All the parishioners at Our Lady of Mercy in LeRoy. The community members at St. Ann’s in LeRoy and Cherry Ridge in Webster. At the McDonald's on Main Street where he and his beloved wife, Mary Jane, would grab breakfast with friends after attending morning daily mass.
"Hey, guy," Joe would greet friends and strangers alike, offering a warm smile and a sincere, "How are you today?"
That was Joseph James Mathis, the man whose kind spirit, deep faith and unwavering love of family guided him through life.
Joe died Nov. 15, 2023, surrounded by those he loved -- and those who loved him immensely. He was their father and grandfather, a role model in countless ways. And it was those qualities -- his tender care and affection for his wife of 56 years, his six children, his 13 grandchildren and his Our Lady of Mercy family -- that defined who he was.
Joe was 84. And what a wonderful life he led. He was born in Binghamton on Jan. 18, 1939, the third of 11 children to Joseph and Catherine Mathis. He was proud to bear his father's name.
He was modest in many ways, despite a successful 53-year career in the food service industry. And family and friends always marveled at how he could fall asleep in his chair without ever spilling a drop of coffee from the mug he held.
But ask Joe about his days at Windsor Central High School, and he would proudly recount his decorated athletic career and his multiple varsity letters playing football, basketball and baseball. His biggest win, however, came after meeting his future wife, Mary Jane Hurley, who was both a cheerleader and valedictorian of their high school. They married July 13, 1963. He said it was the best day of his life.
Mary Jane died Sept. 25, 2019. Life was never the same for Joe. He stayed busy in his yard, in his parish and with his family. For Joe, family and faith were everything.
He is survived by his six children: Mary Catherine (Andrew) Duncan; Ellen (Matthew) Bailey; Maureen Mathis; Christopher (Kim) Mathis; Sean Mathis; and Brendan (Kara) Mathis.
Other survivors include his 13 grandchildren: Maura, Cara and Daniel Duncan; Anna and Thomas Bailey; McKenzie Spooner; Mary Jane, Jack and Dominic Mathis; Nathan and Adam Mathis; and Ryan and Jacob Mathis. He is also survived by his siblings: John Mathis, Joan Chambers, James (Ann) Mathis, Edward (Regina)Mathis, Kathleen (Gordon) Kniffen, David Mathis, Elizabeth (Tony) Kelishian, Karen Rattmann, Mary (William) Burgoon, and Teresa (Darryl) Nielsen.
Family and friends may call on Monday, Nov. 20 from 4 ~ 7 p.m. at the Falcone Family Funeral and Cremation Service Inc., 8700 Lake Road in LeRoy. His Rite of Christian Burial will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 21 at 11 a.m. at Our Lady of Mercy Parish, St. Peter's Church, 44 Lake St., in LeRoy.
No doubt, Joe and Mary Jane would appreciate it if you stopped at McDonald's on Main Street after mass.
Memorials are suggested toOur Lady of Mercy Parish in LeRoy, NY.