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MATTHEWS, Francis Richard (“Dick”) Q.C., C.M.

August 19, 1920 – October 2, 2013

After a long and productive life, Dick passed away peacefully in Calgary on October 2, 2013. He was predeceased by his beloved wife, Joyce (nee Jarvis) in 2004, by his mother Grace (nee Cathro) in 1951, by his father Charles Curtis Matthews in 1970, by his brother Don in 1996, and by his sister Alison Hankins in 2009. Dick will be greatly missed by his loving children Rick Matthews (Janet) of Canmore, AB, Betsey Ryan of Palgrave, ON, and Michael Matthews (Jane Crow), of Harrogate, B.C. and his grandson Andrew Matthews (Amanda Robertson and son Grayson) of Calgary, AB.

Dick attended Western Canada High School in Calgary, graduating in 1938. He spent his summers on the family ranch Highland Stock Farms west of Calgary. While in high school, he became a member of the Calgary Highlanders in 1935, an association he maintained into university under the Canadian Officer Training Corps (COTC) program, obtaining his commission as an officer in 1939.

He attended the University of Alberta, graduating with a Bachelor of Commerce in 1941 and a Bachelor of Laws, Magna cum Laude in 1948.

In 1941 he joined the Royal Canadian Navy as a Sub-Lieutenant. Promoted to Naval Officer, he was assigned to HMS Prince Robert escorting Canadian troops in the Pacific theatre.

He was posted to Ottawa in 1942 where he met his future wife, Joyce Jarvis of Toronto, who was a WREN. They were married in Victoria on November 10, 1944.

In 1948 Dick joined the firm of Porter, Allen & Millard in Calgary where he became a Partner in 1953. The firm evolved into MacKimmie Matthews where he remained a Partner and Of Counsel until 1999. Enormously respected as a lawyer Dick took several tax cases to the Supreme Court.

Dick held many Directorships over his career with such companies as Ranger Oil Limited, Murphy Oil Limited, Pembina Resources Limited, Westburne Industries, PanArctic Oils Ltd. and Husky Oil Limited.

Dick was an avid supporter of the arts, his generosity exceeded only by his modesty. He was instrumental in the formation of the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra in 1955 and has ardently supported it since. He made significant contributions to the Alberta Ballet, the Calgary Opera, Honens International Piano Competition, Banff Centre, Pro Musica, Mount Royal Conservatory of Music, the National Arts Centre, the Rozsa Centre and the Department of Fine Arts at the University of Calgary. He and Joyce received the CPO’s “Golden Baton Award” in 2001 for outstanding service to the CPO.

He endowed the “F.R. (Dick) Matthews QC Excellence Scholarship in Law” in 2005 and the “Professor of Business Law” in 2007 at the Faculty of Law at the University of Alberta. He also supported the Faculty of Law at the University of Calgary.

In 2010 Dick was invested as a Member of the Order of Canada in recognition of his philanthropy. He was also the recipient of the City of Calgary “Generosity of Spirit Award” in 2009. He received the Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012.

Those who knew Dick were keenly aware of his enormous ability to enjoy life. His hobbies and interests were many and varied. He loved raising bees and riding his horse as a young boy. Later he took up flying and soaring, photography, skiing and scuba diving. He loved to travel the world with his wife Joyce, and succeeded in visiting all 7 continents.

The family would like to thank Dr. Rod Elford and Dr. Brian Huang from Copeman Health Care Centre for their attentive care. The family also thanks Classic Life Care – especially Miriam, Imelda and Hergie. Thanks also to the staff of Southwood Care Centre Hospice where he spent his last days.

A Celebration of Dick’s Life will be held at Christ Church, (3602 – 8 Street SW, Calgary, AB) on Tuesday, October 8, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. Condolences may be forwarded through In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra

In living memory of Dick Matthews, a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES Park Memorial Chapel, 5008 ELBOW DRIVE S.W. Calgary, AB, T2S 2L5, Telephone: 403-243-8200.

Offer Condolence for the family of MATTHEWS, Francis Richard (“Dick”) Q.C., C.M.

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Condolence Messages

  1. Mary Rozsa de Coquet :

    Rick and family

    My sincerest condolences on the death of your Dad. While very much a public figure, and deservedly so, he was your parent and mentor and constant in your life. he cared for you for many years, and you cared for him in his later years. That kind of relationship and longevity leaves a very big hole. I pray the family may come together and find comfort and even laughter in the re-telling of stories and in a positive good-bye as matters are attended to. Particular regards to Janet as well.

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  2. Marion Rogers :

    Rest in Peace dear Dick. You have left an amazing legacy behind and will be forever remembered and appreciated by generations who are the beneficiaries of your enormous generosity to the arts community. Thank you. I send my deepest sympathy to all of your family who have shared you with us. God Bless and God Speed.
    Marion Rogers

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  3. Margaret Moule :

    Thank you Mr. Matthews, for sharing your joyful spirit with us who were your caregivers from Classic LifeCare. You were one of the most positive, cheerful, and agreeable people to care for, and always had a witty comment or clever spark that made us laugh and brightened our days. You danced until you were in your nineties! We’ll miss enormously, you and your vitality…….may your spirit fly free now as it did in life.

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  4. Dear Rick, Rob and family,
    I am sorry to hear of the passing of your Dad and uncle at 93(!!) I enjoyed his wit and wisdom, his hospitality and generosity whenever he came to SJR and whenever I visited Calgary. He obviously led a full and long life and enriched the lives of many. Peace be with you all.


