Stillwater News Press

December 31, 2012

Rita Kathryn Copeland Matthews


Stillwater NewsPress

— Rita Kathryn Copeland Matthews, much loved wife, mother, grandmother, and friend passed away peacefully on Dec. 26, 2012.  Always the cheerful giver, Rita brightened many lives through active prayer and service to her community.  In almost every case, her help to those around her was quiet and unheralded.  With a keen ability to see and bring out the good in people, she graciously uplifted the lives of all that sought her prayerful support.  She is survived by her husband, two sons and their spouses, nine grandchildren, and many more loving family members and friends.  She was preceded in death by her parents, Paul Copeland and Evelyn Burkett Copeland, and her sister, Donna Copeland Lough.

Born in Idabel, Okla., on Sept. 13, 1934, Rita spent her early years in Stillwater, Okla., and her high school years in Aberdeen, Washington.  While attending Oklahoma A&M College in 1953, she met her future husband, Paul W. Matthews, on a blind date.  Married in 1955, they raised two sons – Douglas, a certified public accountant in St. Louis, Mo., and David, a venture capitalist in Dallas, Texas.  Douglas is married to Judy Weatherford Matthews and has six children.  David is married to Laurie Wyly Matthews and has three children.

Rita was a past president of the Oklahoma City Kappa Delta Alumna and was awarded with Kappa Delta’s highest national honor, the Emerald Award, for outstanding service to the sorority, including her effort to create, fund, and operate the Bear Pal program.  The Bear Pal program initially provided teddy bears to children affected by the 1995 bombing of the Murrah Building in downtown Oklahoma City, and was later expanded to benefit victims of child abuse.

Rita was very active in her church, Fifth Church of Christ, Scientist, Oklahoma City, where she served in many capacities during the past thirty-seven years including reader, lecture chairman, Sunday school teacher and superintendent.  She was also a full-time Journal listed Christian Science Practitioner for over thirty years.

Memorial Services will be 1p.m., Monday, Dec. 31, 2012 at Hahn-Cook/Street & Draper Funeral Directors, 6600 Broadway Extension, Oklahoma City, OK 73116.  Private Burial Services will be held at the Seneca Missouri Cemetery.  

 “…affection is more than words: it is the tender, unselfish deed done in secret…”

Mary Baker Eddy