Alfred Wollam Matthews, age 93, passed away peacefully on Monday, 20 November 2023 in Bellevue, Washington. Frank Sinatra’s song, ‘I did it my way’ was Alfred Matthews’ favorite song, saying, and philosophy. Al is survived by his natural children, Mike and Lee Matthews, two step-sons, John and Mark D’Amato, 5 grandchildren; Jennifer Carricut, Elizabeth Stenhouse, Cara Morici, Jessica Crosby, and Maia D’Amato and two great-grandchildren; Rhys Stenhouse and Olivia Morici. He was pre-deceased by his wife, Elizabeth Gilbert Matthews and former wife, Ellen Haines Matthews.
He always loved and cared for his numerous pets throughout the years. He also fed neighborhood feral cats and had them spayed/neutered. He would go daily to local parks and feed the birds and squirrels.
Al was born in NYC, NY, and spent most of his childhood living with his grandparents in his beloved town of Cape May, New Jersey. Later, when he looked back on his career, he used to tell us he wished he had become an attorney earlier and opened a practice in Cape May because he always wanted to be the Mayor of Cape May. He moved to Pennsylvania near Philadelphia to reunite with his parents and finish out high school. He played football in high school and college. After college, he joined ROTC and then became an Army Officer by entering active duty on 22 March 1952. He started his Army career in the Infantry, then became a paratrooper in the 82nd Airborne and eventually became a military intelligence officer. He attended several schools; most notably, Post Graduate School in Monterey, CA for Arabic and Middle Eastern Studies, and Command and General Staff School in Leavenworth, Kansas. He fought in both the Korean and Vietnam Wars. Al’s most notable assignments were Aide to BG Bergquist early in his career; Defense Attache’ at the US Embassy in Yemen; and Commander, Military Intelligence in Munich, Germany. His numerous decorations included two Bronze Stars with Valor, National Defense Service, Legion of Merit and Army Commendation Medals.
Alfred retired from the Army on 30 September 1976 and moved to the Pacific Northwest to pursue his law degree. He graduated from the University of Puget Sound and after passing the bar exam began his second career as a deputy prosecutor for the King County Prosecutor’s Office. He had many major cases over his career, most notably as the lead prosecutor for the Green River killer, whose conviction he secured before retiring as Senior Deputy Prosecuting Attorney. After retiring from the King County Prosecutor’s Office, Alfred spent many years as a Judge Pro Tem in Issaquah.
After the passing of his wife, Bette in 2016, Alfred retired for good and moved to the Bellittini to enjoy his remaining years. In March 2023, he made his final move to Kelsey Creek Senior Care.
Al was a beloved husband and father, soldier and attorney. He lived an amazing, interesting and diverse life. Al made the world a better place and always did it his way. He will be sorely missed but will always live on in our hearts.
The post first appeared on Barton Family Funeral Service.