Details have been announced on a memorial service for Robert E. (Bob) Matthews, who founded school bus dealer and repair center Matthews Buses with wife Justine in 1967. Matthews died Sunday evening in Dansville, N.Y., after being struck by a motorist. He was 85.
A private memorial service to remember Robert E . Matthews for family and invited friends is scheduled Nov. 17, followed by a "Celebration of Life" reception open to all friends, starting at 3 p.m. Eastern at Scoville's Restaurant, located at 60 Red Jacket Street in Dansville, N.Y.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorial contributions be made to Wounded Warriors of America at www.woundedwarriorproject.org or mailed to: Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758517. Topeka, KS 66675.
"Bob touched the lives of many and will be missed by all who knew him," the family said in a statement.
Bob Matthews was a school board member in Long Island, N.Y., and also ran an auto body shop when Perley A. Thomas, the founder of Thomas Built Buses, approached him to head up new dealerships located in western New York.
Since then, Matthews Buses, Inc., has been an authorized dealer for Thomas based out of Ballston, N.Y., with additional dealerships in Dansville, Maybrook and Syracuse, N.Y.; Tolland, Conn.; and Berwick, Maine. Last fall, Matthews also became the Thomas dealer for all of Florida after previously serving three-quarters of the state. In July of 2011, Matthews Buses also opened a new full-service facility in Orlando, Fla.
The company was named Thomas' northeast region dealer of the year in 2009.
Bob and Justine formed The Matthews Group, Inc., in 1985. In the 1990s, Matthews Buses expanded to include school bus air conditioning manufacturer Rifled Air, which is run by sons Glenn and Brad Matthews. That business evolved from earlier work as an installer of Carrier air conditioning units for other Thomas dealers. When Carrier opted to begin installations straight at the factory, Rifled Air was born.
The Matthews Group also added Matthews Specialty Vehicles and Matthews Mobile Media.