Jan Mathews: The Matriarch of Our Family | WealthWave
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Jan Mathews: The Matriarch of Our Family

May 10, 2024

In the late 1950s, a transformative period when the world was undergoing big changes, Jan Mathews embarked on a remarkable journey. It was not merely an entrance into the workforce; it was a foray into the very core of a burgeoning financial empire destined to span several generations and leave an indelible mark on the business world.

Freshly graduated from high school, brimming with ambition and zest, she joined forces with Joe Mathews, a visionary in the finance sector, taking on the roles of assistant and office manager within his burgeoning finance business. This position was far more than a mere occupational engagement; it represented the inaugural step toward building what would evolve into a legacy characterized by success, unwavering determination, and a familial strength that would come to epitomize the essence of the Mathews family for decades to come.

Under Jan's meticulous and visionary management, the office didn't just succeed; it flourished, transforming into a beacon of success that underscored the remarkable achievements possible through relentless hard work and an undying commitment to excellence. It was against the backdrop of this flourishing environment, an ambiance filled with prosperity and driven by ambition, that Jan met Tom Mathews, Sr. He was not just any student; he was a dedicated accounting student with a sharp mind, attending the University of Notre Dame, renowned for shaping the leaders of tomorrow. Their meeting transcended the ordinary; it was a powerful union of not just two hearts, but also of aspirations, dreams, and a shared vision for the future.

The year 1958 marked the beginning of their shared life journey as they exchanged vows, solidifying their partnership not only in matrimony but also in their professional aspirations. Their union was swiftly blessed with the arrival of their first child within a year heralding the beginning of a family that would witness the birth of four children in total, with me being the first of them. This narrative is not just my family's history; it is a testament to the power of unity, ambition, and the enduring legacy of the Mathews family, a story that continues to inspire and influence generations.

In the early 1960s, a significant turning point occurred for the Mathews family when Tom Sr. made the ambitious decision to establish his own CPA firm. This venture marked the beginning of a new era, not just for Tom Sr. but for his entire family. Jan, embodying the role of the ultimate support system, stepped into the vital positions of his assistant and the office manager with grace and efficiency.

Together, they embarked on the adventurous journey of entrepreneurship, methodically laying the robust foundations of what was destined to become another triumphant chapter in their storied lives. Their collaboration was not merely functional but inspirational, serving as a testament to their shared vision, unwavering commitment, and the perfectly complementary skills that each brought to the table. This synergistic partnership propelled the firm to unprecedented heights of success, establishing it as a beacon of excellence in their community.

However, the narrative of Jan's contributions weaves through more than just the professional realm; it extends into the very heart of their family life. Embracing the role of a full-time mother, Jan devoted herself to nurturing and raising their children with an unparalleled level of dedication, love, and care. She seamlessly balanced her professional obligations with her familial duties, demonstrating an extraordinary versatility and strength that became the cornerstone of the family's success and happiness.

Her ability to manage the intricacies of this balance with such finesse showcased not only her remarkable resilience but also her deep commitment to both her family and her professional life. This dual dedication highlighted how Jan's influence permeated every aspect of their lives, contributing significantly to the enduring legacy of the Mathews family.

In 1982, Jan's journey remarkably came full circle when she joined me in my ambitious foray into the dynamic world of the financial business. Armed with a degree in accounting, like my father, I deliberately chose to chart a course in financial education, diverging from the traditional paths typically associated with accounting. Jan, in her ever-supportive role, once again stood steadfastly by my side, this time as our very first assistant and office manager. Her extensive experience, profound wisdom, and unwavering support proved to be instrumental through our journey's slow but eventual ascent to the pinnacle of success. It was a testament to our joint efforts that in 1988, I became the youngest person to ever attain the highest level in our company at the time, a feat that seemed almost insurmountable at the time.

In 1997, Jan stepped up again to help her family; she stepped into the roles of assistant and office manager for my brother, Gary Mathews. This wasn't just a job for her—it was a commitment she embraced wholeheartedly. Over the years, Jan became an indispensable part of the office, contributing significantly to its operations and success. She dedicated herself to assisting Gary in various capacities, ensuring the smooth running of the business. Her support and contributions continued unwaveringly until Gary's unfortunate passing in 2021. Even in the face of this tremendous personal loss, Jan's strength and resilience shone through with professionalism and grace.

Decades later, the ripple effects of Jan's influence and legacy continue to resonate deeply within our company and beyond. Remarkably, she became the inspiration behind a character in the women's version of the groundbreaking financial literacy book, HowMoneyWorks For Women. Jan's life, dedicated to serving others with positivity and unwavering support, not only shaped the destiny of our family but also served as a shining beacon for countless individuals looking to make a meaningful difference in the world. Her legacy is a powerful testament to the impact one individual can have, inspiring others to pursue their dreams with determination, compassion, and an indomitable spirit.

