James Frederick Matheson

October 15, 1938September 17, 2020

Jim was known by many names: Husband. Father. Granddaddy. Cousin. In-law. Outlaw. Friend. Businessman. Fisherman. Artist. Christian. Guide. Traveler. Bee keeper. Patriot. Sage. Orchid master. Handyman. Confidant. Bon vivant. But none are complete without the word “Beloved.” Jim’s kindness, generosity, and humor drew people to him. They trusted his intelligence and his open heart, universally loving him in return. He lived a full and splendid life.

Born in West Palm Beach, Florida, to a loving Christian family, Jim’s youth was a Huck Finn story and teen years at Palm Beach High were straight out of Happy Days. His freshman year at Emory, he met the love of his life, Jean. Together, they graduated from the University of Georgia then married in 1961. After moving back to his hometown, Jim was a State Farm Insurance agent for 42 years. They have two children, James Frederick Matheson Jr. (Jay) and Janet Matheson Gerds (husband Rob.) Jim delighted in his 3 grandchildren, Ryan, Sean, and Laura Matheson. He captured them with his love, humor, stories, and fishing advice.

He is survived by 7 loving cousins: DeeDee, Mary, Ruthie, Francie, Gale, Debi, and Joy as well as two loving sisters-in-law, Janet and Jane, 4 nieces and nephews, and friends too numerous to count.

His funeral will be on Saturday, September 26 at 11:00 a.m. EST and can be viewed online at:

In lieu of flowers, please make donations to The First United Methodist Church, 1500 S. Kanner Highway, Stuart, FL 34994 at or to the Disabled American Veterans Charitable Service Trust at


James Frederick Matheson

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Janet Heisel

September 26, 2020

A beautiful service produced and directed by the two he produced and directed.
Janet Heisel

Frani Schmidt

September 26, 2020

I worked for Jim at his State Farm office in the early 90’s. He was always kind and generous and a great boss. He had a great influence on so many lives and I am so glad that I had the time with him that I did. My heart goes out to you in your loss but what a beautiful memorial you gave us. Sincerely, Frani Schmidt

John Kerns

September 26, 2020

I have been close friends with Jim’s son Jay since High School and was fortunate enough to work in Jim’s State Farm office prior to my last year of college. My take-always:
* You can be a successful businessmen AND a man of integrity and kindness - they are not mutually exclusive!
* I asked Jim to write me a letter of reference as part of my application to the US Navy - of course he did and it was incredible -I didn’t recognize the person he was writing about. I realize now that Jim saw potential in me well before I did. I have tried to play that forward in my life - helping people see their gifts along the way.
Aside from working for Jim, I considered him a life-long friend - while I am saddened by his loss, I know that:
* The Fishing Stories in Heaven just got a whole lot better, and
* I, along with a lot of other people that Jim has touched, just got an angel to watch over me - and I’ll take as many of those as I can get!!
Much love to the Matheson Family!!!

Arthur Heisel

September 24, 2020

He loved me I loved him .
He took me fishing and said I might not catch anything. After a few minutes I pulled in a pompano. He told all his fishing buddies about me.
On another fishing trip I pulled in a beautiful but smelly fish. He cooked it anyway and just the two of us ate it.
He loved me and thought I was special in all the good ways.
He was my uncle but I called him Jimmy Boy.
Art Heisel

Robert Ackert

September 23, 2020

We were in DeMolay together also went to Northboro together.
Good guy.

Mary Jane Lockman

September 23, 2020

I was saddened today to hear of Jim's passing. I have known Jim since school days and he was my husband's and my insurance agent for many of those years. In fact, I am still with State Farm. Jim was always a pleasure to be around and I am sure he will be missed by many, including his many classmates when we are able to get together again for a class dinner. My sincerest condolences to all his family.
God Bless, Mary Jane

Jan Coton

September 22, 2020

Gary and I are so Sad to hear of Jim’s passing!! I am so happy that I have one of his “fish prints” I so enjoyed his explanation of how he did it! Also, we all remember how fun he was to play horseshoes with at the Spring Neighborhood Picnics!! Such a wonderful man who will be greatly missed!!

charles mitchell

September 21, 2020

Jim was a great guy, very talented artist and will be missed by all in the neighborhood