“Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth…”
CW4 Mathew Lafayette Suddath, Sr. (U.S. Army Ret.), 92, passed away peacefully at Hospice House of Savannah on Friday, September 1, 2017, surrounded by his loving family. Mathew was a resident of Magnolia Manor on the Marsh in Richmond Hill, GA and was of the Baptist faith.
Born in Statesboro, GA on January 25, 1925, to Hunter Silas and Ruth (Donaldson) Suddath, Mathew was named after both of his grandfathers. He was the seventh of nine children and grew up on the family farm in Statesboro. He entered the United States Marine Corps at a young age and served for several years before entering the United States Army in 1947. He was a triple war veteran, serving his country with distinction during WWII, Korea and Vietnam. Mathew was the recipient of a number of commendations and citations including the Meritorious Service Medal, the Legion of Merit, Bronze Star Medal, and Purple Heart.
While stationed in Hawaii, he met and married the love of his life, Nancy Malia Akui in 1950. They had four sons and one daughter, and Mathew and Nancy made many happy memories with their children during their years as a military family. They were stationed in many places across the country including Fort Huachuca, Great Lakes Naval Training Base, Schofield Barracks, White Sands, and Fort Lewis. Mathew’s last duty station was at Fort Devens, MA where he retired as a Chief Warrant Officer 4 in 1975. All four of his sons met their future wives there in a small town called Ayer, located next to the military base, and his daughter married after moving to England. Several years after his retirement, Mathew and his wife moved to Lubbock, TX where he worked as a medical equipment inspector. Their final home together was in Hinesville, where Mathew worked repairing medical equipment at Winn Army Community Hospital in Fort Stewart. Nancy passed away in 1989, and Mathew spent the next few years traveling before settling down in Guyton with his son and family. In 2008, he moved to Magnolia Manor on the Coast in Richmond Hill, and became an active and vibrant member of that retirement community. Mathew loved fishing, crossword puzzles, playing bridge and pinochle, camping, reading and country western music. He never met a stranger, and always went out of his way to make newcomers feel welcome. Magnolia Manor also became a place where his family would gather for dinners and important occasions, and his 90th military-themed birthday party in 2015 became legendary among family and residents alike.
Known as Pops to his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, Mathew was very proud of his family. He was a career solider, and even though retired, had a great love for his country and his fellow man. Even in his final days, he retained his wonderful sense of humor during visits with his grandchildren, especially if those visits included food from Taco Bell and his ever-present coffee.
Mathew was preceded in death by his wife, Nancy Malia Suddath, his parents, his seven siblings and his daughter-in-law, Patricia Suddath. He is survived by one sister, Julia Rozier of Statesboro, and his five children, Mathew Suddath (Mary) of Richmond Hill, Barbara Large (Dave) of Oxford, England, Hunter Suddath of Marina, CA, Peter Suddath (Colleen) of Savannah, GA, David Suddath (Janis) of Rincon, GA. He is also survived by thirteen grandchildren and fifteen great-grandchildren, as well as other close family members and many dear friends.
A graveside service with full military honors will begin at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, September 23, 2017, at Faith Baptist Church Cemetery, Hwy 196 and Airport Road in Hinesville.
Visitation was held Friday, September 8, 2017, at Carter Funeral Home Bryan Chapel.
Online condolences may be made at www.carterbryanchapel.com