Fred T. Mathews, Jr.

December 19, 1934 - June 22, 2017

12/19/1934 - 06/22/2017

Past Services

Saturday June 24, 2017
Altmeyer Funeral Home - Chesapeake Chapel
929 Battlefield Blvd S
Chesapeake, VA 23322
(757) 482-3311 | Directions

Fred T. “Pete” Mathews Jr. died peacefully in his home, surrounded by his immediate family on June 22.
Pete was born in Hertford, NC on December 19, 1934 to the late Hazel Keaton Mathews and Fred T. Mathews Sr. He is survived by his brothers Dr. Robert S. Mathews of Lancaster, PA & John Thomas Mathews (Gail) of Suffolk, VA. In 1953, he married his childhood sweetheart Marian Elliott Mathews and together they had four children, the late Katherine (Kay) Hazel Mathews, Betsy Mathews Wright Rhodes (Bernie), Fred T. Mathews III, and Martin Elliott Mathews (Mary). He is also survived by 10 grandchildren and 7 great grandchildren, and is predeceased by grandson Stockton Lucas (Luke) Wright.
Pete was a graduate of Perquimans High School, where he served as Senior Class President and participated in athletics and multiple clubs.
A 1958 graduate of the University of Richmond School of Business Administration, Pete served as Junior Class President of the School of Business Administration; Vice President of the School of Business Administration Student Government; and was Vice President of Theta Chi Fraternity.
Born with the car business in his blood, Pete began working with his father as Vice President of the Windsor Auto Auction in Windsor, Va. A few years later, he started his own used car lot, City Motors, in Suffolk, Va. He later added HRFT Auto Wholesalers, going into business with his brothers J.Tom and Bob; and then added retail dealerships to the family company, including Dodge City in Chesapeake, Va., Tower Toyota/Dodge and Tower Mazda in Portsmouth, Va.
Always a leader, Pete served as President of the Board of Directors of the Virginia Independent Auto Dealers Association (VIADA), President of the Board of Directors of the Hampton Roads Auto Dealers Association (HRADA), and served on the Board of Directors of the Virginia Auto Dealers Association (VADA).
The family would like to thank Pete’s best friend, the Honorable Morton V. Whitlow for his loyalty, guidance and wisdom.
We also thank the wonderful services of Family Care Senior Solutions of Virginia Beach, especially the love and care of Delores “Dee” Jeffrey who brought joy to Pete for the last two years. Other aides for which we are grateful include Stephanie, Ebony, Martina, Chrystal and Victoria. We also thank the previous services and friendship of the staff & residents of Georgian Manor.
Final appreciation to the excellent care from our friends at Chesapeake ComfortCare Hospice.
In lieu of flowers, please make memorial donations noting “In Memory of Fred T. Mathews Jr.” to the Shriners Hospital, 403 E. Front St., New Bern, NC 28560; or the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, North Carolina Chapter, PO Box 25536, Winston-Salem, NC 27114
The family will receive friends on Saturday from 4:00 pm until 6:00 pm at Altmeyer Funeral Home, Chesapeake. A private memorial service will be held at a later date. Express condolences to the family at

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Tara Cook
6 years ago

So sorry to hear the sad news. Tara,Mike, and Katie

C. Prince
6 years ago

May the God of all comfort strengthen you at this most difficult time. 2 Corinthians 1:3,4. Please accept my sincere condolences

Mike & Sandi Gilbert
6 years ago

My condolences to the Mathews family, especially Marian. We understand the heartache you’ve seen through the years and we are glad especially for that last year with Pete. We all will miss him beyond what words could ever reflect. Pete was well respected and was such a kind and loving man. He set high standards and had the kind of integrity and honesty everyone admired about him. We will miss him. May God be with you and your family.

Howard &Helen "Sonny" Mathews
6 years ago

Dear family, We were traveling home from visiting our son and his family on Saturday. We got the message from JoAnne through our voice mail. l remember all the great times we had and the two summers Pete spent on the farm many years ago helping daddy work. I know you folks will miss the Big Guy. You are in our thoughts and prayers. Please say hello to all the family. Sincerely, Sonny

Martha Kozak Benson
6 years ago

So sorry to hear of Pete’s passing. So many fond memories of him growing up in Sadler Heights. Our condolences to the family. Would love to visit with you another time Betsy.

Michael Babb
6 years ago

Very sorry to hear of Petes passing,Tom. I always enjoyed being with you two and listening to you talk. I know you have some great memories of you two together.

Mike Duman
6 years ago

I first met Pete when I was 16 years old and washing cars as a summertime job. What I respect most about him looking back is that he treated me as he would have anyone else. It is a true mark of a man’s character as to how they treat. not an individual of their own status, but those that are beneath them.

Later in life, as I ultimately remained in the car business, I became a manager and eventually a dealer. When I went to work for Bob Crumpler in 1974 I got to know Pete quite well. I can say with all honesty he was a man of integrity and an individual that contributed to elevating the reputation of the car business.

Pete was always very personable and hesitant to speak a disparaging word of others.

My condolences to the all of the Matthews family. I know he will be missed. He was most definitely one of the “good guys”.

Mary Benn and Johnny Failes
6 years ago

We were so sorry to learn of Pete’s passing. Our love goes out to all the Family at this difficult time! Pete was a special person and will be greatly missed.

Ashton Lewis
6 years ago

I met Pete in the 60’s when HRFT dominated the used car supply chain for new car dealers. His hard work and commitment to always doing the right thing made me realize if you are going to be successful in our business you need to do it in the same fashion as Pete. I have never known a person with more honesty than Pete. Thanks for all you have done for our industry and our community! The First Team family sends our condolences to Pete’s wonderful family.

Steve Watts
6 years ago

J. Tom, when I read the obit this am, I felt a tear roll down my cheek. You and your brother Pete will always be in my heart and I am deeply sorry for your loss.