Wayne R. Matthews of Phoenix passed away suddenly on Thursday, June 26, 2014 at the age of 61. He is survived by his parents Norma and Reginald Matthews of Phoenix, sister Marilyn Matthews Harbster of Phoenix, and niece Jennifer Harbster of Washington D.C. who affectionately called her Uncle “Unky.” He was born on October 28, 1952 in Framingham, MA, but grew up in the Valley of the Sun attending Orangewood Elementary and graduated from Washington High. He enlisted in the Navy after high school and served on the USS Shasta during the Vietnam War. After his service with the Navy he returned to Phoenix and studied horticulture at ASU. Wayne had a passion for life and nature – he always stopped and smelled the roses. He created magical gardens filled with colorful and fragrant flowers, as well as edible gardens of delicious herbs, vegetables and fruits. He worked at Sperling and Steven’s nurseries in Los Angeles and most recently he worked at Baker’s Nursery in Phoenix where he enjoyed helping Phoenicians beautify their lives with plants and flowers. He had a passion for growing roses, so he ventured into the cut rose floral business while living in Los Angeles. He maintained over an acre of the most beautiful garden antique roses known to man which he sold to local florists, businesses, and celebrities. As a student of Self-Realization Fellowship, he was a kind soul who valued spiritual awareness and daily meditation. His smile was infectious and laugh was contagious. All that met or knew him relished in his joy of life. A Celebration of Wayne’s Life will be held on Friday, July 11th at 11 a.m. at the Beatitudes Campus Life Center, 1610 West Glendale Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85021. Ample parking is available. In lieu of flowers the family asks that donations be given to Editha House, a place where Wayne volunteered his gardening expertise and plants, Editha House: Home Health Care Services, 336 E. Willetta St. Phoenix, AZ 85004, 602-388-4920 www.edithahouse.org. Funeral arrangements are being made by Whitney & Murphy Funeral Home, 4800 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix, AZ 85018. Tel: 602-840-5600.
Janice Borovay Montana
I am so very sorry to hear of Wayne’s passing. What a horrible and tragic loss for you, your parents, daughter and all of Wayne’s friends and loved ones.
My thoughts and prayers are with you at this very difficult time.
Mr. And Mrs. Matthews and Mairlyn, my heart is breaking for you all. I have know Wayne since we Attended Orangewood Together. He was such a wonderful person and he had such a fun laugh. I lived on 17th drive growing up and have so many memories of our neighborhood. May peace with you all during this difficult time. Our memories are what we have to keep us going.
With deep respect,
Cathy Hughes Francis
Joan Borovay Gordon
I am so sorry to hear about Wayne. We had some good times at Orangewood and Washington High. I remember our 20th reunion we hung out and had a lot of fun. He will be missed. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Love, Joan
How tragic a loss for you, Wayne’s parents and your daughter! My heart breaks for your parents as they have to go through, what all parents can never imagine. As you are there for them and your daughter, I will be praying for God’s grace to meet you where you are, to give you the comfort for your loss and the wisdom to get through this difficult time and carry you and your family through future sorrow. Although we drifted apart through the years, this brings me right back to Wayne’s welcomed sense of humor, amazing smile and such depth through his eyes.
With deepest sympathy to you all,
Tonya Chernek Gilbert
To My sincere condolences to Wayne’s family , I met Wayne in high school and he was a very sweet, funny and kind young man. I am so sorry to hear of his passing. I will always have nice memories of his friendship. Sincerely, Tonya Chernek Gilbert
February seems like yesterday to me now…I was buying roses for my home. A joy-filled voice inquired,’Would you like some help with those roses?’ I turned to see the face connected to that familiar sounding voice. No need to say it was Wayne. As I lowered my sunglasses, I could see recognition dawn on his face and we hugged and talked about all the years that have passed since last we spoke. I am grateful now for that memory and the wonderful conversation we enjoyed. I am grateful for the memory as I learned we shared a love of gardening and roses.
I send my love and best hopes to all of his loved ones and thank you for sharing Wayne’s life with everyone who knew him.
May the Lord bless your lives in the coming years.
Glory (Williams) Rogers