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  5. I first met Dick back in the early 1980’s when I was just a 20 year old glider pilot. I discovered later that he was an “important” man, but you sure couldn’t tell when he rolled into the gliding club in a beat up old Ford station wagon, with a stinky canvas tent, just there to hang out, swap stories, and go flying. Dick was a great pilot, and a great man. He had a wonderful, wry sense of humour, and an unassuming nature. He was a humble, nice man, who would sometimes just crash in my tent trailer at the gliding club instead of camping out on his own. I am pleased to have also flown with Dick’s son Rick, too.

    After first meeting Dick though flying, I discovered we shared a love of classical music. I enjoyed running into Dick and Joyce at CPO concerts on and off over the last 30 years; it was a pleasure to reconnect every time we met, and even fairly recently at a CPO concert, we were trading stories of those crazy times at the gliding club. He worked so hard to help sustain the orchestra, and the rest of the arts scene in the city.

    I knew Dick personally as a pilot, but I spent over 30 years in the oil and gas industry, and Dick’s name would come up again and again in conversation and in meetings in most every company I worked for. He made a difference in my industry, left behind a stellar reputation and an important legacy.

    I am very proud to have known Dick. He was truly one of the great Albertans of my time. Rick, I’m so sorry for your loss. I wish you, Janet and the rest your family my best in these tough times.

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  6. Peter J.M. Pallesen :

    Our condlences to the Matthews Family Margaret R. Hayhurst and Peter J.M. Pallesen

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  7. Gary and Arlene Davidson :

    Rick,Janet and Family,
    We wish you all well in a time of great loss and sadness.Please accept our sincere sympathies with the hope that the life time of memories will help you through this.A celebration of a life lived to the fullest. Always with the desire to give and help others.
    Although we can not attend our thoughts are with you all.
    Gary and Arlene

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  8. Rick, Betsy and Michael – and families!

    We were very saddened to read about the passing of your Dad – what a nice write up of his life, career and accomplishments. He was truly one of Canada’s and Alberta’s great people. I have so many memories of our days so long ago – in particular the many nights we spent at your family dinner table at Sylvan Lake debating and discussing – with your Dad always having the edge and driving us all crazy as he so enjoyed doing!! Before we had to do dishes so we could escape for the night.

    I happened to be with my older brother Ed last evening on the occasion of the first birthday of my Grandson Jack – Ed was reminding me of many, many stories of those early days in Calgary with your grandparents, your Mum and mine and all the things that went on with our families on 10th St, Premier Way etc – and the days we spent at the farm.

    Have a wonderful service tomorrow – we will be there in spirit!! There is so much to be remembering.

    It has been so long since we had contact – hopefully we can end that soon.



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  9. Roderick Wood :

    With deepest sympathy on the passing of your father. His extraordinary generosity to the U of A law school and to the law students who have received the Dick Matthews award will be remembered. It is a great honour for me to be associated with the chair carrying his name.

    Roderick J Wood
    F.R. (Dick) Matthews Q.C. Professor of Business Law

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  10. Stephen McHolm :

    Sincerest condolences from all of us at Honens. Dick was such a special friend to so many our community. We were all lucky to know him.

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  11. Barb and Errick Harrison :

    Dear Betsy,
    We read your father’s obituary last evening in the Globe and Mail. He was a very distinguished and accomplished man, a man who led a full life. Our sincere condolences to you Betsy and your brothers and families. We haven’t been in touch for many years, but I have the fondest memories of skiing with your dad at Lake Louise and your visits to Crystal City.

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  12. Sean and Cheryl James :

    Rick, Janet and Andrew, we are travelling to visit our daughter and heard the news of Dick’s passing from a friend. Our condolences to all of your family. Your father and mother have given much to our community.

    Sean and Cheryl

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  13. Erna-May Pierce :

    On behalf of my family and myself I express our condolences to Dick Matthews’ family. I also wish to recognize the long and varied relationship Dick had with my late husband, Jack Pierce, and me, and our children. He provided wise counsel to Jack and Ranger Oil Ltd . in his dual capacity as a director of Ranger and as its solicitor. The enormous trust shown in Dick was also reflected by his serving as an executor and, for many years, as a trustee under Jack’s will.
    Dick Matthews was an unusually talented, generous and multi-faceted man whose contributions benefitted many.

    Erna-May Pierce

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  14. Willem Langelaan :

    Dear Rick,
    When your father’s obituary was published in the Globe & Mail I instantly recognized his portrait. Please accept my condolences. I remember your father well from my time at the Cu-Nim Gliding Club. I am sure that your father left a multitude of wonderful memories with you. It is my wish for you that soon these memories will usurp your grief.
    My best wishes to you and your family,

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  15. Lori Ann Edwards :

    To the Matthews Family

    May you take comfort in the knowledge that he touched and influenced the lives of so many in such a meaningful way.

    Including mine.

    Lori Ann Edwards
    Formerly of Calgary and Southern Alberta

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  16. Valerie Longmoor :

    I have been out of the country and have only just heard about the death of your father. I feel privileged to have known “Mr. Matthews” (as I always called him way back then!) and very much enjoyed the opportunity to work as his secretary at MacKimmie Matthews many years ago. As I know all will acknowledge, he was an outstanding lawyer and amazing philanthropist while remaining so very humble and down-to-earth. He will be sorely missed. Please accept my sincere sympathy in the family’s loss.
    Val Longmoor

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