Lt Thomas Edwin “Tom” Matthews (Ret’d)

    • Lt Thomas Edwin “Tom” Matthews (Ret’d)
    • RCE GVIR
    • Matthews WW II Watercolour_ CWM

    We regret to advise of the death of Lieutenant Thomas Edwin “Tom” Matthews (Ret’d) on 1 October 2020 in Kanata ON at age 99. Tom was a Royal Canadian Engineer WW II veteran.

    Born in Québec City, Tom was an artist, teacher, builder, traveller, sailor, reader and history buff. As a teenager, his interest in painting and design was nurtured by teachers such as Ethel Curry, a renowned Haliburton artist, and Arthur Lismer of the Group of Seven. He worked and studied industrial design in Chicago before joining the Canadian Army in 1942 as a sapper with the Royal Canadian Engineers. Tom was eventually shipped to England in the Spring of 1945 as a lieutenant in the Infantry. *   

    Tom returned to Canada after the end of the war and was demobilized in 1946. He resumed his industrial design career in Toronto and worked for Design Craft until 1964. He received a Governor General's Award for Engineering and Design for the design of a fan for the Seabreeze Corporation in Etobicoke ON. Tom then moved to Ottawa to supervise the designers of the Canadian pavilion at Expo 67 under Tom Wood, the noted Canadian war artist.

    Retirement in 1984 gave Tom more time to paint at his studio in Gananoque ON in the summers while he taught watercolour painting in Fort Myers, Florida during the winters.  Some of his paintings can be found at the Royal Military College of Canada and the Canadian Coast Guard station in Kingston ON and in private collections in Canada and the United States.

    Tom built the family home in Kleinburg ON almost single-handedly and a cottage on Go Home Lake with the help of his two boys. Later he moved to Kingston and then to Kanata.

    Tom requested that no funeral service be held and that his ashes be laid to rest beside his father, mother and grandfather in the family plot in Toronto. Burial will take place in Mount Pleasant Cemetery in Toronto after COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted. Celebrations of his life will take place in Toronto and Edmonton AB at that time. Online condolences can be sent to the funeral home

    * Tom Matthew’s wartime sketches and paintings are in the Canadian War Museum.