Remembering Roland Matthies
SPRINGFIELD, Ohio - Roland Matthies, Wittenberg vice president and treasurer emeritus, passed away April 3, 2014. He was 103.
An Indiana native, Matthies graduated from DePauw University in 1931, received his juris doctorate from the University of Chicago in 1934, and married the former Maxine M. Schneider in 1937. He practiced law in Indiana for nine years before being hired by Wittenberg College in 1943 to serve as business manager of its then new U.S. Army Air Cadet Training Program until the end of WWII.
Two years later, Matthies was named treasurer of Wittenberg, and promoted to vice president in 1954. He specialized in deferred giving for the university and raised millions of dollars for Wittenberg's endowment funds until his retirement in 1975. He continued as a member of the Wittenberg Board of Directors until 1988.
Active regionally and nationally in the affairs of the Lutheran Church in America, a predecessor body to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Matthies was a national authority on taxation as it relates to philanthropy and a national expert in charitable deferred giving. He served on countless local boards and committees. Additionally, he received numerous awards during his career, including the Wittenberg Class of 1914 Award and Wittenberg Medal of Honor.
Matthies was a founding member in 1946 of the Springfield Symphony Orchestra where he played violin. In his earlier years, he was an accomplished singer, having sung bass in the acclaimed Swift and Company Male Chorus an the East Chicago Male chorus. He was a committed philanthropist, financially supporting many local charities. He was devoted to his family, church, employer, and community.
Matthies is survived by his daughter Barbara and son Richard (Vicki); two grandchildren, five great grandchildren, all of Springfield. He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother in childhood, his sister, and his wife Maxine.
A public celebration of Matthies life will be held in the community room at First Lutheran Church, 30 S Wittenberg Ave., from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., Monday, April 14. A memorial service will immediately follow at 6 p.m. in the church sanctuary.