Jerry Matthews


Funeral services for 73-year old Jerry Mathews of Hay Springs, NE, are Sat, Jan 14, 2023 at 10:00 at Zion Lutheran Church, 224 S Main St, Hay Springs.

A Lakota honoring for Jerry will follow at 2:00 at the Old Pine Ridge School Gym in Pine Ridge, SD.

In lieu of flowers. please send donations to the Hay Springs Volunteer Fire Department.

Online condolences may be left at

Jerry Lee Matthews was born in Exeter, California on January 6, 1949 to Lee Roy and Carol Elaine (Sterling nee Mildred Dorthea Vorderstrasse) Matthews. He left this life for his eternal rest on December 22, 2022, leaving behind family and friends too numerous to count.

Jerry’s family, including sister Kathleen June, moved to Fresno when he was young and grew to include brothers Kenneth Roy and James Allan and sisters Susan Joan and Lori Jean.

Jerry attended Emmanuel Lutheran Church and school. He was active in Boy Scouting and earned its highest rank, Eagle Scout in 1963, an honor that has continued in the family for three generations through his son and two grandsons.

While a sophomore at California Concordia High School /Junior College in Oakland in 1964, Jerry met Carole McMichael, a classmate who would eventually become his wife. 

They graduated from high school in 1967 and junior college in 1969. Carole continued her education at Concordia Teachers College in River Forest, IL, while Jerry attended Fresno State College. They were married in San Francisco, California on July 12, 1970. 

After Carole graduated in 1971, they moved to San Diego for two years where Carole taught school and Jerry drove school bus while finishing his BA at San Diego State College.

They moved to San Francisco where Jerry attended Golden Gate Law School, graduating in May of 1976 – shortly after the birth of their first daughter, Jennifer. A month later, they moved to Martin, SD, where Herry worked with Attorney Mario Gonzolez. 

After several months he began working at Legal Aid in Pine Ridge, South Dakota and the family moved to Hay Springs, NE,

During his career as an attorney, Jerry worked in many capacities including private practice with his brother, James in Hay Springs and Pine Ridge, and with David Veath in Chadron.

Jerry worked on the Pine Ridge Reservation as an attorney for Legal Aid and the Tribal Housing Authority while also serving several years as Chief Judge of the Oglala Sioux Tribal Court. He met and worked with many who remain friends to this day.

In the 1990s, his long interest in photography led him to begin a second career as a photographer. He became known to many as the “Picture Guy Dude” – even including that name on the sign for his car. 

He could be found for many years photographing participants and attendees at the annual Lakota Nation Invitational Tournament. He logged many miles taking school, prom, and graduation photos at schools around Pine Ridge, Rosebud and Todd County.

His last career adventure was helping Mike Carlow set up a marijuana production facility.

Jerry also served his community as a member of the Hay Springs School Board and Hay Springs City Council.

Jerry was preceded in death by his parents Lee Roy Matthews and Carol Elaine Meyers; and nephews, Dylan James Matthews, Eric Scott Perkins and Kristopher Perkins Bradford.

He leaves behind Carole, his wife of 52 years; son Jeffrey (Andrea) Matthews; daughters Jennifer (Ricky) Wohl, Theresa “Tessa” (Isaac) Singer, and Elizabeth “Beth” (Charles) Brawner; grandchildren Jordan (Brianna) Encinia, Kobe Encinia, Hannah Wohl, Deven and Dylan Matthews, Clara and Aria Singer, and Nathan, Keira, and William Brawner. Sisters, Kathleen (Michael) Bradford, Susan Matthews, and Lori Matthews; brothers Kenneth Matthews and James (BJ) Matthews; nephews, nieces and cousins, and many, many friends from coast to coast.

Honorary pallbearers are grandsons Jordan, Kobe, Deven, Dylan; nephews Michael Bradford, Justin Matthews; sons-in-law Ricky, Isaac, and Charles; and friends Bryan Brewer, Mike Carlow, Russ Harford, Joe Swiftbird, Pete Swiftbird, and Russ Zephier.