Hugh's Story

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Hugh Tannehill Matthews Jr., 89, an ICC and TxRRC transportation attorney of Austin died May 7, 2015, at his home of complications related to cancer.
Hugh was born in Austin on Oct. 31, 1925, and was raised by his mother, Lucille Manor Matthews, and his father, Hugh Sr., on the family farm in Webberville, Texas, until the severe drought of the late 1920s, forced the family to move to Austin where his father began working on the Texas State Highway Department construction program during the Depression.
Hugh graduated Austin High School at the age of 16 and immediately entered the University of Texas and began a lifelong pursuit of education and learning. He obtained his bachelor of science degree in business after spending three years in the Army Air Corps including the Air Transport command flights from California to Japan following the end of WWII. After an honorable discharge from the Army, Hugh returned to his pursuit of education at the University of Denver earning a master’s in business administration with a focus on transportation.
He then moved to Los Angeles, Calif., and worked for Slick Airways in their logistics center. In 1954, Hugh returned to the University of Texas and was enrolled in the School of Law to focus on transportation administration and regulation. He received his JD degree and joined the law firm of Callaway and Reed in Dallas in 1956.
Hugh spent the rest of his career representing trucking firms under the state jurisdiction of the Texas Railroad Commission, Oklahoma Corporation Commission and the New Mexico Department of Transportation. Hugh also represented his clients in the interstate market through many administrative law proceedings in the Interstate Commerce Commission courts such as the Fifth Circuit in New Orleans, La. Hugh appeared before the Supreme Court of the State of Texas as well as the United States Supreme Court in Washington, D.C.
Hugh’s focus outside of his legal practice was his family; and he was very involved in his children’s sports, coaching his son’s football teams and his daughter’s basketball teams. He was married to Helen Louise Thomason in December of 1956, whom he met while in law school at the University, and remained a devoted husband through her fight with brain cancer that ended on Oct. 26, 1976.
Hugh re-married 18 months later to a woman he had known in undergraduate studies at The University, Melba Marshall. They have resided in Rockwall, Dallas, “The Farm” in Gilmer, Wimberley and currently Austin since 1977. Hugh loved the outdoors and particularly the Colorado mountains in the Weminuche Wilderness Area, the Pacific Ocean at Laguna Beach, Calif., and the Piney Woods of East Texas. He was a member of the First Baptist Church in Austin, Phi Kappa Sigma, Alpha Phi Omega, The Baptist Student Union, American Bar Association and the State Bar of Texas. Hugh loved reading and attending classes at the University of Texas which he entered a third time after reaching retirement age under the provisions of the GI Bill! He loved hiking, skiing, biking, researching the family ancestry, debating deep subjects of his faith and the human experience and most of all, he loved his wife Melba who has been faithfully by his side since the day they were married.
Hugh is survived by his wife, Melba; his two children, Hugh Lee and Tanna Louise; grandchildren Luke, Jacob, Helen and James; and stepdaughters Paula, Marsha and Melanie.
The family requests that gifts in the memory of Hugh be directed to The First Baptist Church of Austin, MD Anderson Cancer Center or the Texas State Historical Society.
Private services were held.
Arrangements were by Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral Home, 3125 N. Lamar Blvd,, Austin, TX 78705 (512 452-8811).
Online condolences may be made at www.wcfish.com and www.rockwallheraldbanner.com.
Published on  May 15, 2015
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