Alan Charles Mathews

Alan Charles Mathews

Rockford, IL – Alan C. Mathews, age 77, passed away peacefully with his wife at his side on Saturday, May 23, 2020 in Madison, WI after a courageous journey with cancer.

He was born on May 29, 1942 in Beloit, WI, the son of Charles and Hilda (Weseloh) Mathews. Al was gifted with an incredible work ethic, having started work with his paper route in Beloit, and later working summers at the Beloit Corp. Al graduated from Beloit Memorial with the class of 1960.

He moved to Rockford as a young adult and began his career as an Engineer, Shop Superintendent, and Sales Manager in the steel fabricating industry, most notably at Arntzen Steel and then Youngberg Industries where he retired in 2010. He always worked hard and prided himself as the one colleagues relied on to get the job done and get it done right.

Al and Myrna married in 1971, raised their children together in Rockford, and enjoyed 49 years of marriage. Al thought of Myrna as his good luck charm and solid rock foundation, loved and adored her, and felt lucky to have found the perfect one for him in her. Al is remembered by friends and family as a kind, gentle, good-natured, supportive friend who would always listen and help in any way that he could, and also as an adventurous soul, a bit of a rebel, and a funny man who could always tell a great, engaging story of his many adventures. These qualities made him so much fun to be around.

He enjoyed the outdoors, especially hunting, but not so much fishing, spending time on the lake at the cabin up north, the beautiful colors of the fall season, and observing wildlife everywhere and often even in his own back yard. He enjoyed the deer, cardinals, and majestic eagles most of all and shared that with his family, calling or sending a photo to let us know what he had seen. He also loved going to see his grandsons at any school or sports event or just for a visit. Al had many other hobbies too, such as playing cards, watching old movies, listening to his oldies music and the Kingston Trio, eating Key Lime pie, going out to dinner together, and cheering on the Detroit Lions no matter how bad they were. He was also a trivia and history buff, and especially enjoyed sports trivia and reading about World War II.

Al liked helping people be the best that they could be in whatever they wanted to do, and he especially loved encouraging this in his children and grandchildren. Family time was especially important to Al and our many family memories of time spent together at the cabin up north will always be among the best memories we carry with us. His lifelong sacrifices for us to have a better life will always be deeply appreciated by his family. And, his overall legacy will rest with his devotion to his three grandsons whom he loved and enjoyed more than life itself.

Survivors include his wife, Myrna (Bracke) Mathews, daughter Sarah (Michael) Cronin of Madison, WI, son Frank (Gina Ossanna) Mathews of Portland, OR, and his grandsons Elliot, Harry and Murray. Survivors also include his brother Gerald (Phyllis Perkins) Mathews and sister Jane Graf, along with nephews Brian Mathews, Todd Mathews and Erich Graf and their families.

Due to the strange circumstances in the world right now, no memorial services are planned at this time. In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that memorial donations be designated for the I Read Program at United Way, 612 N. Main St., Suite 300, Rockford, IL 61103, a reading program for children where Al found a lot of joy volunteering.

To view and sign this guestbook, please visit:

Ryan Funeral Home and Cremation Services

Verona Chapel

220 Enterprise Drive