Fred T. “Pete” Mathews Jr. died peacefully in his home, surrounded by his immediate family on June 22.
Pete was born in Hertford, NC on December 19, 1934 to the late Hazel Keaton Mathews and Fred T. Mathews Sr. He is survived by his brothers Dr. Robert S. Mathews of Lancaster, PA & John Thomas Mathews (Gail) of Suffolk, VA. In 1953, he married his childhood sweetheart Marian Elliott Mathews and together they had four children, the late Katherine (Kay) Hazel Mathews, Betsy Mathews Wright Rhodes (Bernie), Fred T. Mathews III, and Martin Elliott Mathews (Mary). He is also survived by 10 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren, and is predeceased by grandson Stockton Lucas (Luke) Wright.
Pete was a graduate of Perquimans High School, where he served as Senior Class President and participated in athletics and multiple clubs.
A 1958 graduate of the University of Richmond School of Business Administration, Pete served as Junior Class President of the School of Business Administration; Vice President of the School of Business Administration Student Government; and was Vice President of Theta Chi Fraternity.
Born with the car business in his blood, Pete began working with his father as Vice President of the Windsor Auto Auction in Windsor, Va. A few years later, he started his own used car lot, City Motors, in Suffolk, Va. He later added HRFT Auto Wholesalers, going into business with his brothers J.Tom and Bob; and then added retail dealerships to the family company, including Dodge City in Chesapeake, Va., Tower Toyota/Dodge and Tower Mazda in Portsmouth, Va.
Always a leader, Pete served as President of the Board of Directors of the Virginia Independent Auto Dealers Association (VIADA), President of the Board of Directors of the Hampton Roads Auto Dealers Association (HRADA), and served on the Board of Directors of the Virginia Auto Dealers Association (VADA).
The family would like to thank Pete’s best friend, the Honorable Morton V. Whitlow for his loyalty, guidance and wisdom.
We also thank the wonderful services of Family Care Senior Solutions of Virginia Beach, especially the love and care of Delores “Dee” Jeffrey who brought joy to Pete for the last two years. Other aides for which we are grateful include Stephanie, Ebony, Martina, Chrystal and Victoria. We also thank the previous services and friendship of the staff & residents of Georgian Manor.
Final appreciation to the excellent care from our friends at Chesapeake ComfortCare Hospice.
In lieu of flowers, please make memorial donations noting “In Memory of Fred T. Mathews Jr.” to the Shriners Hospital, 403 E. Front St., New Bern, NC 28560; or the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, North Carolina Chapter, PO Box 25536, Winston-Salem, NC 27114
The family will receive friends on Saturday from 4:00 pm until 6:00 pm at Altmeyer Funeral Home, Chesapeake. A private memorial service will be held at a later date. Express condolences to the family at www.altmeyerfh.com.
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