Ross R Mathews - A Civic Leader

Ross Mathews and his wife, Anita, first came to Hillsboro in 1967 as partners in two of the local funeral homes. The couple raised three daughters, Marixa Mathews, Marcella Ungar and Marleta Stansberry. 

Ross was active in various local community organizations including the Hillsboro Optimist Club, Hillsboro Rotary Club, Hillsboro Odd Fellows Club, Hillsboro Masonic Lodge, Hillsboro Elks Lodge and the Knights of Pythias Lodge. He served as Noble Grand of the Hillsboro 100F #54 of Hillsboro. 

He first joined the Hillsboro Chamber of Commerce in 1967 and has been affiliated with the chamber serving on many committees including the board of directors and the Ambassadors from that time. 

He served the schools as president of the Spartan Parents Club in 1986-87. He was named by the student body as Honorary Spartan in 1987. 

He was a member of the Tuality Medical Foundation Board of Directors for twenty years. The Washington County Board of Commissioners appointed him to Washington County Department of Disability, Aging and Veterans Services Advisory Council. He served as chair of the council. 

He joined the Optimist International in 1961 and has held all local and district offices of the Pacific Northwest district. In addition he served at the International level on several committees and was Vice President of Optimist International in 1978. 

In 2005 the Pacific Northwest District of Optimist International presented Ross Mathews with the Roy Proctor Lifetime Achievement Award of Optimist International. This district includes Alaska, British Columbia, Washington, Idaho and Oregon. 

In 2005 he was also honored by the Hillsboro Kiwanis Club when they presented to him the first Annual “Dale Scheller Community Service Award”. 

In addition to local involvement with his profession, Ross served nationally as a board member and president of the Oregon Funeral Directors Association in 1978. He was named the outstanding State Director of the Golden Rule of Funeral Service in 1983. He was also named National Funeral Director of the Year by the Cincinnati Insurance Company in 1985. 

He developed a woodworking hobby that includes the crafting of unique birdhouses and bird feeders. His work has been shown at various shows in the Northwest, Texas and New York.

The Ross Mathews Scholarship

The Optimist Club of Hillsboro offers this scholarship to a graduating Hillsboro High School senior or home schooled graduate who lives in the Hillsboro High School attendance area. It is a $2000 award.

The candidate must:

  • Be a graduating Hillsboro High School senior or home-schooled student (who lives in the Hillsboro High School attendance area).

  • Have a cumulative GPA of 3.0 or higher.

  • Be US citizen or permanent legal resident.

  • Have been accepted to a 2 or 4 year accredited school  the US with a major in human health or mortuary science.

  • Have submitted an essay of 300-500 words describing the chosen career path and the events that drove the choice.

  • Be available to be interviewed by the Optimist selection board.

Applications are made available in the first quarter of each year. The scholarship is awarded in April/May.