Today, at the impressive age of 86, Jan exhibits extraordinary health and vitality, a remarkable state that she deeply appreciates and regards with immense gratitude. This level of wellbeing at her age is quite the rarity, and she doesn't take a single day for granted. Jan is not only cherished for her spirited personality but also deeply loved as a central figure in her family. She has a special place in the hearts of her five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren. Each day, she showers them with boundless love and affection, a testament to her warm and nurturing nature.

Jan's longevity and zest for life are particularly notable within the Mathews family, where the men have been known for their various talents and achievements, but, sadly, not for their longevity. Her beloved husband, my dad, a man of many gifts himself, passed away at the age of 65 on his birthday, a moment that painfully echoed the past, as his father had also passed away at the same age. This pattern of life expectancy among the Mathews men has been a somber theme in the family's history.

"BIG TEAM” painting -  Representing a large number of people with complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose. Unlimited Width, Unlimited Depth. Branches of All Sizes, Ages & Colors. Always Growing, Always in Alignment.

However, as my own 65th birthday draws near on May 19, there's a different atmosphere surrounding it—an air of optimism and hope. There's a prevailing belief that it's possible to break the mold, to defy the odds that once seemed stacked against us. This belief is fueled by the legacy of health, strength, and success that my mother, Jan, has embodied throughout her life. Her example serves as a powerful reminder of the resilience and determination that run in our family. As I look forward to this milestone birthday, I am inspired by my mother's journey and am filled with a sense of determination to continue the legacy of vitality and success she has so beautifully maintained.

Jan Mathews' story unfolds like a tapestry, rich with threads of personal achievement, woven together with the strength of support, resilience, and love. It's not merely a narrative of individual triumph; it stands as a beacon to the power of communal encouragement and the indomitable spirit of human resolve. As we delve into the depths of the Mathews family history, we encounter the vivid reflection of her unwavering spirit, a guiding light illuminating the path through life's myriad trials and triumphs, casting shadows of hope and perseverance.

Her journey is a masterclass in dedication, showcasing an unparalleled commitment not solely to the cause she held dear but extending her nurturing influence to ensure the success and well-being of those she cherished. Jan Mathews, in her role as a matriarch, embodies the essence of success and endurance. Her influence, far from waning, continues to inspire and catalyze growth, her legacy as vibrant and enduring as the memories she has etched in the hearts of those who knew her.

Her story, imbued with lessons of hard work, determination, and the pivotal role of unwavering love and support, resonates across generations. It serves as a timeless reminder of the boundless possibilities that lie within our reach when we harness the power of community, resilience, and love. Jan Mathews' legacy, rich in achievements and fortified by the bonds of family and friendship, will continue to be celebrated and shared, echoing as a testament to the belief that anything is possible when we stand united in our efforts and aspirations.

Let her legacy continue to inspire us all, reminding us to always strive for greatness and leave behind a lasting impact on the world.  Jan Mathews serves as a testament to the power of determination, hard work, and unwavering support in achieving success both in personal and professional lives. Her journey highlights the immense influence one individual can have, not just within their own family, but also in the larger community.

Jan's legacy speaks volumes about the importance of resilience and perseverance in overcoming obstacles and achieving your goals. Her unwavering spirit and dedication to her loved ones have left a lasting impact on those who knew her, inspiring them to reach for greatness and make a meaningful difference in the world.

Furthermore, her longevity and remarkable health in her golden years serve as a reminder to prioritize our well-being and not take a single day for granted. Her story serves as an inspiration to embrace a healthy lifestyle, both physically and mentally.

Jan Mathews' journey is also a tribute to the power of love and support from family and friends. Her unwavering commitment to those she cherished has not only shaped the lives of her loved ones but also inspired others to do the same.

Her legacy serves as a timeless reminder that when we stand united in our efforts and support each other, anything is possible. Her story continues to inspire us all to strive for greatness and leave behind a lasting impact on the world, just like she has done with her life.  So let's all honor her legacy by embodying the same determination, resilience, and unwavering love that Jan Mathews has exhibited throughout her remarkable life.

May we continue to draw strength from her story and strive toward our own personal successes, knowing that with hard work, dedication, and a strong support system, anything is possible. Let us never forget the lessons she has taught us and continue to carry her spirit with us in all of our endeavors. You are the best Mom in the whole world! The story of Jan Mathews will forever be a shining example of the power of resilience, love, and perseverance, inspiring generations to come.

Tom Mathews