Douglas Matthews of Roslindale, MA, devoted family man, inspiring teacher and advocate for social and economic justice, passed away February 11, just three days after his sixty-third birthday, following a long illness. Doug worked in Rhode Island in the 1980s at the Coalition for Consumer Justice (CCJ) and Workers Association for Guaranteed Employment (WAGE). He is well remembered by his many friends in RI as an impassioned community organizer and canvass director and as a generous sharer of his extensive knowledge of political theory – including feminist theory, music, books, movies and life-experiences.
While in Providence, Doug met the love of his life and future wife, Sarah Lamitie. After marrying in 1988, they settled in Boston and raised two children: Claire Lamitie and Finley Matthews – both now in college. A natural educator, at the age of 40, Doug transitioned from community organizing to teaching school – primarily at Attleboro High School where he taught social studies for the last 18 years. He was known for teaching current global affairs so his students would always be informed about the world around them. He created courses on topics such as Islam and global conflict and brought guest speakers into his classes from all ends of the spectrum. He was the long-time advisor to many student clubs including: Amnesty International, environmental clubs, the Gay Straight Alliance and Model U.N.
Because of his flexible teacher’s schedule, Doug was deeply involved in his children’s lives, a role he relished. He was a consistent support and presence in their lives. Doug will be sorely missed by his family, friends, neighbors and colleagues alike who came to know him and his loving, gentle nature, good humor, patience, deeply principled and joyful approach to life.
A memorial service is planned for March 26, 2016 at 2:00 p.m. at Theodore Parker Unitarian Church, 1859 Centre Street, West Roxbury, MA. Donations in Doug’s memory may be made to Attleboro High School in support of the Model UN Program (508-222-5150); Roxbury Youthworks, Inc (www.roxburyyouthworks.org), or Heifer International (www.heifer.org).