James Waters Matheney, age 90, of Austin, Texas died peacefully at his home on Thursday, April 13, 2017 surrounded by his children. He was born on September 11, 1926 in El Dorado, Arkansas to Harriett Waters and Matthew Pierce Matheney. Jim grew up in El Dorado and graduated from El Dorado High School before going off to Hendrix College. He accepted an appointment to the US Naval Academy from 1945-1949 and then served in the navy from 1949-1953 where, among other honors, he was the oldest man to complete the rigorous UDT training, a precursor to the Navy SEALS. He moved home to El Dorado and met and fell in love with his wife of 51 years, Barbara Ann Barton. Jim also opened the El Dorado branch of Schneider Burnet and Hickman, a securities firm, and worked in the securities business till his death.
Preceding him in death are his parents, his wife Barbara and a brother, Matthew Pierce Matheney, Jr.
He is survived by a son, James Waters Matheney, Jr. wife Sandy, of Hot Springs, Arkansas, a daughter, Diana Balch of Caldwell, Texas and a son, Clark Barton Matheney of Austin, Texas, his brother's wife Betty Clippard Matheney and children Susan, Matt and Kendall, brother-in-law Thomas Perkins Barton and wife Anne Alcorn Barton. "Boompa" also leaves nine grandchildren: Monte, Richard, Leslie, Amanda, Dustin, Sarah, Thomas, James, and MaryHollis; ten great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild.
Jim enjoyed a good meal, great conversation, dancing, hunting – especially ducks in Arkansas, golf and bridge. He didn't enjoy riding as a passenger and insisted on driving, car or golf cart, until the end. He was a one of a kind and will be missed by all.
A special thanks is extended from the family to the Doctors, Nurses and all the staff at Seton Central Hospital. In lieu of flowers, please consider a memorial to Seton or your favorite charity.
A celebration of his life will be Wednesday, April 19th from 6-8 pm at Austin Country Club.
A memorial service will be held at 4:00 pm on Saturday, April 22nd at First Presbyterian Church of El Dorado. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to HOPE Landing, 214 Hope Landing, El Dorado, AR 71730 – www.hopelanding.com