Nathan Christopher Mathews, 37, of Springfield, Ore. died on May 16, 2020. His family waited to post his obituary just in case this was one of his notorious pranks. 

Nathan was born on Sept. 4, 1982 at McKenzie Willamette Hospital in Springfield, Ore.

Upon graduating from Springfield High School, he joined the United States Air Force. After completing basic training in San Antonio, Texas and technical school in Port Hueneme, Calif., he was stationed at RAF Mildenhall, United Kingdom. He promptly married his high school sweetheart so she could tag along on the adventure. 

Looking to add a bit of excitement, he volunteered for a deployment to Iraq, not realizing he would be gone the better part of a year. This led to the realization that military life might not be for him. After receiving an honorable discharge, he and his wife relocated back to Oregon. 

Settling in Portland, he became a dad, built race cars, and worked as a general mechanic and a forklift and equipment mechanic. 

He and his family relocated to Springfield to open an auto repair business, which he operated for several years before closing and earning a manufacturing technician certificate from Lane Community College.

When he wasn’t running into cars, helping his dad work on cars, or “borrowing” his parents’ car, Nate could be found on his bike, at the lake, floating the river, or anywhere in nature. He maintained his love of the outdoors throughout his life.

We will miss his innate ability to make an entire group of people uncomfortable in one breath, and in the next, make everyone laugh with a joke, usually of the inappropriate variety.

He took seriously his self-proclaimed duty to teach safety lessons by showing one “what not to do.” 

I am sure he would consider himself a successful teacher as those who knew him can all probably recall a lesson or two. He will live on for generations as parents scare their children with tales of Nate Mathews.

Nathan Mathews is survived by his wife of 17 years, Isabelle Mathews, of Springfield, his two sons Deagan and Reed, dog Gus, parents Steve and April Mathews, younger brother Justin, parents-in-law Howard and Marlene, and a sister-in-law. 

In addition to his family, he leaves behind a substantial amount of “good finds,” or what most of us would consider junk. 

The next time you need a weird bolt, an oil filter, or have the need to repair a table leg out of a scrap we hope you think of him because he would have had just the thing you needed.

A private celebration of life was held on May 16 at the Shadow Hills Country Club.