Saturday, October 27, 2012

SFC Steve Matthews, United States Army, Ret.

Steve Ervin Matthews, was born in Lindsay, California, and passed away September 21, 2012, at the age of 59, in McAlester, Oklahoma.

Steve proudly served his country in the United States Army for 21 years, retiring in 1991, with the rank of Sergeant First Class.

He went to work for civil service at Fort Shafer, Hawaii.  Later, he moved to McAlester were he was an ammunitions specialist at the McAlester Army Ammunitions Plant at the time of his passing.

He had a combined total federal service of 42 years.

On October 5, an inurnment service, with full military honors, was held at the Central Texas State Veterans Cemetery at Killeen, Texas.  In attendance were the Patriot Guard Riders who formed a line of American flags around the committal shelter, to welcome the arriving family and friends.

An Army Chaplain led the family in the Lord's Prayer, and offered a final prayer.  The Army bugler, standing amidst the live oak trees on the hillside above, played taps, as the rising sun shined brightly in the east.

The Army rifle detail fired three volleys of fire, representing Duty, Honor and Country.  The detail marched to the committal shelter where they carefully unfolded the folded American flag that rested next to the cremains.  That flag was refolded into the traditional triangle and ceremoniously passed to an Army Staff Sergeant.  He presented the flag to Steve's daughter, on behalf of a grateful nation and the United States Army as a token of appreciation for his honorable and faithful service.

The cremains were buried in a special plot nearby, as the American flag flew at half-staff on the hill above, in honor of SFC Steve Matthews.

Left to cherish his memory are two daughters and their husbands, four grandchildren, a brother and a host of other dear family and friends.

With thanks to the McAlester News-Capital for biographical information and photo, and to Ceej Foy for additional photographs.

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