Tony Kevin Matthews, 62, of Smithville, entered heaven’s gates on the morning of Sept. 12, 2021, at St Bernards Medical Center in Jonesboro.

Tony was born in Walnut Ridge on March 9, 1959, to Thomas Gale and Doris Gay (Nunnally) Matthews. From birth, the most notable thing first recognized by others was his incredible size. Standing 6’8” tall as an adult, he left quite an intimidating first impression on everyone he met. However, those that knew him well would tell you he was really just a big ol’ softy.

He worked many years for the Arkansas Highway and Transportation Department before retirement. Then, he was able to spend a little more time doing the things he loved most: enjoying the outdoors, restoring old trucks, and his biggest hobby of all, “piddling around.” He loved to laugh at his own ridiculous jokes, play solitaire on his phone, and looked forward to visits from his kids and grandkids.

Tony is survived by his daughter, Tashena Tate and husband Erick, of Walnut Ridge; his son, Brody Matthews and wife Lana, of Smithville; and his four grandchildren, who were his pride and joy, Brogan Tate, Brigg Tate, Rylee Matthews and Brinlee Matthews.

He is also survived by his siblings, Jerrie Ann (Lanny) Clinton of Rosebud, Mica (Larry) Vance of Lynn, Robin (Marty) Martin of Smithville, Kim (Tony) Nunnally of Lynn and Kent (Ruth Ann Lawson) Matthews of Black Rock; his cousin, Gary “Duck” Rainwater of Smithville; and numerous nieces, nephews and close friends.

Tony was preceded in death by his parents; and a sister, Regina Scarbrough, and her husband, Randy.

A graveside service was held Tuesday, Sept. 14, at 2 p.m. in Old Lebanon Cemetery in Eaton, with Pastor Tony Miller officiating. Arrangements were under the direction of Cox Funeral Home in Walnut Ridge.

Honored to serve as pallbearers were Brody Matthews, Brogan Tate, Cord Matthews, Kent Matthews, Erick Tate, Alan Richey, Marty Martin, Matt Scarbrough, Tucker Scarbrough and Kyle Pratt. Honorary pallbearers were Larry Vance and Gary “Duck” Rainwater.

The family would like to express our thanks to Legacy Hospice and The Springs of Jonesboro for the wonderful help and care given.

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