We are deeply sorry for your loss - the staff at Emerald Hills Funeral Home & Memorial Park
WHITNEY: Michael (Mike) Robb Mathias, Sr., 78, went to be with his Lord and Savior on May 26th, 2022.
SERVICES: Visitation will be held Wednesday, June 1, 2022 from 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm at Emerald Hills Funeral Home in Kennedale, Texas. Funeral services will be held at 1:00 pm Thursday June 2, 2022 at First Baptist Church Whitney, Texas. There will be visitation time before the service starting at 11:30 am. His friend and Pastor Jay Morris will officiate. Burial and graveside will follow at Emerald Hills Cemetery in Kennedale, Texas at 4:00 pm.
MEMORIALS: Mike was born on March 18, 1944, in Jonesboro, Arkansas to William Gregory (Bill) Mathias and Pauline Robb Mathias. He graduated from Jonesboro High School in May of 1962. Mike received a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Oklahoma 1967, a master's degree in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Houston in 1973 and a Certificate of Completion for aerospace engineering courses at the Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”) Academy in Oklahoma City. He also attended many engineering courses at various US universities and the University of Toronto. Mike worked for NASA Houston during the Apollo, Skylab, and early space shuttle programs. He worked in the Flight Crew Support Division under Deke Slayton and helped design and develop training mockups, flight simulators, and flight hardware for the flight crews. He helped test these items with and came to personally know all the astronauts, including the original seven. He next worked for the United States Air Force (“USAF”) as a structural engineer on the F-111, F-16, and other programs at the then General Dynamics Facility in Fort Worth. He finished his career with the FAA working as a structural engineer and program manager on many fixed and rotary wing aircraft certification programs (including Air Force One). While with the FAA he also served on the Technical Oversite Group for Aging Aircraft (“TOGAA”) which reviewed accident/incident histories of and set new damage tolerance based on structural design standards for passenger carrying civil fixed wing craft (this was done as the result of the infamous Aloha Airlines incident). His final position was head of Rotorcraft Research and Development for the FAA’s Rotorcraft Directorate where he was responsible for developing databases to support new design regulations and advisory material (such as Crash Resistant Fuel Systems) for all civil aircraft. He retired in August of 1999. Shortly after retirement he and his wife Carolyn Ann Fields Earp Mathias moved to Whitney, Texas near the lake where he resided until his passing.
Mike was preceded in death by his wife Ann, the love of his life, and his parents.
He loved fishing and hunting, especially with members of his family. He was an amateur taxidermist. He mounted a lot of fish and game in his lifetime for himself, his family, and his friends.
SURVIVORS: Son Michael (Mike) Robb Mathias, Jr. and wife Allyson of Ardmore, Oklahoma, Daughter Michelle Renee Duke and husband Warren Sr. of Nevada, Texas, and Son William (Will) Jack Mathias and wife Wendy of Newberg, Oregon, Stepson Craig Earp and Wife Kristi of Crockett, Texas and stepdaughter Kim Mayse and husband Robbie of Grandview, Texas.
Grandchildren Warren (Chip) Duke Jr., KayLyn Duke, Lilyanah Mathias, Ethne Mathias, Westyn Mathias, Nathan Groff, Ethan Groff, Cannon and wife Samantha Earp, Krisann and husband Will Watson, Kendall Earp, Carson Earp, Cooper Earp, Rachael and husband Brandon Cummings, Rustin and wife Ashli Mayse, Misty Mayse, Melody and husband Jacob Stroder, and he was also blessed with 15 great-grandchildren.
Mike loved his family and shared his love of the outdoors with them whenever he had the opportunity. He was a Deacon and beloved member of First Baptist Church of Whitney.