Rachel Strole Arnette Matthews at the age of age 94, surrounded by her loving family, went to be with her Lord and Savior on Saturday, January 5, 2019. She passed away peacefully at the Lower Cape Fear Hospice Center in Whiteville, North Carolina.
Rachel was born in 1924 and grew up on a dairy farm outside of Chadbourn. After graduating from Chadbourn High School, she attended Meredith College and graduated in 1945 with a degree in education. Rachel taught in Wilmington for two years before returning to Chadbourn to marry her high school classmate, Evander Arnette, with whom she corresponded while he was a soldier in World War II.
Rachel taught seventh grade at Chadbourn Elementary for 25 years. After her retirement from teaching, her passion for serving Christ grew. Rachel taught her family the love of Christ by example. She supported many ministries locally and worldwide. Rachel was a faithful member of Piney Forest Baptist Church where she served as pianist, organist and choir director for more than 30 years. Rachel was also a GA leader, a member of the Baptist Women’s Association, and President of Help Mission. In the 1980’s she went on several mission trips to Africa and Brazil.
Rachel was the daughter of Glenn Franklin Strole and Inez Grace Wilkes Strole. She was preceded in death by her spouses, Evander C. Arnette and Dr. George Matthews and her siblings, Edward Strole (infant), Phillip Strole and Jean Holland.
To cherish her memory, Rachel leaves behind four children: Gail A. McCann and husband Mark McCann of Waxhaw, Dr. Charles Arnette and wife Paulette of North Myrtle Beach, Helen A. Waddell and husband Larry of Fair Bluff, and Glenn Arnette and wife Terri of Raleigh; three sisters -in-law, Glenda Strole of Laurinburg, Miriam Potter of North Myrtle Beach, and Syble Morales of Baltimore, Maryland; nine grandchildren, Michele Stadler and husband William, Dr. Christopher McCann and wife Vanessa, Toni Bologna and husband Joe, Nicole Shelly and husband Matt, Gretchen Baker, Jamie Rooks, Courtney Waddell, Evan Arnette and wife Lindsey, Brennen Arnette and 19 great grandchildren.
After being a widow for ten years, she married Dr. George Matthews in 1991 and resided in Rose Hill, North Carolina until 2013. There she developed many cherished friends as an active member of the Mt. Zion Presbyterian Church, the Rose Hill Women’s Club, and the Rose Hill art community.
Rachel also leaves behind four step children from her second marriage: Catherine Hoffmann and husband Scott, David Matthews, Laura Matthews and John Matthews and wife Lezlie; three step-grandchildren, Katie Clair Hoffmann, Frankie Matthews and George Matthews and one great step-grandchild.
Funeral Services commemorating Rachel’s life will be conducted on Wednesday, January 9, 2019 at 2:00 pm in the Piney Forest Baptist Church. Rev. Willard McPherson, Rev. Jimmy Strole and Rev. Brian Doles will officiate the service. Interment will follow at the Piney Forest Baptist Church Cemetery.
Visitation will be conducted from 6:00-8:00 Tuesday evening at Worthington Funeral Home in Chadbourn.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to Piney Forest Baptist Church.