Theodore (Ted) Donald Mathews, 79, returned to his Heavenly Father on July 4, 2020 at a local Las Vegas Hospital from natural causes. Ted was born on June 8, 1941 in Clare, Michigan to Delmar & Helen Muchie Mathews. Ted grew up as a very adventurous young man, spending most of his time in the outdoors hunting, fishing, hiking, and enjoying God's great blessings of this earth. Ted had a nurturing and caring personality that led him to care for his family and animals throughout his life. As a child, Ted had a pet racoon that he discovered orphaned in the woods. Ted adopted and cared for Roger the racoon for many years, as he became the family pet. This nurturing quality carried over into adulthood as Ted and some friends discovered two mountain lion cubs while hunting one day. Ted and his friends cared for and raised the mountain lion cubs until they became too much to handle as full grown mountain lions can be. This love of animals lasted to his very last days, as Ted adopted a herd of stray cats near his home that he would feed and care for, including multiple trips to the vet.
Ted served in the U.S. Army and The National Guard where he served as a sharpshooter. Ted also achieved recognition as a member of the "Four Hundred Club" on May 6, 1965, which he earned due to his elite performance in the Physical Combat Proficiency Test that resulted in a score above the 400 point threshold out of a possible 500 points.
Ted moved out west to Las Vegas in the late 1960's to pursue his career as a welder and carpenter. A highly skilled and meticulous welder and carpenter, Ted worked on a variety of Las Vegas hotels, including the original MGM Grand Hotel and Bally's. Ted also spent many years as a welder at the Nevada Test Site, where he earned top security clearance at the site, something he was immensely proud of. Ted was a member of the Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters Union Local 1977. He recently received recognition of 55 years of Service Award in March of 2020.
While working in Las Vegas, Ted met his future wife KanDee, and the two wed on July 18, 1981. A little more than a year later, Ted and KanDee welcomed their only child, Tiffany, in September of 1982. From that point on, Ted's nurturing and caring heart was dedicated to his family and raising his daughter, who filled his spirit with the pride and joy only a father could understand. His dedication led to Ted spending countless hours coaching, managing, and traveling with Tiffany's softball teams during her childhood and teen years. Never one to let an opportunity pass him by, Ted was always willing to share countless stories of his beloved daughter on the softball and soccer fields. The pride Ted felt in sharing stories of his daughter's athletic achievements was only matched by the birth of his grandchildren who became the pride and joy of Ted's twilight years.
Ted is survived by his wife of 39 years, KanDee, of Las Vegas, his daughter Tiffany, her husband John of Idaho, and two grandchildren Olivia and Easton. Ted is also survived by his brothers Charles, Delmar, and Ronnie Mathews, his sister Bonnie Mathews (all of Michigan), loving in-laws, nephews, nieces, and many long-time friends.
Due to COVID-19 concerns, no memorial service will be held at this time. We anticipate a celebration of life on his birthday, June 8, 2021.
Services are pending.
Published in Las Vegas Review-Journal on Jul. 22, 2020.