Fred T. Mathews Jr.

Published 10:19 pm Friday, June 23, 2017

Fred T. “Pete” Mathews Jr. died peacefully in his home, surrounded by his immediate family, on June 22, 2017.

Pete was born in Hertford, N.C., on Dec. 19, 1934, to the late Hazel Keaton Mathews and Fred T. Mathews Sr.

He was a graduate of Perquimans High School, where he served as senior class president and participated in athletics and multiple clubs.

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A 1958 graduate of the University of Richmond School of Business Administration, Pete served as junior class president of the School of Business Administration; vice president of the School of Business Administration Student Government; and vice president of Theta Chi fraternity.

Born with the car business in his blood, Pete began working with his father as vice president of the Windsor Auto Auction in Windsor. A few years later, he started his own used car lot, City Motors, in Suffolk. He later added HRFT Auto Wholesalers, going into business with his brothers J. Tom and Bob; and then added retail dealerships to the family company, including Dodge City in Chesapeake and Tower Toyota/Dodge and Tower Mazda in Portsmouth.

Always a leader, Pete served as president of the board of directors of the Virginia Independent Auto Dealers Association, president of the board of directors of the Hampton Roads Auto Dealers Association, and served on the board of directors of the Virginia Auto Dealers Association.

He is survived by his brothers, Dr. Robert S. Mathews of Lancaster, Penn., and John Thomas Mathews (Gail) of Suffolk.

In 1953, he married his childhood sweetheart, Marian Elliott Mathews, and together they had four children, the late Katherine “Kay” Hazel Mathews, Betsy Mathews Wright Rhodes (Bernie), Fred T. Mathews III, and Martin Elliott Mathews (Mary). He is also survived by 10 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren, and is predeceased by grandson Stockton Lucas “Luke” Wright.

The family would like to thank Pete’s best friend, the honorable Morton V. Whitlow, for his loyalty, guidance and wisdom.

The family also appreciates the wonderful services of Family Care Senior Solutions of Virginia Beach, especially the love and care of Delores “Dee” Jeffrey, who brought joy to Pete for the last two years. Other aides for whom the family is grateful include Stephanie, Ebony, Martina, Chrystal and Victoria. They also appreciate the previous services and friendship of the staff and residents of Georgian Manor.

Finally, appreciation is extended for the excellent care from friends at Chesapeake ComfortCare Hospice.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations noting “In Memory of Fred T. Mathews Jr.” may be made to the Shriners Hospital, 403 E. Front St., New Bern, NC 28560; or the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, North Carolina Chapter, PO Box 25536, Winston-Salem, NC 27114.

The family will receive friends on Saturday from 4 to 6 p.m. at Altmeyer Funeral Home, Chesapeake. A private memorial service will be held at a later date. Express condolences to the family at