Loretta Gay Mathews
December 14, 1941 – January 8, 2018
The family of Loretta Gay Mathews is saddened to share the news of her death. She died peacefully at home surrounded by family on January 8, 2018 Loretta was the second daughter of John and Aletta Van Gronigen and was born on December 14, 1941 in Hanford.
Loretta attended Hanford Christian School and Hanford High School. Following her graduation from high school in 1959, Loretta married her high-school sweetheart, Melvin Leon Mathews. In 1971, Loretta graduated with a degree in nursing from College of the Sequoias and began a career as a registered nurse that would span 38 years. During her long career in Hanford, she provided many different kinds of nursing care, but most of those years were spent in Women's Services where she joyfully assisted families from our community with the birth of their children. It was not uncommon for parents to stop her while out and about decades later to tell her they remembered fondly and with gratitude her care during the birth of their child.
Loretta loved the outdoors and spent a great deal of time in the mountains snow-skiing or at the beach with family and friends. She was also an avid flower gardener. In her later years, she enjoyed knitting and made blankets to donate to newborn children at various regional hospitals. She also loved to spend time caring for and playing with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren who will remember her as their beloved “MeMe.” Loretta was baptized at the First Christian Reformed Church in Hanford where she remained a lifelong member. She especially enjoyed participating in the church's Coffee Break Bible Study program.
Loretta was preceded in death by her parents. She is survived by her husband, Melvin, as well as her four sons and their spouses: Melvin J.T. Mathews and Patty Cabanas, Mark and Becky Mathews, Dr. Matthew Mathews and the Reverend Dr. Kendra Hotz, and Mason and Linzi Mathews. She will be lovingly remembered by her 7 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren. Loretta was also very close to her three sisters, all of whom survive her, Marilyn Maccagno, Martha Hammond, and Chris Dykes.
The family wishes to thank the physicians and healthcare professionals who cared for her during her final illness. Together with her faith, their care and support helped her live well and embrace life joyfully in her final years.
A Visitation will be held on Thursday, January 18th from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. at People's Funeral Chapel; 501 N. Douty St., Hanford and a Graveside Service on Friday, January 19th at 10:00 a.m. at Grangeville Cemetery; 10428 14th Ave., Armona followed by a Memorial Service on Friday, January 19th at 11:00 a.m. at First Christian Reformed Church; 2175 Leoni Dr., Hanford with a reception immediately following in the Fellowship Hall.
The family appreciates any floral arrangements to People's Funeral Chapel or you many send donations in Loretta's honor to the St. Jude's Research Hospital; 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN 38105.
Family and Friends are invited to view Loretta's legacy at www.peoplesfuneralchapel.com and send condolences to the family.
Services by People's Funeral Chapel 559-584-5591.