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Mary Sherman Matthews

1939 - 2010, Santa Barbara

Mary Sherman Matthews was born on October 22, 1939 in Defiance, OH. She was the youngest of three children born to Mary Louise Doherty Sherman and Dr. James M. Sherman. Mary lived in Cincinnati for the first few years of her life. In 1943, she moved out west to Coronado with her mother, brother and sister. Life on the Island was sublime. Mary's passion was horseback riding. Every weekend she would ride the ferry to San Diego and walk up to Balboa Park where she would spend her day riding horses.

Upon graduation from Coronado High School in 1957, Mary opted for the cooler climate and returned to Cincinnati. There she attended the University of Cincinnati and met her future husbands. After a brief marriage that produced her fine son William Ferguson Simrall III, Mary heeded the call of the "Crown Jewel" and returned to Coronado with her young son, and new husband in 1966. Her daughter Susan was born on the Island later that year.

Because of a series of strokes and other physical setbacks, it became necessary for Mary to move in with her mother, Mary D. "Hal" Matthews. With the love and support of her wonderful friends and family, Mary remained ever positive and continued to love Coronado and all that it had to offer. She loved to sit at the beach; to hear the foghorns in early morning and to see the horses as they lined up on her street in preparation for the Fourth of July parade. Mary volunteered for many years at the Coronado Visitors Center where her sunny personality welcomed those new to the Island.

In 2003, Mary moved to Santa Barbara to be near her daughter Susan and her family. Here began an exciting chapter in her life.

Mary resided at Garden Court for 7 years and she loved every minute of it. She was active on several committees and councils. She read to preschoolers, volunteered for the Braille Institute and sold cookies to raise money for Afghani women. She indulged her 3 grandchildren with sweets and surprises, attended the symphony and ballet and was awarded the title of Qi Gong Master. In 2007, Mary flew to Sacramento to testify on Capitol Hill for the rights of the disabled.

Mary's body began to break down and eventually so did her spirit. She left this world the morning of April 4th. Her father and her much-adored mother, Hal, preceded her in death. She is survived by her children Bill Simrall of Portland, OR; Susan Matthews Regan (Robert) of Santa Barbara; her grandchildren Davis, Patrick and Eleanor Regan; her brother Jim Sherman (Marilyn) of Union, WA; sister Susan Sherman Mason (Bill) of San Ramon, CA; step-brother Tim Matthews of Sebago, ME and step-sister Elizabeth Matthews of Atlanta, GA. She also leaves nieces Elizabeth, Mary and Ann; nephew Bill and 4 great nieces and nephews.

A celebration of Mary's life will be held at Garden Court in Santa Barbara on April 24th. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the National Stroke Association.

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I'm so sad that Mary has passed on. We first met sometime in the early 1950's when we became neighbors in Coronado. Her home became headquarters for a group of rambunctious strays of which I was one. You could always drop in unannounced and her enthusiasm and energy made the home a place of welcome. Those qualities continued for the rest of her life despite her many setbacks. A wonderful lady and a wonderful friend.
Allen Rodes

arodes (anonymous profile)
April 20, 2010 at 4:49 p.m. (Suggest removal)

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