in Eclectic. He was an active member at Union #2 through his involvement with Sunday School and Baptist Young People’s Union (BYPU).
He graduated from Elmore County Training School in Wetumpka, Alabama, and in 1951, he was inducted into the Army, served in the Korean War, and received an honorable discharge in 1953.
On May 24, 1952 he married Carlene Alice Purter, also from Eclectic, Alabama and from this union they raised four children: Jerry, Artis Jr., June and Gregory. After moving to San Diego in 1953, Artis and family joined Mt. Erie Baptist Church.
He loved singing for the Lord. While in Alabama he was a lead singer for the Chapel Jubilee Gospel Singers. In California he was a member of San Diego’s gospel singing group, the New Spiritual Kings.
His membership at Mt. Erie over the years included service and commitment as a deacon, member of the pastor’s aide committee, repast Committee, Sunday School treasurer, leader in Wednesday prayer meetings, and singing in or with the choir.
He was employed at the Convair Division of General Dynamics for 46 years, and for many of those years he also owned and operated a full-service Exxon gasoline station located at the corner of Euclid and Market. In addition, he owned and managed commercial and residential property in Los Angeles. Artis was entrepreneurial and a highly skilled auto mechanic with a passion for working on cars and trucks — or anything else with a piston motor!
He loved the Lord. He loved doing things to help others. He loved Mt. Erie Baptist Church. He loved making others laugh. He loved watching baseball. He loved his family.
Now he’s present with the Lord, and leaves to cherish his memory his four children, one sister Katherine Darwin who lives in Eclectic, a host of grandchildren, great- grandchildren, cousins, nieces and nephews, along with a loving church family and many friends.
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