Charles F. ‘Chuck’ Matheny
Charles F. “Chuck” Matheny, 80, of Geneva, formerly of Bonita Springs, Fla., and Kankakee, Ill., passed away peacefully at his home in Greenfields of Geneva, surrounded by the love and prayers of his family, Sunday, May 18, 2014.
He was born Dec. 19, 1933, in Paris, Ill., the son of Ralph and Lola Matheny.
Chuck grew up in Paris and attended local schools. He graduated from Paris High School before continuing his education at Eastern Illinois University.
Although Chuck was a good student, his classes weren’t the only thing he studied. Shirley Unger, also a student at EIU, not only caught his eye, but stole his heart.
After he graduated, there was a brief engagement before they were united in marriage on Aug. 5, 1956, in Kankakee. Their family grew by one when Stephen was born a year later.
They began their new life together in Kankakee, and there was nothing that could separate them, except the United States Marines who called upon Chuck after his ROTC training.
The Mathenys were stationed throughout the U.S. and only separated briefly while Chuck was stationed for a time in Okinawa, Japan. They were reunited after Japan near Parris Island and added a son, Jeffrey, in 1959. Finally a daughter, Susan, made the family complete in 1963.
They made their home in Bradley, Ill., for many years until 1987, when they split their time with the snow birds in Bonita Springs. In 1995, they moved to Bonita full time before returning to Geneva, making their home at Greenfields of Geneva in 2011.
Upon his return to civilian life, Chuck began working in the family business, Kanweld, a welding distributorship. He started low on the totem pole, driving trucks and filling canisters all the way up to being vice president.
Chuck was a member of the Kiwanis, Y’s Men, The United Way, and Toast Masters.
Chuck was very active in his local YMCA and was an avid fisherman who loved his yearly trips up north. When he was south of the Canadian border, he loved to golf early and often. He was an avid runner and bicyclist all his life and could boast being the 1951 IHSA State Cross Country Champion and the IHSA One Mile Champion a year later. Of all his medals and accomplishments, it was the invisible ones won by being a wonderful husband and loving father that meant the most. He will be missed dearly and never forgotten.
He is survived by three children, Stephen Matheny of East Peoria, Ill., Jeffrey (Lynne) Matheny of Canton, Mich., and Susan (Joel) Speckman of Elburn; eight grandchildren, Milyne (Charles) Gaden and their children, Charles and Johnathan, Sarah (Kris) Roe, Caleb (Katelyn) Matheny, Meghan Matheny, Molly Speckman, Alexander Speckman, Claire Matheny and Emily Matheny, and several nieces and nephews; and two sisters, Helen Shanks and Betty (Joe) Eldredge.
He is preceded in death by his parents; wife, Shirley; two brothers, Dale and Ralph Matheny; and one daughter-in-law, Julie Matheny.
A memorial visitation will be Friday, May 23, at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St., Elburn, from 2 to 3:30 p.m., with a memorial service to follow at 3:30. Private family interment will follow at a later date. The family would appreciate all who plan on attending to feel free to wear casual attire. Chuck himself loved wearing Hawaiian shirts and surely now wears one in heaven.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established in his name to benefit the Alzheimer’s Association. Checks may be made to the “Alzheimer’s Association” and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, 60119. Tributes may also be forwarded to the same address or on the web at www.conleycare.com.