Omaha — Leo "Fritz" Francis Matthews, 93, of Omaha, formerly of O'Neill died Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021 at River City Rehab in Omaha.
Visitation was held Monday, Jan. 18, 2021 at Biglin's Mortuary in O'Neill with a parish rosary.
Funeral services were held Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2021 at the mortuary. Fr. James Kramper officiated.
Burial was in the O'Neill Cemetery in O'Neill with military rites provided by the O'Neill American Legion Simonson Post 93.
Memorials may be made to the family for future designation.
Leo was born on June 27, 1927 in O’Neill to Leo and Alice (Minton) Matthews. He graduated from O’Neill High School in 1945.
Fritz was drafted into the U.S. Army on Dec. 6, 1950 and honorably served. After being discharged on Nov. 28, 1952, he returned to O’Neill.
He worked for Safeway Grocery stores as a meat cutter, manager of the meat department, assistant atore manager and finally as a atore manager.
He also owned a small business, Fran Mat Inc., then was an Omaha World Herald Newspaper distributor for Offutt Air Force Base, Bellevue, and a small portion of South Omaha. He later purchased four gas stations, he had a lawn service with snow plowing and many other things like furniture delivery for the Mrs. B’s Furniture store. Before he retired, he had eight different routes for the Omaha World Herald, six of them in Iowa and two in Nebraska.
He loved Nebraska football, volleyball, basketball, baseball and watching the CWS (College World Series).
He enjoyed square dancing once he retired and moved back to O’Neill. Within a week, he was working at the car wash and the feed store in O’Neill.
In 2017 he moved to the Meadows in Norfolk. In December of 2020, he suffered a stroke and was taken to Omaha by helicopter.
He was a Life Member of the VFW, the VFW Post 10727 Commander in Bellevue and a member of the Honor Guard.
Fritz is survived by four children Henry E. Matthews Sr., Onie Matthews, Donna (Mark) Duda and Tom Matthews, all of Omaha; four grandchildren Samantha Ann Matthews, Henry E. Matthews Jr., Jess Duda and Gage Duda; one sister-in-law Gladys Matthews of O’Neill; and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; three grandchildren Sarah Marie Matthews, Kyle Edward Matthews and Sheila Matthews; three brothers Johnny (Dorothy) Matthews, Jean (Rosella) Matthews and Pete Matthews; and two sisters Katie Matthews and Cecelia (Jerry Lee) Campbell.