Wallace E. (Wally ) Mathes, Jr., age 89 and long-time resident of Amelia Island, passed away there atThe Warner Center for Caring on Friday, May 26, 2017. He was born in Munford, Alabama on August 29, 1927, where he was raised and also completed his primary and secondary education, graduating from Munford High School in 1945 .
After serving in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1945 to 1946, he graduated from Tulane University in June 1950. He then served in the U.S. Army as a first lieutenant, primarily in Okinawa, and was honorably discharged in August 1953. After working as a sales executive for Western Auto and later, IBM, he began a long and distinguished career with Merrill Lynch in 1958, first as a Financial Advisor in Birmingham, AL and then as Manager of the firm’s Sarasota, FL office, which he was tasked with opening, along with those along Florida’s entire southwest coast. He was subsequently promoted once again, to Director of Merrill Lynch’s Jacksonville sales complex , retiring in 1984.
After retirement, he continued another 20 years as an Executive Consultant with Merrill, primarily in assessing and developing managerial candidates. He served in a vast number of professional and social positions throughout his business career, including long-time director of Blue Cross/ Blue Shield of Florida, director of Florida Combined Life Insurance Co., Chairman and President of the University Club of Sarasota, and Chairman and inaugural Operating President of Gator Creek Golf Club of Sarasota.
In addition to a professional life that saw him located in a dozen different cities in North America as well as occasional duties in Europe and Asia, he loved to travel, visiting all 50 states and over 50 countries, with a particular love for northern Spain. However, his primary passion always continued to be the stock market, in retirement just as much as during his career. His willingness to share his stories, acumen and insights were appreciated and respected by friends and colleagues alike as well as by the legions of financial consultants he spoke before, both during and after his career. He had a dry wit, made all the more effective by his circumspect manner. He had a sense of precision with respect to all things, whether a matter of punctuality , language or facts.
He was predeceased by his son Wallace E. (Matt) Mathes III (Karen) and his sister Carolyn Searcy, and by his devoted wife of 67 years, Dorothy Jewell Mathes. He is survived by his sons, Mark (Teri), of Ponte Vedra Beach, and Scott (Lisa), of Peoria, Illinois, two grandchildren, Michael Mathes and Molly Mathes, and his sister, Nell Mathes, of Anniston, Alabama.
He will be laid to rest with his wife in a graveside service on July 8, 2017 in the Munford Cemetery in Munford, AL . Memorials in his name may be made to the Presbyterian Home for Children in Talladega.