In the valley where she was born, in the community she lived, loved, and served, Reva Marie Sparks Mathews slipped quietly into heaven on Saturday, May 24, 2008. She was born December 1, 1916 in Sweet Sage, near Arco,Idaho. Her parents, Charles Claire and Suz Ella Sparks were special people who taught their four children the value of hard work, honesty and love of family. They moved to the Snake River Valley when Reva was a year old. Reva attended school at the old Riverdale Grange School. There was only one room for all eight grades. She graduated from the eighth grade as valedictorian. She said it was no great honor as there were only five students in the class. She then attended Shelley High School where she was active in girl’s basketball and volleyball, student government and always getting good grades. She graduated in 1934.
The following year she married Charles Ivan Mathews. The marriage was later solemnized in the Idaho Falls temple. They were blessed with four children, Gene, Darwin, Lana, and Gayle.
Her love of sports and the outdoors continued into adulthood. She played and coached sports in church groups and the community throughout her life.
Together she and Ivan founded Mathews Plumbing and heating in 1945, she worked at his side and then at the side of her sons until she was eighty. When she retired she enjoyed her cabin on Henrys Lake, traveling with her children and enjoying her grandchildren and fifty-three great grandchildren.
She was an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Later Day Saints and served in primary and relief society but her true love was the young women’s organization. She served as stake and ward camp director, stake and ward sports director and in general, cheerleader for all girls activities. She was a faithful visiting teacher who loved the sisters she served.
She rode with the Shelley Riding Russets and earned over a thousand hours as a Pink Lady at EIRMC. Most of all, she was a loving wife and mother.
She is survived by her four children, Gene (Kathy) Mathews, Darwin (Lynda) Mathews, and Gayle (Danny) Poole, all of Shelley, Idaho, and Lana (Gary) Shurtliff of Kaysville, Utah. She had 19 grandchildren and 53 great grandchildren. She has a sister, Dortha Clark of California. She was preceded in death by her husband Ivan, her parents, two brothers, and son-in-law Gary Shurtliff.
Funeral services will be at 11:00am on Thursday, May 29 at the Shelley Seventh Ward at 675 S Milton in Shelley. Bishop Curtis Burtenshaw will officiate. The family will visit with friends Wednesday evening from 7:00 to 8:30 at Nalder Funeral Home, 110 W Oak in Shelley. There will also be a viewing from 9:30 to 10:40am before the services on Thursday at the church. Burial will be at the Shelley Hillcrest Cemetery.
The family would like to thank Bingham County Hospice for their loving service, especially Kara Yancey for the tender, loving compassion she gave not only to our mother but to us as a family. We also thank the Idaho Falls Heart Institute for six years of tender care and a special thanks to Jamie for always being there when we needed her.
Our mother and grandmother was an inspiration to everyone she touched, she was our hero. We love you.