Obituary for Dallas Roy Mathews
Dallas was born in Benkelman, Nebraska on April 1, 1938.…the youngest of 5 living children, to Roy and Edna Mathews. He died unexpectedly on December 6, 2014. Dal was a beloved husband and soulmate of 56 years to Sonya; loving father to three daughters...Dalyn Allyson Ball, Marcy Ann Mathews, Cindy Kay Clark and son, (Darrell) Kirk (deceased); proud grandfather of Haley Lynn Ball and Blake Thomas Mathews. Dallas' early school years were spent in Stratton and McCook, NE-graduating from high school in 1955. He often reflected on those happy times with cousins, great friends and good band buddies and trips. In addition to playing trumpet with the band, he sang in a barbershop quartet that won a contest to travel to Omaha to perform on the Horace Height radio talent show.
The first year of college was at the University of Nebraska before Bill Kelly (high school band director) "recruited" him to Western State College in Gunnison, CO. There, in addition to classes and music performances, Dallas worked in the cafeteria dish room, grounds keeping on the campus, playing in a band for hire and traveling weekly for a time to Montrose to teach trumpet to high school students there. He met his wife, Sonya, here in Gunnison.
In 1959 Dallas joined the United States Air Force Band (this headquarters command band was primarily the ceremonial unit of the USAF Band) in Washington D.C. The unit played for many ceremonial events, including arrivals and departures of dignitaries at Andrews AF Base (now Reagan Airport), President John F. Kennedy's inaugural and his funeral at Arlington; concerts throughout the East Coast and Caribbean during Dal's years (Nov. 1959 to Aug. 1964) Other notable events include: Accompanied Vice Pres. Johnson to Jamaica to celebrate their independence from Great Britain (performed around the island for a week in 1961); ticker tape parade in New York City for John Glenn, Alan Shepard and the Mercury Seven..1962; played a concert for the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg at the Battleground Memorial in Gettysburg (Ex- President Eisenhower had retired to his farm near there...he gave a commemorative speech after the concert); General Douglas MacArthur's funeral (1964); many times at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery and the back lawn of the White House during Eisenhower's and Kennedy's administrations. Dal also played lead trumpet in a 10-piece "tenor band" for dances, receptions and other social events for military and diplomatic settings.
When this band was downsized, Dal and his family transferred to Lowry AFB here in Aurora, CO. After 8 years in the service he went back to college at Denver University where he earned a Bachelor's degree in Music Education in 1968 and Master's degree in 1970 (while also working many hours at the Safeway.)
Denver Public Schools hired Dallas in 1979, where he spent the rest of his teaching years as band director…retiring in 2000. Dal also played with the Brico Symphony during the late 1970s.
In 1976 Dal was hired to direct the All Parochial Youth Band...two evenings a week and Saturdays, in addition to his full-time teaching job at Kepner Middle School. He held this position for approximately 5 years, conducting many performances and participating in several great trips with these band groups…including travel to Europe, Hawaii, Canada, the Bahamas and Wash., D. C.
"Retiring" meant continuing to play trumpet and sing professionally for many dances and events, and coaching private brass students (at Flesher-Hinton Music studio for over 40 years!) until the end.
Memorial service will be held 10am Thursday December 11, 2014 at Olinger Chapel Hill, 6601 S. Colorado Blvd., Centennial, CO. For more information 303-771-3960