Anna Oates Mathews

December 23, 1944January 6, 2021

Anna Katherine Oates, beloved mother, sister, aunt and grandmother, was welcomed into Heaven on January 6, 2021. She was born on December 23, 1944, in High (Lamar County), Texas, to Arnold Dale Oates, Sr. and Beulah Endsley Oates. She was preceded in death by her husband Loyd Mathews, her sister Susan Davis and her parents. Anna grew up in Paris and attended schools there, graduating from Paris High School in 1962. She attended East Texas State University and earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in August 1968. Anna began a 33-year career as a High School English teacher in Royce City, Texas, before moving to Paris in the early 70s. She taught English at Paris High School until retirement in December 1999. Anna was a compassionate, dedicated and highly-skilled teacher who was loved and respected by many of her students. She was the yearbook sponsor for many years and received a variety of honors, including being chosen as a Teacher of the Year for Paris ISD. Anna was a woman of great faith and a devout Christian. She was a life-long member of the First Baptist Church where for many years she taught a Sunday school class for older women. It was in this senior department that she met the love of her life, Loyd Mathews. They were married in December 1997 and cherished their lives together before his death in February 2008. Left to mourn Anna's passing are her children Charles Desmarais and wife Cyndi, Leslie Pope and wife Tish, and Ashley Pope and husband Colin Woodworth; brother Arnold (Sonny) Oates and wife Martha and sister Linda Spaits and husband, Joe. She is also survived by her grandsons Jonathon Desmarais, Landon and Larsen Pope and Chase Woodworth; niece Katherine Erickson and husband Doug and their daughter Taylor Anne Jester and husband Justin; nephew Mark Oates and wife Christi and their daughters Elizabeth and Rebecca; niece Beth Duck and husband David, nephews Jay Davis and wife Kimberly, Brad Davis and wife Erin and Rocky Blair and wife Rachel. The family wishes to thank the compassionate nurses and doctors at Hospice of East Texas and the Memory Care staff at Meadow Lake Senior Living in Tyler who took loving care of Anna for almost four years. A graveside service will be held at the Evergreen Chapel of Evergreen Cemetery on Saturday, January 16, 2021, at 1:00 p.m. under the direction of Bright-Holland Funeral Home. Rev. Ken Cannon will officiate. The family requests that masks be worn to limit potential exposure to illness. Memorial gifts may be made to the Anna Oates Mathews Scholarship administered by the Paris Education Foundation, PO Box 356, Paris, TX 75461-0356 (


  • Cemetery Service

    Saturday, January 16, 2021


Anna Oates Mathews

have a memory or condolence to add?

Denise Harbison

January 14, 2021

Dear Cousins, I want you to know I grieve and rejoice with you to the home-going of Anna. What a blessing she was to my family, the Blackshear's, as we would get together, with Big Daddy, Big Mama, Uncle JD, Aunt Loretta, Betty, Aunt Kaki, Abigail, Aunt Rube, and precious Aunt Beulah. Aunt Beulah often prepared lunch for me when I worked at the bank. I was younger than those teenage girls, but thought it was a big deal for them to spend time with us younger cousins.
What a testimony and legacy left for her mom and dad, children, grand-children, sisters, brothers, Mr. Matthews, and her wonderful friends at church and school. She will be missed, but forever in our hearts, She is at her new home that was awaiting her arrival!
Love you all,
Denise Blackshear Harbison

Mary Matthews

January 13, 2021

I think I met Anna at a church service we were discussing the Mathews genealogy

Erin Lewis

January 9, 2021

Mrs. Matthew’s was my freshman English teacher at PHS in 1997. She was one of my favorite teachers ever. She made my favorite subject even more interesting and was so good at what she did. When you walked in her classroom you knew you were cared for and that it was a safe place to make mistakes. She was loved by so many students and will be greatly missed.

Erin Barbee Lewis

Elaine Burns

January 8, 2021

I'm so saddened about the passing of your mother. She was my favorite teacher at Crockett Middle School, Paris High School, and my Sunday school teacher too at First Baptist Church. She was an excellent teacher! She set a great example for all of us to follow. I have often thought of her throughout my life.

Elaine Athas Burns


January 8, 2021

"Ms. Pope" was one of my very favorite teachers. She always had a pretty smile! Thoughts and prayers are with the family.
Laura Keys Jackson


December 23, 1944 ~ January 6, 2021


December 23, 1944 ~ January 6, 2021