Martin Mathews, Mathews-Dickey Boys’ & Girls’ Club Founder, dies at 90

Martin Mathews, who for more than a half-century has given more than a million children through the doors of Mathews-Dickey Boys’ & Girls’ Club and onto a field of many dreams, has died. He was 97 age of his death.

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Martin Mathews Death and Legacy

Martin Mathews was a great humanitarian and successfully impressed millions of dollars from local titans of industry and helped him sustain what became one of the nation’s best-known and most beloved children’s community centers in America. He stepped down at age 90.  Mathews passed away on Monday at Evelyn’s House, a hospice care center in St. Louis County.

Now late US President Ronald Reagan dedicated the new facility in the year 1982 and presented Mathews and Ballentine, who died in 2000, with the Presidential Citizens Medal for lifetime achievement.  The club’s success made it a hotspot for many leaders like Bill Clinton and Barack Obama and Vice Presidents Dan Quayle and Joe Biden dropped in.

Mathews has also enlisted Clifton Davis who was the star of the NBC-TV sitcom “Amen” when he established the Say Amen annual dinner in 1990. The entire cast for the show showed up in 2010 for the 21st banquet.  

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NBC broadcaster Bob Costas and Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa have also served as honorary fundraising co-chairs, and Olympic Gold Medalist Jackie Joyner-Kersee also became a regular advocate for the club. Mathews returned the favor by becoming a founding board member of Joyner-Kersee’s club in East St. Louis, her hometown.

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Mathews’ wife and daughters Phyllis and Betty Joe Mathews died before him.  He was also survived by three daughters, Juanita Mathews, Marilyn Mathews, and Angelic Mathews Cole, all of St. Louis; grandchildren and great-grandchildren too.  At present; funeral services are pending through Wade Funeral Home.