Monday, October 11, 2010

Lest We Forget

Today a member of "The Greatest Generation" Passed Away.

Rudolph (Rudy) Franklin Mathes  
January 10, 1920 - October 11, 2010

Today at 12:00 noon, my wife’s father, another member of the "Greatest Generation” slipped quietly into the arms of his Creator at the age of 90. While there is now an empty seat at the table here on earth, one that cannot be filled by any other, and there is sadness in the hearts of those left behind, there is rejoicing in Heaven, and he has been seated at the table of his Lord, a seat reserved only for him.

Rudy proudly served his country in WW2 through five major campaigns, including landing at Utah Beach on D-Day. While serving, he was often called upon to deliver messages across enemy lines. He learned a secret that allowed him to deliver these messages quickly and safely. He related the story of how he stole a German motorcycle and rode close enough to enemy camps to hear them talking in order to deliver his messages to units that were on the other side of the German lines. The Germans, hearing one of their own motorcycles, paid no attention to the rider, and Rudy was able to move about at will. He said he was no hero, but to those who knew him and served with him he was indeed a hero.

He counted it a great honor to have served for a time as a driver for General George S. Patton. He related the story of them coming under sniper fire from a tree while in an open Jeep, and he was able to get the General to safety.

His many decorations include a Bronze Star, but he didn't relate the story as to how the award came about. It was one of those things that members of his generation often kept to themselves, for they sought no individual glory but only victory and honor for their country.

The brave men and women who served with honor and pride during WW2 are becoming fewer with each passing day. Soon they will all be gone, but let us never allow their memory or the memory of what they did for their country to be forgotten. May we always give them the honor and respect they so richly deserve.

We are with heavy hearts today, but at the same time, we can rejoice knowing that Rudy is in a much better place where there is no pain or suffering.

There will be a Celebration of his Life on Thursday, October 14, 2010, at Woodall Anderson-Dugger Funeral Home in Johnson City, Tennessee. At this point, I do not have a time, but it will be announced in the Obituary in the Johnson City Press. Visitation time will be announced as well.

Nancy and I will be traveling to Johnson City on Tuesday or Wednesday. Keep us in your thoughts and prayers. 


Maggie Thornton said...

I am so sorry to hear of your loss, but when we can go Home in peace, it is a wonderful blessing. God bless this fine man and the family who loved him.

Anonymous said...

Ticker, Please extend to Nancy our deepest condolences, and tell her that our prayers are with both of you.


Old Rose & The Boss
(Rip & Theresa)

PJ said...

Our thoughts and prayers go with Nancy and the family. Just one of the many who gave so much of themselves in the name of freedom for an entire continent and the possibly the world.

Dr. Mary Johnson said...

Condolences and all my love to you and yours, P.

Anonymous said...

Almighty God, giver of all good things,
We thank you for the men and women who have made this country strong. They are models for us, though we often fall short of them.

O Judge of the nations,
we remember before you with grateful hearts the men and women like Rudy Mathes who in the day of decision ventured much for the liberties we now enjoy.

Grant Rudy entrance into the land of light and joy, in the fellowship of your saints, through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one god, now and forever. Amen.

(adapted from the Book of Common Prayer)

Chuck said...

There are not many of these fine men left. We owe more to them than we can ever fully appreciate.

My grandfather marched with Patton and helped liberate a concentration camp. He left us 25 years ago.

Sad to see the passing of an era.

Condolences to you and your wife.

Ticker said...

Our thanks to each of you for your prayers and words of sympathy.

Nancy and Ticker

Ticker said...


Private family viewing will be tomorrow(Wednesday) evening at 5:15, Open viewing will be at 6:00, Celebration of Life Services to follow at 7PM. Interment at Mt Home VA will be on Thursday at 1:00.

Ticker said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Always On Watch said...

His many decorations include a Bronze Star, but he didn't relate the story as to how the award came about. It was one of those things that members of his generation often kept to themselves...

For several years, I worked at a private school, where one of the co-owners was known to me as "Mr. R." After a time, I found out that he had fought in WW2 and was quite the hero and high-ranking officer. I've never met a more humble man in my life!

God bless all our vets, especially our WW2 vets. We will not long have them with us on this earth. And the earth will be a lesser place without them.

God be with you, Ticker, as you grieve over this loss.