March 24, 1946 - September 12, 2020
On September 12, 2020, William "Biff" Fleming Matthews, with his family by his side, passed peacefully at his Cypress Landing home in Chocowinity, NC. After a long and courageous battle with prostate cancer, Biff was cared for and kept comfortable by Community Hospice of Washington, NC. His life was truly extended by the love of his family and friends as well as exceptional team at Marion Shepard Cancer Center in Washington, NC.
Biff leaves behind his hometown friend and beloved wife of 34 years, Terre Webb Matthews, of Chocowinity NC and daughter, Stephanie Ann (Lee) Matthews, of Gahanna OH.
Stepchildren: Misti (Patrick) Campbell, of London, OH; Lane (Marcie) Gandee, of Cambridge, OH; Leslie Lauren (Rob) Scott, of Cincinnati OH.
Grandchildren (6): Paige Matthews; Morgan (Nick) Boden; Olivia (Robby) Stillings; Lauren (Vince) Campbell; Gianna Gandee; & Ace Gandee.
Great-grandchildren (3): Blake Boden, Millie Stillings, & Brooks Boden.
Sisters: Willa (Tom) Brand, of Bridgeport WV. and Lea Ann Cox, of St Albans WV.
On March 24, 1946 in Spencer, WV. Biff was the firstborn to William "Bill" Harvey and Jean Fleming Steber Matthews. He preceded his parents along with his brother David Franklin Matthews and wife Daphne Ann Langhorst Matthews.
He graduated from Spencer High School in 1964 where he played varsity football, basketball and ran track.
Biff was a member of Spencer DeMolay, achieving the distinction of Chevalier. He continued his fellowship and was a 50+ year member of Berclair Masonic Lodge AF&AM in Memphis, TN.; Valley of Columbus, Scottish Rite and Aladdin Shrine Temple in Columbus, OH.
A proud member of the Thundering Herd, in 1969 Biff graduated from Marshall University, in Huntington, WV. He was an active member of Alpha Sigma Phi Fraternity holding various offices. As an devoted Alpha Sig Alumni, he received many awards. His most treasured recognition was the Delta Beta Zi Key for his contributions, leadership, guidance, and positive influence over the years. He truly enjoyed helping his "Brothers" to define & achieve their goals. Ask any Alpha Sig; they will tell you he was a mentor, an inspiration, a gentleman and is revered as a "legend" to live up to!
In 1975, Biff celebrated the birth of his only child, a daughter Stephanie, who he lovingly called "Sam". That same year, following a short career in retail and banking, Biff founded Thirteen Inc. dba as Imprinter Sales & Service, selling credit card imprinters for Bartizan plus repairing various other imprinter brands. The manual imprinter industry became what is now the electronic payment industry. Biff was a founder and board member of that industry's trade association, the Electronic Transaction Association. Biff was an innovative and forward thinker. As the credit card industry grew & changed, Biff's company evolved to accommodate his customers and their needs, often ahead of the industry. As the evolution occurred, IS&S became The Supply Dept., with a division called Key Pac, the final change was to CardWare International thru his retirement in 2016. At that time he serviced bank merchant customers all over the world.
During his business years, he was a member of Chief Executives Boards International and CEO Brain Trust. These were associations for owners of a variety of small to moderate size businesses, enabling them to share ideas, problems & solutions. Biff loved these challenges but also the myriad of friendships he made along the way.
"When on the road again" for business, he would often look up friends to have dinner or visit with all over the country. These were people that he had stayed in contact with from his high school classmates to college roommates and many of his customers that had become friends. Also, when traveling, he took great delight in striking up a conversation with a stranger just to see what he could learn or impart some knowledge that might be of benefit to them. After meeting someone, he would often say, "Coffee is hot & beer/wine is cold! If you are in the area, stop by!"
Biff was always open to learning and was like a sponge when he found a subject of interest. He would say he "knew enough about something to be dangerous" but in reality, he was very knowledgeable and a great source of advice on a huge variety of subjects. If asked, friends would also say he is remembered for his ability to think out of the box and his thirst for knowledge and understanding.
Biff had a love for history. It was known if you went to a museum with him, you may never get out of there. He read everything! He was even caught reading the heads of antique nails in a box car to see where they were made. But that was part of what made Biff, Biff!
In Spencer, WV. Biff was raised a Baptist. However, when he and Terre moved to Cypress Landing in 2010, they found a new home at the First Presbyterian Church in Lil' Washington, NC. After much coaxing, Biff was convinced to join the Praise Singers at FPC. Although he did not play an instrument, he did love a variety of music and was often caught singing along with his distinct baritone voice.
Prior to moving to Cypress Landing, Biff and Terre lived for 18 years in an 1890 historic home in Newark, OH. Their passion for the property and being caretakers of its history versus being homeowners drove Biff's passion for historic preservation. Biff joined the Historic Hudson Community Association where he served as Secretary.
Continuing his community support once in NC., Biff became a member of the Marketing Committee and the Architectural Control Committee for Cypress Landing, NC. He was a member of the Chocowinity CERT, Citizen Emergency Response Team (Cypress Landing Division) and was always prepared for emergencies. More importantly, he was willing to help those in need whenever he could
He was a member of the Catawba West Harbor Yacht Club in Port Clinton, OH; the Cypress Landing Yacht Club, & Pamlico Sail & Power Squadron in Chocowinity, NC. He was also a monthly contributing writer to Washington Daily News with a boating article for PSPS.
On the several boats they owned, "Captain Biff" along with his "Fourth Mate" - "Admiral Terre", had many adventures, while traveling to destinations around the Great Lakes from their Catawba Island dock on Lake Erie. They also enjoyed many years of world travel on cruises and land tours. These journeys were sometimes alone, sometimes with friends! They loved spending their November wedding anniversary/Thanksgiving at their timeshare at The Inn At Mazatlán in Mazatlán Mexico almost every year.
When asked early on in his cancer diagnosis if there was anything on his bucket list he had not done or a place he had not traveled. Biff said his life was full of adventures and he had achieved everything he had set out to achieve. He was a man who had lived a full life and was loved wholly.
His infectious laughter was recognizable from a mile away. His handlebar mustache was that of legend! Biff is and forever will be a one of kind man!
Due to Covid-19, at a later date when it is safe for more people to gather, a memorial/celebration of life service will be held in Chocowinity, NC. and Columbus, OH. Per his request, in lieu of flowers, whether in person or in a note, forgive someone, tell someone what they mean to you, or adopt a pet from the pound or a rescue shelter. If you feel the need to donate, please give to Marion Shepard Cancer Center, 1209 Brown Street, Washington, NC. 27889