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Jean Matthews, 91

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Jean Isabelle (Shaffer) Matthews passed away peacefully at the Red Wing Health Center in Red Wing, Minn., on July 11, at the age of 91.

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She was born in Niles, Ohio. She was the daughter of Bert and Sarah (Hall) Shaffer and step-father Jay Shelar after the death of her father, Bert.

Her greatest pride besides family was service to her country during World War II as a Navy WAVE. WAVES is an acronym for Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service. She was a petty officer, second class in the U.S. Navy and was stationed in Washington, D.C. She was a charter member of the North Coast WAVES Unit 21 in Ohio since 1985. She also volunteered for many years at the Veterans Hospital in Youngstown, Ohio.

She graduated from Niles McKinley High School class of 1940. She married her high school sweetheart, Benjamin Matthews, also from Niles. They were married for 41 years until BJ's death in 1990. She lived most of her life in the Niles and Canfield areas of Ohio until Alzheimer's caused her to need extra care.

She is survived by her beloved family: son Jeff Matthews of Niles; brother Paul Shaffer and his wife, Vicki, of Santa Monica, Calif.; stepsister Virginia (Shelar) Billig of Niles; grandson William Matthews Jr. and his children, Ryan and Riley of Milford, Del.; granddaughter Leslie (Matthews) Holt and her husband, Tom, along with their children, Rory, Matthias, and Levi of Hager City, Wis.; niece Wendy (Shaffer) Pearl and her husband, Tony, and daughter Emily of Lebanon, Tenn.; daughter-in-law Suzanne (Renna) Estep of Red Wing; cousins Donna (Hall) Sheldon of Girard, Ohio, Bob Graves of Campbell, Ohio, Mary Ellen (Powell) Aurilius of Nashville, Tenn., Sarah Jane Powell of Nashville, and David Hall of Girard.

She was preceded in death by her son William Matthews in 1997 and stepsister Ruthann (Shelar) Paul in 2004.

A military funeral service at Kerr Cemetery in Mineral Ridge, Ohio, and memorial service will be held next summer with a date yet to be announced to allow all family members and friends to gather in her remembrance.

Memorial contributions can be made to the National WAVES Unit #21 c/o Treasurer, 1895 Massillon Rd., Akron, OH 44312, and Red Wing Health Center Foundation, 1412 W. 4th St., Red Wing, MN 55066, 651-385-4800.

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