Joe Matthews Jr.

May 8, 1935 ~ January 28, 2023 (age 87) 87 Years Old

Joe Matthews Jr. Obituary

Joe Matthews Jr, 87, of Champaign passed away Saturday, January 28, 2023 at 10:45am at OSF Hospital in Urbana.  

Joe lived most of his life in Champaign but was born in Newman, Illinois. He married Amy Wood in December 1974, who survives. Joe was born on May 8, 1935 to Joe D. and Lora Matthews in Newman, IL. He was one of seven children, Marie Wood, Fernie May Kirkpatrick, James, Louis, Frank, and Ed Matthews. He was preceded in death by his parents, his sister Fernie May, and brother Louis. 

He also leaves behind six children Debra (Ray) Matthews Davis-Moore, (Chino Hills, CA); Danny (Betty) Matthews (Rantoul, IL); Dawn (Mike) Aper (Savoy, IL); Dennis Matthews (Tuscola, IL); Jamie (Jenna) Matthews (Palmetto, FL); and Joey (Estela) Matthews (Wesley Chapel, FL). Sixteen grandchildren, Jaymin, Jarin, Zoey, Isabella, Sophie, Luke, and Michelle Matthews. Alexandra and Austin Davis, Meagan Bacevich, Danavanh Phanrava, Jade Henchel, Matthew, Noel, Seth, and Olivia Aper and 8 great-grandchildren. 


Early in Joe’s life he worked at many places – Gold Blatts, Mueller’s Foundry in Decatur, Kresge Co. and the Saber Room in Chicago. 

He later became a successful business owner and hair stylist in The Champaign-Urbana area with his brother Frank. At one time, they had six Matthews Beauty Salons in the area. He sold that business and changed careers opening a Van Conversion business called “American Vanstand”. He was an avid car enthusiast and loved selling used cars. He later opened “American Vanstand” used car lot on Bloomington Road in Champaign, where he worked until he retired in 2009. Cars seemed to be his passion even after retirement but his “Pride and Joy” was his family and his Corvette. He loved to drive around in the summer with the top down and hit all his favorite coffee shops and visit with his friends. Joe was a very compassionate and loving man who never knew a stranger. He was adventurous and lived his life to the fullest. 


His funeral will be 1:00 PM, Friday February 3, 2023 at Freese Funeral Home in Tolono, IL.  Visitation will be from 11:00 to 1:00 Friday at the funeral.   Burial will be at Grandview Memorial Gardens in Champaign.  

Donations can be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

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February 3, 2023

11:00 AM to 1:00 PM
Freese Funeral Home
407 N. Bourne Street
Tolono, IL 61880

Funeral Service
February 3, 2023

1:00 PM
Freese Funeral Home
407 N. Bourne Street
Tolono, IL 61880


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