August 22, 2023
Robert E. “Bob” Matthews, age 98, died August 17, 2023 in Cincinnati OH following a brief illness. Bob was born May 1, l925 in Elizabeth New Jersey, the son of the late Emil and Mae Matthews. He was married to Jeanne Corbett Matthews for 42 years until her death in 1993. He later was married to Beatrice Slone Matthews for 23 years until her death in 2020.
Bob served in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II as a Crew Chief with the B-24 bomber group. After the war he graduated from The Catholic University of America in Washington D.C. with a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering. He also earned an MBA from Morehead State University in 1978 and received an honorary Doctorate from Pikeville College in 1988.
Bob began a forty-year career with the American Electric Power System in 1950 at its New York City headquarters and transferred to its subsidiary, Kentucky Power Company in Ashland, KY in 1967. He retired from Kentucky Power in 1990 as President and CEO and as a member of the Board of Directors of American Electric Power.
Bob was a member of Holy Family Church in Ashland for more than fifty years.
Bob was active in a wide array of community organizations in Ashland: The Ashland Chamber of Commerce (including a term as President), the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, the Associated Industries of Kentucky Board of Directors, United Way (including a term as chairperson), the Kings Daughters Medical Center Board of Directors, the Ashland/Boyd County Airport Board of Directors, the Second National Bank (later Pikeville National Bank, now Community Trust) Board of Directors including a time as Chairman of that Board, and the Hack Estep Home for Boys Board of Directors.
Bob was affiliated with the Kentucky Independent College Fund, the Huntington Museum of Art, the Foundation for the Tri-State, the Edison Electric Institute, a life member of ASHRAE, and a member of the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association. He served three Governors of the Commonwealth of Kentucky on the Kentucky Energy Research Board and the Kentucky Advisory Board for Vocational Education. He was a member of the Ashland Rotary Club for over 50 years and was its oldest living member when he and Bea moved from Ashland to Cincinnati in 2016.
In addition to his wives he was preceded in death by his daughter Patricia, his parents, a sister Virginia Coughlin, sixteen brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, five nieces and nephews, a step-grandson, and many good friends.
Bob is survived by four children: Robert Matthews of Cincinnati OH, Thomas (Janet) Matthews, Lexington KY, John (Eileen) Matthews, St. Petersburg FL, and Anne (Russ) Ryan, Vienna VA, three step-children: Andrea Slone (Larry Yates), Cincinnati OH, Deck Slone, St. Louis MO., and Tim (Carolyn) Slone, Frankfort, KY, a brother Jack Matthews, Eatontown NJ, nine grandchildren, five step-grandchildren, twelve great-grandchildren, and twenty-nine nieces and nephews.
Funeral Services will be held on Saturday, August 26, 2023 beginning with a visitation at Holy Family Catholic Church from 9:30am-11:00am and a Mass of Christian Burial at 11:30am, followed by a burial at Ashland Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Matthews Family Scholarship Fund c/o the Foundation for the Tri-State (P.O. Box 2096, Ashland KY 41105) in support of nursing scholarships.