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Rev. Richard J. “R.J.” Matthies

Jan 30, 1934 - Nov 18, 2020


Rev. Richard J. Matthies, age 86, of Sheboygan was called to his eternal home on Wednesday evening November 18, 2020. He was the son of the late Rudolph and Ella (Sievert) Matthies, born January 30, 1934 in Merrill, WI. He attended schools in Merrill and was a graduate of Merrill High School in 1952. Following high school he proudly served his country in the U.S. Navy. R.J. was united in marriage to Alice Jane Gunnell on August 31, 1957 in Merrill, WI; she preceded him in death on September 20, 2010. He graduated from Concordia Seminary in Springfield, IL with a Masters of Divinity degree. He ministered for over 55 years faithfully serving at Mountainside Lutheran Church in Auckland, New Zealand from 1963-1966, Holy Cross Lutheran Church in Shelbyville, IL from 1966-1977, St. Luke’s Lutheran Church in New Richmond, WI from 1977-1983, and as the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod’s institutional chaplain for Sheboygan County, WI from 1983-1996. In retirement, he and Alice relocated to Denver, CO for several years prior to residing in Tucson, AZ where they were active members of Messiah Lutheran Church. He married Kris Hoppe on December 17, 2013 in Tucson, AZ. During his 20 years of retirement he remained committed to ministering, acting as vacancy pastor of several congregations and as guest minister in various states. He was affectionately referred to as Pastor R.J. and he unequivocally touched many lives with his abiding faith and his heartfelt kindness. He is remembered not only for his resounding voice which was powerful in preaching as well as prayer but also for his welcoming smile and infectious laugh.

R.J. is survived by his wife Kris Hoppe-Matthies, four sons and a daughter: Mark Matthies of Denver, CO, Luther Matthies and Luke (Monica) Matthies both of Edmond, OK, Joel Matthies of Río Grande, P.R. and Laurie (Victor) Voss of Dorado, P.R., grandchildren Tyler Matthies, Baylee Matthies, Hannah Matthies, Adam Matthies, Alexa Matthies, Jameson Matthies, Alexander Voss and Callan Voss, a great granddaughter Arianna and a sister Lois Ristau of Merrill.
R.J. was preceded in death by his parents, wife Alice, sisters June, Janet, and Fern, and brothers Robert and Cuban.
There will be a visitation held at St. Paul Lutheran Church, 730 County Highway PPP, Sheboygan Falls, on Saturday January 30, 2021 from 9:30 until the time of service at 11:30. Pastor Kyle Backhaus will officiate.
Online condolences may be expressed at


Date: Saturday Jan 30, 2021
Time: 9:30 a.m. - 11:30 a.m.
Location: St. Paul Lutheran Church [map]

Memorial Service

Date: Saturday Jan 30, 2021
Time: 11:30 a.m.
Location: St. Paul Lutheran Church [map]



Guestbook Entries SIGN GUESTBOOK

Lila and Bob Bolinger

Pastor Matthies is affectionately known as "Pas" to our youngest son Adam and "he who confirmed" to sons Noel and Aaron. Alice served as piano instructor to all three, two of which never progressed from book one and one can play "Chariots of Fire" and "Knight Ruprecht" stunningly. To Mark (who as a first grader holds the honor as being the subject of my favorite teacher story) Luther, Luke, Joel, and Laurie (how did you find your way to Puerto Rico) we send our joy in knowing that your father is in the comfortable embrace of our Savior. Our lone regret is that we were unable to share time with Kris; however, Pastor's annual Christmas message never failed to mention you. In the words of Gabriel "Be Not Afraid", Lila and Bob Bolinger Holy Cross Luther Church

Linda Hudson Banning

Thoughts and prayers to the family as I just got word of Pastor's passing.. I was confirmed by Pastor RJ along with his son Mark and several others.. They were all missed when they moved.. ♥️

Jack Tynan

It is with great sorrow that I learn of your loss. Pastor Matthies was our first pastor when I married and became a member at Holy Cross Shelbyville. He confirmed me into the church. I have always held him in a special place in my heart.

Bruce & Cindy Becker

Kris - Our sincere sympathy to you and your family in the loss of R.J. He certainly was such a wonderful, gentle and kind man. May he rest in the arms of Our Lord. Love, Cindy & Bruce

Shree and Saroj Mohanty

Our condolences to the Matthies family at this time of their loss. May his soul RIP in his heavenly abode.

Jack Leonhardt

Kris, our deepest sympathy to you in your loss. Jack & Barb

Gordy and Linda Krepsky

Rj was a wonderful kind man! He said many heartfelt prayers at several events and was always very thoughtful. He had the biggest smile and gleam in his eyes! A very special nan who will be dearly missed.