The Curry Coastal Pilot

Ronald "Ron" J. Mathis passed away at his home in Brookings on Jan. 3, 2012, surrounded by his family. He was 66.

Ron was born Oct. 11, 1945, in San Francisco to Gene and Terese (Benoit) Mathis. He grew up and attended elementary school there before the family moved to Hayward. Ron attended high school there until entering the US Air Force in 1964.

Following an honorable discharge, Ron attended Chabot Junior College in Hayward. While there he learned of an opportunity in law enforcement in Logan, Utah.

Ron moved to Logan and began what would be a 20 year career with the Logan Police Department. While there Ron was recognized often for his devotion to programs to enhance the safety of the community. He also furthered his education at both Utah State University and Webber State College. He later retired and moved to the Oregon Coast.

There, Ron began to more earnestly pursue his Catholic faith. He enrolled in religious education classes at Mt. Angel and volunteered as a chaplain for Pelican Bay State Prison. Later, in 2008, Ron would move to a full-time position as Catholic chaplain at the prison. He was a member of Star of the Sea Catholic Church, the Knights of Columbus and the National Association of Chaplains. Ron enjoyed reading and studying, and walks on the beach. In his earlier years he also enjoyed golfing, scuba diving and skiing. He will be missed by his family and his local family which included his daily morning gathering at the Brookings Starbucks.

Survivors include his daughter Renee Rodriguez and her husband Robert of Watsonville, Calif.; son Steve Johnson and his wife Jennifer of San Jose, Calif.; mother Terese Mathis of Sacramento, Calif.; grandchildren Joshua and Jonathon Rodriguez, Zachary and Alexander Johnson; sisters Susan, Nancy and Gail; and brother Michael.

Memorial contributions may be made to Star of the Sea Catholic Church, 820 Old County Rd., Brookings, OR 97415 or to Coastal Home Health and Hospice, P.O. Box 493, Gold Beach, OR 97444.

A Memorial Mass of Christian Burial will be held at 10:30 a.m. Monday, Jan. 9, 2012, at Star of the Sea Catholic Church, 820 Old County Road in Brookings. Father Luan Nguyen and Deacon Leo Appel will officiate. Recitation of the Holy Rosary will precede the Mass at 10 a.m. at the church. A graveside committal will follow the Mass at W. J. Ward Memorial Cemetery followed by a luncheon in the Parish Hall at Star of the Sea.

Redwood Memorial Chapel is in charge of the arrangements. Condolences may be expressed online at

Submitted by Redwood Memorial Chapel