Cover photo for Herbert “Sandy” Mathews's Obituary
Herbert “Sandy” Mathews Profile Photo
1940 Herbert 2023

Herbert “Sandy” Mathews

October 9, 1940 — March 12, 2023

October 9, 1940 ~ March 12, 2023

Sandy Mathews passed away at the Pinawa Hospital on March 12, 2023, at the age of 82.

Sandy is survived by his wife Virginia, sister Irene Robson (Ian) in Montreal and daughter Colleen (Paul) and their sons Sean and Kai in Surrey, B.C.; brother-in-law Pete (Donna); sisters-in-law Florence (Julian) and Gwen (Colin) and many nieces and nephews.  He was predeceased by six brothers and sister-in-law’s and their spouses and his dear friends Ray, Mike, Len and Erik.

Sandy was born at the Pine Falls Hospital on October 9, 1940, son of Andrew & Ella (Osis) Mathews of Bird River.  Sandy’s grandparents, Michel and Anna Osis and their young family came from Latvia in 1910 settling in Bird River.  Ella was born in 1911.  Andrew came to Bird River from Czechoslovakia in 1927.  Andrew and Ella were married in 1939.  By the mid 1940’s many families had moved away from Bird River and the Bird River School was closed.

In September 1950 the Mathews family moved to Lac du Bonnet and Sandy was enrolled in Grade 3.  He had been home schooled by his mother in Grade 1 & 2.  He quickly made friends with classmates and children in the neighbourhood.  He attended elementary school in Lac du Bonnet, Grade 9 at Kelvin High School in Winnipeg and grade 10 & 11 in Lac du Bonnet.  In 1960, after graduation he got a job at the mine in Bernic Lake and met Len Horn who was the electrician.  In 1961 Len enrolled Sandy in an electrical apprenticeship program with Keewatin Electric.  Sandy worked as an apprentice in Winnipeg, Gypsumville and Grand Rapids.  In 1962, Len was working at the construction site of WNRE.  Shawinigan Engineering was doing contracted work at the site and needed another electrician.  Len recommended Sandy and he was hired.  Sandy completed his apprenticeship in 1963 with Shawinigan Engineering and was hired by AECL as a journeyman electrician.  Sandy and Len remained lifetime friends.

In 1961, Sandy met Virginia on a blind date.  Almost immediately he knew that he wanted to marry her and be part of her family of five sisters and four brothers, in-laws, nieces and nephews.  On October 23, 1965, they were married in the Roman Catholic  Church in Lac du Bonnet and had a traditional Ukrainian Wedding reception at the Holiday Beach Hall.  After a two week road trip honeymoon to New Orleans, they settled in Pinawa in a furnished row-house, while the construction of their home was completed.  In January 1966 they moved to 8 McMillan Place.  In 1973 they built a home in Lac du Bonnet and in 1982, when a riverfront property became available, they purchased it and 218 Lake Ave. has remained their forever home.

In 1974, Virginia began her career at AECL, and in 1994 Sandy and Virginia chose early retirements when WNRE was downsizing.  In 1974 Sandy and Virgina went on a dream of a life time holiday to Hawaii with Virginia’s parents, and her sister Florence, husband Julian and their infant daughter Angie.  Over the years, Sandy and Virginia enjoyed many vacations in Hawaii inviting her brother Bill, sister Gwen and husband Colin to share their paradise.  For many years, their best friends Mike and Marilyn vacationed in Hawaii with them, and for the past two decades her brother Pete and wife Donna were just down the hall at the Royal Kuhio on the 28th floor in an ocean view condo.  Their last holiday was in 2020 when Covid broke out.

Sandy enjoyed fishing on his dock with his friend Mike and golfing with his brother-in-law’s Pete, Colin and Julian.

Throughout their working years, Sandy and Virginia vacationed in Hawaii, Mexico, the Bahamas, Vegas and Jamaica in the wintertime.  Spring and fall vacations took them exploring overseas.  A vacation to London and Europe in 1998 and a Mediterranean Cruise in 2000 with stopovers in Greece, Turkey and Egypt were extra special when their friends Mike and Marilyn accompanied them.  So much fun and happy memories.  Sandy and Virginia travelled three more times overseas, visiting the British Isles exploring Italy and other European countries including his father’s homeland Slovakia.  Unbelievable memories were made on a camel trek to the pyramids in Egypt, a river cruise in Germany, cruising the canals in Amsterdam, visiting a mosque in Turkey, the Vatican, Buckingham Palace, St. Andrews Golf Course and the list just goes on. Summer time was spent enjoying their home on the river, visiting friends and relatives nearby and throughout Canada.  In recent years, Sandy and Virginia enjoyed trips to South Beach Casino and the excellent buffet dinners.  Sandy loved shopping for bargains at yard sales, photography, feeding the birds and squirrels and watching TV.

Thank you to the EMT’s for arriving so promptly on February 17, the Doctor’s and staff at HSC SICU, Selkirk General Hospital and Pinawa Hospital for their treatment and care and for successfully arranging Sandy’s transfer to Pinawa Hospital on March 11.

As per Sandy’s wishes, cremation has taken place and a private family interment will take place in the Lac du Bonnet Cemetery this summer.

Thank you to Funeral Director, Greg Smith at Sobering Funeral Chapel for his help and kindness.

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