A MESSAGE FROM THE FAMILY

Donations in honor of Tom could be made to MD Anderson, CAP or any animal charity of your choice.
OBITUARY

Thomas Carlton Matthews

March 10, 1945January 1, 2021
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Thomas Carlton Matthews (Tom) passed away at the age of 75 in Houston, TX on January 1, 2021 with his wife by his side. He was born on March 10, 1945 in Houston, TX to Jesse T. and Lois Luper Matthews who both preceded him in death. He is survived by his wife of 46 ½ years, Karin, and beloved dog, Teddy. Tom earned his BS degree in Mathematics and Computer Science in 1972 from Sam Houston State University, after serving his country in the Military - first in Vietnam, then in Berlin, Germany at the height of the Cold War. It was in Berlin, where he met his wife and best friend, Karin. Their marriage was an incredibly happy one; often they would comment on what a great life they were having. Alas, it turned out being too short. Tom had a long career in sales and marketing for Rotork Controls, an international valve actuation company. His focus was on the oil and gas industry, where he was highly regarded for his knowledge and expertise. In the early years of his career, he was active in the Lions Club, but later had to give that up due to his travel schedule for work. That schedule kept him moving all over the country. He retired permanently in 2016. His leadership, calm demeanor and fine wit will be greatly missed. Tom and Karin traveled some after his retirement, mostly cruising. They enjoyed each day together. When he was home, he would enjoy home life and entertaining friends quite often. Tom and Karin have been living in Houston throughout their married life. It is here that Tom could actively pursue his greatest hobby, amateur radio. His activities ranged from amateur television and portable satellite operations to short wave (HD) contacts on his favorite 17m bands. He was relentless, always adding new software radios and other technology. Tom was the video master for the Annual South Texas Balloon Launch Team’s high-altitude balloon flights. He spent his time editing videos, then creating DVDs which he proudly shared. He loved new technology, which he never quit learning. His key is silent now, but he will not be forgotten. Tom was an exceptional individual. He was kind, loved people, loved to share his knowledge, educate, and interest people in new things. He never had anything bad to say about anybody. He is leaving a great void, which will not only be felt by his wife, but his many friends.

Services

  • Visitation

    Friday, January 8, 2021

Memories

Thomas Carlton Matthews

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David McKenney

January 14, 2021

It was with great sorrow to hear of the passing of another old friend. I recently was thinking of my High School days and cruising down in front of SBSH in Tommy’s 1962 (?) Chevy, with the two-speed PowerGlide transmission. (I’m sure we had passes to be out of class.) We got to know each other through mutual friends and I can still picture him now. It appears that his looks never changed over the years, and from these tributes the person I knew back then also stayed the same. I am sorry that we lost touch after high school while still living in the same area. My thoughts and prayers are with his family.
David McKenney

Skip Kuehn

January 12, 2021

Dear Karin,
I am deeply saddened to hear of my dear friend, my mentor. Tom was always there with a smile, a stretched out hand and a sincere interest in knowing how you were doing. Tom was an ultimate professional and he trained all of us to become a close resemblance
of himself.
My heart goes out to you and your family. Tom is saving a place for us.

Skip Kuehn

William Theberge

January 12, 2021

About 20 years ago, I met Tom and Karin. On several occasions they invited me to stay with them during the holidays.
Since that time, we have only kept in touch via email and telephone.

It has been wonderful, over these past years, to share stories of our
dogs, and all the fun things Tom has done with high tech and weather balloons.

Tom will be greatly missed.

Barbara Land

January 9, 2021

I met Tom and Karin almost 40 years ago when Karin and I worked together. He was always such a kind, caring man with a beautiful smile for everyone. One of my favorite memories of Tom was at our wedding rehearsal dinner. I was going to have to walk down a sweeping flight of stairs and was very nervous. Tom took me aside and said" Barbara, don't be nervous, you are going to "swoop gracefully" down those stairs". Many times in life I have remembered Tom's words and told myself to "swoop gracefully" through the storms of life. Heaven gained a sweet angel.

