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1947 Kathryn 2023

Kathryn June Matthews

March 21, 1947 — April 17, 2023

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 a contemplative person. 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. After completing her military service, she earned a Master of Science degree in Nursing (MSN) and certification as a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) from the University of Pennsylvania in 1976, and later, 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 then worked at Emory Clinic in primary care until 2017. Throughout a 49-year career, Kathy's love of life extended to a deep love of learning, teaching, mentoring, and clinical practice. Kathy's 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, pruning, nurturing, and talking to her plants until the last month of her life.

In 2010, Kathy was diagnosed with neuroendocrine cancer. During her 13-year battle with the disease, she remained courageous, irrepressible, and optimistic, inspiring all who knew her.

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 on 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.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Kathryn June Matthews, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Family Hosted Memorial Service

Saturday, June 24, 2023

10:30 - 11:30 am (Eastern time)

North Decatur Presbyterian Church

611 Medlock Road, Decatur, GA 30033

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