Dr. Olyn Kelly “Doc” Matthews, 89, of Milton, Florida passed away unexpectedly on Tuesday, April 12, 2011.
Dr. Matthews was born on June 26, 1921, on a 380 acre farm near Ponce de Leon, Florida. He enjoyed participating in high school sports, especially track. He graduated from Ponce de Leon High School in 1939. Doc received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine Degree from Auburn University in 1943. Three of his brothers were also veterinarians. After graduation, he worked for the State of Illinois doing food inspection until July, 1944, when he moved to Milton. He then received an honorable discharge from the Army Veterinary Corp. Doc’s first job in Milton was an assistant state veterinarian and practitioner of veterinary medicine in Santa Rosa, Okaloosa and Escambia counties. He handled 26 dairies, many farms, the Jay Livestock Market, and vaccinated 30,000 hogs each year for many years. He married Elizabeth Campbell from Chumuckla in 1947 and they had two children. Doc and Elizabeth were involved in their children’s activities, church activities, and sports. He played baseball for the Milton Red Sox for seven years and was on First Baptist Church’s softball team for many years. He enjoyed playing in tennis tournaments and won many trophies. Doc was also active in his community. He was a past president of the Milton Kiwanis Club, Milton Quarterback Club and the Northwest Florida Veterinary Medical Association. He was elected to the Santa Rosa County School Board (1966-70).
Dr. Matthews was a member of the Chamber of Commerce and was selected as Man of the Year in 1990. He was campaign chairman of the United Way of Santa Rosa County for two years. He was an active member of First Baptist Church since joining in 1945. Doc retired in 1988 after 45 years in veterinary practice.
Dr. Matthews was predeceased by his wife of 63 years, Elizabeth Campbell Matthews; parents, Oscar Eugene Matthews and Louise Sutton Matthews; six brothers, Roland, Lavern, Howard, Wilson, E. O., Eglon; and three sisters, Melba Tanton, Maida Parshall, and Olene Matthews.
He is survived by his son, Roger (Vicky) Matthews of Milton and daughter, Martha (Robert) Trigg of Navarre; two adored granddaughters, Autumn and Ashley Matthews of Milton; four sisters-in-law, Mattie Matthews of Bonifay, Margaret Matthews of Marianna, Myrtle Campbell of Pensacola, Frances Campbell of Chumuckla; many nieces, nephews; and a special family friend, Rosie.
Visitation will be from 9:00 -11:00 am on Saturday, April 16, 2011 at First Baptist Church in Milton. Funeral services will be at 11:00 am with Dr. David Spencer officiating. A lunch for family and friends will follow at the First Baptist Church Family Life Center. A private burial will be at Elizabeth Chapel Community Cemetery in Chumuckla, Florida at a later time. Lewis Funeral Home, Milton is in charge of the arrangements.
Active pallbearers are Rick Hunsucker, Claude DeVane, Guy Thompson, Greg Gillis, Dr. Doug Worley, and Lamar Faulkner. Honorary pallbearers are Mike Long, Drexel Brock, Clayton White, Arlie Hughes, Jim McDaniel, Milton Kiwanis Club members and the Morning Coffee Group.
Memorial contributions may be made to First Baptist Church (Bamberg Chapel or other First Baptist funds), 6797 Caroline Street, Milton, Florida 32570 or the charity of your choice.
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