At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
1737 King Street, Suite 600
Alexandria, VA 22314
Covenant Village of the Great Lakes Benevolent Fund
2520 Lake Michigan Drive NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504
Life Story / Obituary
Ardean’s story began during a time of economic prosperity as industry and the need for consumer goods rose. While Gershwin and Berlin dominated the music scene, Ellis Island closed its doors as an immigration entry point, leaving behind numerous memories of promises for better tomorrows. The daughter of Arden and Dorothy (Kinny) Seaton, Ardean Joyce was born in Grand Rapids, Michigan on September 4, 1924, and grew up alongside her sister, Barbara.
At the age of four, Ardean’s family moved to the area of Kalamazoo, Michigan and later, the nearby town of Vicksburg. Despite the hardships of the Great Depression, Ardean enjoyed a childhood typical of her generation. An outgoing and fun-loving girl, Ardean enjoyed the friendships of many from her earliest years to the last of her days. She attended the local schools, and during high school she served as a drum majorette before graduating from Vicksburg High School with the Class of 1942. For many years Ardean taught baton twirling to countless young girls and with her classic good looks, she also did some modeling for Herpolsheimer’s Department Store.
Ardean’s family returned to Grand Rapids where she began taking classes at the University of Grand Rapids. It was also where she met the love of her life, Charles J. Mathews, a handsome young man studying the pharmaceutical field. They began dating, yet with the onset of World War II, Charles entered the U.S. Navy. Through much correspondence, they grew to share a deep abiding love, and on April 25, 1945, while on leave they eloped in Tijuana, Mexico.
At the war’s end, Ardean and Charles were able to begin their new lives together. They lived in Big Rapids while he completed his degree at Ferris State College, and before long they welcomed the blessed births of two fine sons, James and Scott. After returning to Grand Rapids, they rented an apartment at 265 Valley Avenue. They built a home at 1912 Lynn Lane, remaining there for the next 20 years before moving to a condo at English Hills. For the last ten years, they made Covenant Village of the Great Lakes their home where they were active with their many friends.
Ardean and Charles were longtime members of St. John’s Church. They loved golfing together, playing bridge and attending concerts. After Charles retired they loved spending the winters at their condo in Florida. They did some traveling too, enjoying destinations such as Hawaii, Mexico, and Italy. Yet for Ardean, there was nothing like being surrounded by the family she loved and adored. In her free time, she was an avid reader, and she loved watching golf on TV and followed U of M football.
Following her beloved Charles’ death in 2013, Ardean remained close to her family and good friends. Already quite independent, she continued to be active. For the last several years she suffered from COPD, yet a fall five days ago landed her in the hospital where her family remained close by her side.
Ardean’s life was enriched in numerous ways. A woman of unwavering faith, she was a devoted wife and mother, and in her family she found her greatest joy. Remembered for her wonderful spirit and social grace, Ardean enjoyed the friendships of many and will be deeply missed by those who knew and loved her.
Ardean J. Mathews (Seaton), aged 92 of Grand Rapids, passed away Friday, September 30, 2016. She was preceded in death by her husband, Charles Mathews and by her sister, Barbara Spens. She is survived by her children, Jim and Kathy Mathews, Scott and Lee Mathews; her grandchildren, Shannon (Craig) Liedel, Meghan (Kerry) Noonan, Kaitrin (Mike) Drost, Ian (Lynn) Mathews, Peter (Kelli) Mathews, Brigid (Aaron) vanBaal, Kyle Mathews; 27 great-grandchildren; other nieces, nephews and friends. Cremation has taken place. A Memorial service to celebrate Ardean’s life will be held Tuesday, October 4, 2016, 11:00 AM at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home, 2120 Lake Michigan Dr. NW. Relatives and friends may meet her family at the funeral home on Tuesday from 10:00 AM until the service begins at 11:00 AM. Contributions in her memory may be made to the Myositis Association. To read more about Ardean’s life, to sign her guest book and to leave your own memory of her, please visit her web page at www.lifestorynet.com.