Cover photo for Louise Rivers Matthews's Obituary
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Louise Rivers Matthews

December 11, 1927 — January 22, 2024


Louise Rivers Matthews

          Wadesboro - Louise Rivers Matthews passed into heaven on January 22, 2024, surrounded by her three sons and her daughter-in-law. Louise was born Virginia Louise Rivers on December 11, 1927 in Hartsville, SC to Ruby DuBose Rivers and James U. (Bill) Rivers. Her love of family was epitomized throughout her life from caring for her parents to her ever-present desire to be involved in her 6 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren’s lives and activities, when possible.  Louise lived a very full life full of adventures with her husband, George E. Matthews, Sr. Married for 72 years, they met while George was staying at a boarding house run by her grandparents and she was attending nearby Coker College. Their young love was strong and they wanted to get married as soon as possible, but Louise made a promise to her parents that they would wait until after she graduated college. Promises are promises and she kept that promise, but by only an hour! They drove directly from graduation straight to their wedding ceremony. Their love was one for the ages and it only grew stronger over their years together.  Louise began her long teaching career at that time. She taught elementary school in McColl, SC, Bennettsville, SC, and Mt. Croghan, SC before moving to Wadesboro, where she taught elementary, middle, and high school.  She always worked diligently with her students to bring out their very best and always looked for ways to make learning a positive experience. She was known for rearranging desks to keep her students on their toes and even brought in her rug to make for a more “homey” atmosphere.


“Ms. Louise” was widely recognized for her excellence in teaching and was selected to “Who’s Who in American Teachers”. Among her most rewarding teaching experiences was her time at J.R. Faison on Salisbury Street, serving under Principal John R. Marable and with co-teacher Ms. Vivian Price. This was the first year that Anson County schools were fully integrated, and she was in the first group of white teachers at the school. Times have changed so much in the County and she will always be grateful for having the opportunity to help different communities of students come together positively.

A lifelong learner, Louise embraced new technologies that would allow her to stay connected with family while also staying abreast of current events throughout the world. She would learn all of the latest technological gadgets and online tools to keep her connected to things and people she loved. She kept up with news and politics on her tablet and smartphone. She monitored downtown Wadesboro activities through her five security cameras. When anyone in her family flew, she tracked their plane en route with the FlightAware app. She texted daily with children, grandchildren, and even great-grandchildren. She even solved the New York Times online Wordle puzzle each morning before breakfast. When technology problems popped up, more often than not she would troubleshoot them herself, using Google, YouTube, or her own wits. 

Louise also loved expressing herself through art. Whether it was through watercolor paintings of various nature scenes or various pieces of poetry, she sought to express the beauty of God’s creation and the human experience. A poem about a lone soldier during the Gulf War earned recognition in a local poetry contest. She encouraged others to explore their creativity while teaching her students to embrace all of what an education could offer. 


There will be a private service for her family to reminisce and celebrate her life. 


Her family extends their deepest appreciation to all those in Wadesboro who made it possible for her to live independently until two weeks before her death. We especially thank Gaye and Matt Harrington, Steve Bailey, Oliver’s Restaurant, Ansonia Soup Company, Aaron Shaver of Parsons Drug Company, and Dr. Michael Lincoln who understood her needs and her desire to move furniture.

Louise is survived by their three sons and their families: Rick and his wife Carolyn of Winston-Salem, their children Mark (Florence) and their children,  Eleanor and James; Kelly Matthews Silliman (Shawn) and their children, Wyatt and McKinley; Mike  Matthews of Richmond, VA and his daughters Molly Matthews-Ewald (Chris) and their daughter, Jocelyn; and Aline Matthews; Kip Matthews and his wife Kimberly of Athens, GA, their children Patrick and Schuyler.


Memorial gifts may be made to Mount Croghan Methodist Church, PO Box 26, Mt. Croghan, SC 29727, The First United Methodist Church, 118 E. Morgan Street, Wadesboro, NC  28170-2202, or Trellis Supportive Care, 101 Hospice Lane, Winston Salem, NC  27103.


She has now been received by God who brought her into the world, the God who journeyed with her in life and faith, and the God who has now welcomed her home in death. May she rest in peace and rise in glory.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Louise Rivers Matthews, please visit our flower store.


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