Stacy Everett

January 9, 2021

With Kari & I growing up together, Tom & Karin were an extended part of the Keng family. Tom was always so kind & such a gentleman.
He & Dorothy are gone way too soon. Karin, May the memories of many wonderful & happy years together bring you peace & comfort during this difficult time.

Stacy

Jim Welch

January 8, 2021

Hi Karin,

So sorry to hear about Tom. He is my all time favorite and the most admired salesperson I have ever met. I thoroughly enjoyed making calls and working with Tom because of his professionalism, knowledge and simply pleasant personality. He was humble, gracious and a true gentleman ! The world was a better place with Tom in it and he will be missed.

I wish you the best Karin.

Jim Welch

Ravi Ratnala

January 8, 2021

I met Tom around 3 years ago, after I joined the Balloon Launch Team; I was just brought on to be “the FAA guy.” But shortly thereafter, Tom asked for my help in trying to solve some technical difficulties he was having with his real-time video system. He didn’t ask me because I’m an expert in digital video systems (I’m not), or because he had any problem at all figuring it out himself (he didn’t) – he asked me because I was the new guy, and he wanted me to feel like I was really part of the team. That’s just who Tom was.

As time went on - through other BLT meetings, phone conversations, sharing great food and beverages together, working on our Morse code and various other projects together - Tom and I got to be good friends. Tom’s vote was the deciding one in my decision to go with induction over gas for my kitchen remodel. I told Tom we were going to have Karin and him over for our first large induction-cooked feast when I got it all done. I’m sad that Tom won’t be able to join us for that feast now; I sure hope Karin will still be able to make it.

I’m sad about all the times I won’t get to spend with my good friend Tom now. But even more, I’m thankful for all the great times that I was. I’m especially thankful that I was blessed enough to know him at all.

Godspeed, Tom . . . I’ll see you on the other side.

73 de N5OL

Denise Smith McRoberts

January 8, 2021

Tom was an inspiration to me, always so calm and collective with his thoughts and actions. Some of the greatest things I learned from Tom was patience and humility. He would ask me from time to time how everything was going, and my answer was usually the same. I would tell him no matter how hard I try, that pile of work always seems to get bigger; and he would say, 'Well, it's like a sink full of dirty dishes, it'll all be waiting on you tomorrow'. I appreciated that sense of humor. Tom was thoughtful of others. He knew of my passion for plumerias, gardening and cool places to go for vacation; and he would take the time to cut out newspaper articles when he ran across something he knew would interest me. Tom was special in so many ways, He will always be remembered as The Father of the Rotork Houston family. My deepest sympathies to you, Karin, during this most difficult time.

Sandra Graf

January 8, 2021

I met Tom during my vacations in Texas visiting my best friends Astrid&Thomas ( I'm coming from Berlin/Germany). Karin and Tom invited us together.
I remember Tom all the times friendly, gentle, caring and patient. He explained me everything in slowly english words and in the end in little german words: we are laughing together and I understand the conversation. We are cruising togehter and spend a lot of wonderful time. I'm very thankful to met Tom.

Karin, er war ein wundervoller Mann und ich werde ihn nicht vergessen.
Er wird dich weiterhin auf all deinen Wegen begleiten und beschützen.
Tom wird in unseren Herzen immer weiter leben.

Marty Thomas

January 7, 2021

Tom and I worked together for more than 35 years. I think many of us feel fortunate to have had someone who, while leading by example, could so easily set such gracious behavioral standards and mentor many of us in and out of the workplace.

I have many great memories of shared experiences. I recall a time long ago, when we had taken some customers out for a Catfish style lunch. We were in a rather faraway portion of Texas at the time. When the bill came, neither of us had noticed that the restaurant didn’t take charge cards. We huddled, both checked our wallets, pockets, car seats, cuffs of our pants etc... for cash. While I thrashed around looking for cash, Tom kept his usual calm cool demeanor, smiled mischievously and quietly pulled out that hidden $ 20 bill he kept for just such an occasion. I suspect he may have purposely kept me dangling for just an extra minute or three.

One of my favorite Tom quips: “Please don’t tell my mother I sell valve actuators for a living, she’d be so disappointed, she thinks I’m a piano player in a bawdy house”. So typical Tom.

So long good friend.

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