Dedicated to the Preservation of the
U.S. Air Force Helicopter History
Dale Eric Mathews, TSgt., USAF (Fallen)May 07, 1976 – January 07, 2014
ROLLING PRAIRIE – Tech Sergeant Dale E. Mathews died January 7, 2014, in a helicopter crash in England after serving in the U.S. Air Force for almost twenty years.
Dale was a 1994 graduate of New Prairie High School. On October 6, 2006, he married his soul mate and the love of his life, Kim. He never ceased to amaze her with his strength, compassion, or how he would come up with some of the craziest ideas (but she always laughed and said let’s go!). He was looking forward to retiring soon from the Air Force and moving back “home” around his friends and family to make many more memories and kite surf on Lake Michigan.
He was loved and cherished by so many. He brought the meaning to words such as patriotism, selflessness and LIFE. His friends and family could not be more proud of him. He was so full of life. Last February he proclaimed his new phrase “Pro-Live… Do something outrageous and LIVE a little.” If anyone taught us this, it was Dale. In his short 37 years, he has seen and done so many things, most of us could not even imagine half of them, let alone go do them. He LIVED each and every day as much as he could.
Dale is survived by his wife, Kimberly Mathews; son, Keelan; daughter, Meagan; stepson, Logan, and stepdaughter, Michayla. He is also survived by his parents: mother, Joyce (Tim) Wheeler of Lafayette, IN, father, Ronald Mathews of Bessemer, AL; stepfather, Larry (Tricia) Gussman of Rolling Prairie, IN; grandfather, Lee (Berdenia) Collins of Granger, IN; and grandparents, Hershel & Ruby Mathews of Bessemer, AL. Dale was preceded in death by his grandmother, Jean Collins, and grandparents, Lois and Robert Gussman.
During his tours of duty it was his crew’s job to fly into the middle of a hot zone to rescue a downed soldier and get him/her to the closest hospital. Dale’s job was to keep this crew as safe as he could. He not only fought for our freedoms, but he helped others learn to fight for their own freedom in their country. When an Iraqi brother fell, he wept for him just the same as he would for any fellow brother.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. (CST) Saturday, January 25, 2014, at the New Prairie High School, 5327 N. Cougar Road, New Carlisle, Indiana. Family and friends may visit from 9 – 11 a.m. on Saturday prior to the funeral at the New Prairie High School. He will then be laid to rest with a graveside service at Arlington National Cemetery on February 5, 2014.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial fund has been set up at 1st Source Bank. Memorial contributions may be mailed to: Dale E Mathews Memorial Fund, 848 West Michigan Street, New Carlisle, IN 46552. You can also stop by any 1st Source Bank to make a contribution. Published in South Bend Tribune on Jan. 22, 2014
~ GUEST BOOK ~
January 24, 2014So sorry for your terrible loss~Kim Bader-Gozzola, New Carlisle, Indiana
January 24, 2014Thank you so much for you dedicated service. Your family is in my thoughts and prayers. I may not have known you but our God does and you will be missed on a greater scale than you could have ever imagined!! Rest in Peace our dear friend and may your spirit live on!~Katherine Vance, Mishawaka, Indiana
January 23, 2014God bless, we lost a hero.~Cindy Adams, Six Mile, South Carolina
January 23, 2014Thanks for the memories Dale! We will always treasure the friendship and NEVER forget you. You are truly missed.~James and Vaulta Hanni, Mildenhall, UK
January 22, 2014This tears my heart daily thinking about this…even though he is my cousin…i will never forget him..~Kim Corse, Elkhart, Indiana
January 22, 2014Here’s to you Dale! We had some great times during our deployment to Iraq and our time at Kirtland. My thoughts are with your family. You will be missed brother.~Michael Burt, ABQ, New Mexico
January 22, 2014We are so sorry for your loss. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all. We thank Dale for his service to our country and to his family for their support of him.~Donna Rennie (Chris Obranovich’s mother-in-law)
January 22, 2014Kim, Family & Friends of Dale my heart and prayers are with you. Thank You Dale for your service! You are always and forever a HERO!~Raquel Burt, Albuquerque, New Mexico
January 22, 2014Trish, Larry and the entire Matthews family. We did not know Dale personally however his character speaks volumes and that is what made him who he was. His devotion to his family and his service to the United States of America was greatly appreciated. Our prayers are with you at this time and always.~Neil & Rachelle Goheen, Indiana
January 22, 2014To the Mathews Family. Our prayers and thoughts go out to you and your family in the days ahead. Although we hadn’t met Dale personally we knew Kim and knew Dale had to be special and was looking forward to meeting him. We so appreciate his service to our country, he is a Hero to us. God Bless you all.~Jeff and Arla Christen, Lamberville, Michigan
January 22, 2014Thank you for your service. Rest in peace.~Tabitha, Mishawaka, Indiana
January 22, 2014To the Family & Friends of Tech Sgt. Dale E Mathews; Please accept my deepest sympathy in the loss of your HERO. May He Rest In Peace. May God comfort You during this difficult time. Thank You for the ultimate sacrifice. Sincerely, Marine Vet Mom~Sandee Garza Schock, South Bend, Indiana
January 22, 2014To the Mathews Family: I did not know Dale. I wanted to say Thank You for his service. My thoughts and prayers are with you at this sad day. God Bless Dale and his family.~Sally Dutcher, Laporte, Indiana