Matthews, Kathryn

MATTHEWS, Kathryn June Bowman

Kathryn June Bowman Matthews, 76, of Decatur, GA, passed away on April 17, 2023. Born in Syracuse, NY, on March 21, 1947, to Julius Patrick Bowman and Esther Avery Bowman, she was the youngest of four children. Kathy was preceded in death by her parents, brothers Daniel and Patrick, and stepdaughter Karen Matthews.

At the age of five, Kathy moved with her family to rural Memphis, NY. There, Kathy found joy in exploring her small community and nearby woods, sparking a lifelong passion for reading, "good music," and gardening. Kathy was contemplative. In high school, she aspired to become a medical missionary and volunteered as a "candy striper," providing care to residents of the county nursing home. Her work there, and the guidance of a school nurse, inspired Kathy to pursue a career in nursing.

With a Navy Nurse Corps scholarship, Kathy earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing (BSN) from Keuka College in 1968 and served in the U.S. Navy Nurse Corps until 1973. Following her military service, Kathy earned a Master of Science degree in Nursing (MSN) from the University of Pennsylvania in 1976, certification as a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) in 1978, and a Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP) degree from the Medical College of Georgia in 2007.

In 1985, Kathy relocated to North Carolina, where she met Charles Matthews. The two married in Pittsboro, NC, on December 1, 1990. Four years later, they moved to Decatur, GA, where Kathy served as an Assistant Clinical Professor at Emory University School of Nursing until her retirement in 2015. Kathy ended her career by serving patients as a primary care provider at Emory Clinic until 2017. Throughout a 49-year career, Kathy expressed a deep love of learning, teaching, mentoring, and clinical practice. Her kindness and compassion touched the hearts of her family, friends, colleagues, and patients alike.

Kathy embraced life! She loved choral music and sang in college, community, and church choirs. Kathy possessed an encyclopedic knowledge of ornamental plants. She considered time in her garden as therapy and spent endless hours there, quietly pruning, nurturing, and talking to her plants until the last month of her life.

In 2010, Kathy was diagnosed with neuroendocrine cancer. She faced this disease just as she faced other challenges throughout her life: quietly, yet with an indominable spirit, courage, determination, patience, and optimism.

Kathy is survived by her husband of 32 years, Charles Matthews; stepson, Alan Matthews; step grandsons, Murphy and Nolan Matthews; brother, Lewis Bowman (Chris); nieces, Sherri Borden and Terri Alley (David); nephew, Patrick Bowman (Mary Ellen); grandnephew, Jacob Bowman; and grandnieces, Rachel and Allison Bowman and Charlotte Renee Alley.

A Memorial Service celebrating Kathy's life will be held at 10:30 AM, June 24, 2023, at North Decatur Presbyterian Church, 611 Medlock Road, Decatur, GA 30033. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Carcinoid Cancer Foundation, 118 N. Bedford Road, Suite 100, Mt. Kisco, NY 10549-2555, online at, or to North Decatur Presbyterian Church.

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Funeral Home Information

Turner & Sons Funeral Home

2773 North Decatur Road

Decatur, GA