Lila Ruth Stokes Matthys, age 98, died on March 31, 2017, in Austin, Texas. Lila and her twin sister Opal Elaine were born on November 3, 1918, in Cheapside, Texas, to Rev. Verner Elster Stokes, Sr. and Opal Elizabeth Carlin Stokes. Lila and Elaine had an older brother Elster, Jr. and younger sister Jenibel.
From the beginning of her life, Lila exhibited great curiosity about the world. She loved to explore through observations, readings, writings, and studies. Lila and her twin sister Elaine won a scholarship to Baylor University and were part of the first major twin studies in the country. Lila graduated from the University of Texas and received her Masters degree from Texas State University. By combining a love of learning and strong academic talents with her kind and generous nature, Lila became an outstanding and beloved teacher not only in her own private kindergarten home school but also at Baker and Pillow Elementary in the Austin Independent School District.
Over the years, Lila pursued a lively interest in civic events and loved to discuss current world affairs. She kept a daily journal and enjoyed presenting thoughtful and thoroughly researched lessons to fellow members of the Susanna Wesley Class at Austin's First United Methodist Church. She excelled in her hobby of drawing architectural plans which became the basis for building several homes. Lila had a remarkable memory for recalling exact floor plans of the various parsonages she occupied with her childhood family. It was astonishing to hear her descriptions of these homes when traveling through Texas towns where her father had ministered to the community.
Lila deeply believed her family was one of her greatest blessings. She met and married the love of her life Frederick Herman Matthys, Sr. in Liberty, Texas. During their 44 year marriage, they had five children. Lila is survived by her daughter Marjorie Ann Smalley and husband Lewis, daughter Mary Gail Beauford, son Erick and wife Lynn, son Dr. Matt Matthys and wife Elaine, daughter-in-law Judith Matthys, and brother-in-law Bill Jones and wife Beatrice. Lila is survived by ten grandchildren and their spouses: Virginia Hardbower and husband Phillip, Vicky Lynn Butler and husband Danny, Alisa Tamburrano and husband Tony, Jennifer Holiman and husband Billy, Cathryn Smalley, Ron Beauford, Jr. and wife Rozlyn, Sara Trantham and husband Austin, Julia Parma and husband Greg, Samuel Matthys, and Katie Matthys. Lila was blessed with twelve great grandchildren: Amy and Abby Hardbower, Erin and John Butler, Allison, Lila, and Katherine Tamburrano, Emma Holiman, Tom and Campbell Trantham, Alexandria and Miles Parma, and many loving nieces and nephews. Lila is preceded in death by her beloved husband Fred, her son Frederick Herman Matthys, Jr., son-in-law Ronald Dale Beauford, Sr., her parents and three siblings.
A 9:30 am graveside service will be held on Saturday, April 8, 2017 at Capital Memorial Park. Michael Mumme will be officiating. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Susanna Wesley Class, First United Methodist Church, 1201 Lavaca Street, Austin, Texas 78701 and Austin Hospice, 4107 Spicewood Springs Road, Suite 100, Austin, Texas 78759.