Wilburn Carl Matthews, 84, of East Bernard, passed away at Eagle Lake Hospital following a short illness. He was born Dec. 5, 1936, in East Bernard to the late Willard and Florine Matthews.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his half-brother Leroy Matthews, sister and brother-in-law Leola and Henry Graeber, and nephew Terry Viktorin.
Wilburn attended first grade in Orchard and then East Bernard schools through 12th grade. He played football at Sam Houston State University. He then hauled cattle, worked at World Book Sales, and farmed for Syl Matej, Larry Minks, and Daryl Kutach. He was a lifetime member of the East Bernard Athletic Booster Club and a member of Sam Houston Alumni and Letterman’s Club, East Bernard Volunteer Fire Department, First United Methodist Church of East Bernard, East Bernard Booster Club and Fan of the Year.
To most folks Wilburn Matthews was the guy on the sidelines at almost every sporting event in East Bernard who yelled the loudest, sometimes maybe a little too loud; but to us, his family, he was the greatest fan of our lifetime! Wilburn had a way with words, with people, and an undeniable love for life and Christ and he would let you know all about it!! He attended almost all of the East Bernard sporting events and traveled far and wide to follow his nieces, nephews and many generations of family that he cared for and wanted to be supportive of. A gentle giant of sorts he carried such a mean and stern looking exterior but inside he had the heart of gold. Once you got to know that about him you could not help but love him!
Wilburn played high school football in East Bernard where he fell in love with the game and excelled. After high school, Mr. Charlie Naiser (his principal) helped him and a few others from East Bernard go on to play football in Huntsville at Sam Houston State where he would go on to letter for the Bearkats in 1957-58 season. Unfortunately, an injury took away his one true love and that was on the gridiron playing football. He returned home to East Bernard and worked with Bill & Fred Gerke for many years hauling cattle. You could be sure that everywhere he went he never met a stranger because he would talk to anyone! His love for folks is an example we should all follow in life as he did not care if you were the richest or the poorest, he did not care what skin color you had, he simply loved folks for who they were.
He could be seen on the sidelines of practice of the hometown Brahmas on a regular basis and on Friday nights he would always be under the lights, something he truly lived for even up until his last year of his life. But you could bet on Sundays he was in church at the First United Methodist where he has been a member all of his life. Uncle Wilburn had a zest for life and an infectious laugh that we all enjoyed. Listening to his stories was simply priceless. He will be missed by his Brahma family past and present, far and wide and we will all miss you Uncle Will. Go fly with Jesus and prepare that place until we see you again!!
He is survived by his four sisters: Loyce Viktorin and husband Don of Worland, Wyoming, Shirlene Bubeck and husband Otto of Sugar Land, Sue Gerke and husband Bill of East Bernard, and Jean Murrile and husband Jim of East Bernard; brother Buck Matthews of East Bernard; nieces and nephews: Mary Viktorin, Russell Graeber (Kelly), Paulette Wisch (Billy), Forrest Viktorin (Tracey), Kim Floyd (Mark), Gay Lynn Ford (Pat), Audra Hansche (Mark), Donna McGarven (Mark), Greg Murrile (Danna), Shana Neisner (Troy), Billy Gerke (Amy), Matt Vanek (Jessica), and Dana Stavinoha (Randy); great nieces and nephews: Landon, Shane, Kirstie, Bryan, Justin, Jacob, Shania, Jarod, Brittany, Kelsey, Tanner, Sawyer, Colby, Kaitlyn, Kenzie, Ryan, Megan, Evan, Emily, Ty, Layne, David, Bryce, Caleb, Carissa, Cade, Mason, Dylan, and Caylie; several great-great nieces and nephews, numerous Brahma kiddos along with many good friends.
Visitation was on Tuesday, Jan. 5 from 5-8 p.m. at First United Methodist Church of East Bernard. A funeral service will be Wednesday, Jan. 6 at 10 a.m. at First United Methodist Church of East Bernard with the Rev. Justin Mikulencak officiating.
A burial will follow at East Bernard Methodist Cemetery in East Bernard.
Funeral services are under the direction of Wharton Funeral Home. Condolences may be left at www.whartonfuneralhome.com