Sharon Kay Matthews (Detwyler) died peacefully at EHM Senior Solutions in Saline, Michigan on July 20, 2019 at the age of 79. Sharon is survived by her daughter, Laura Detwyler and grandson, Nicholas Detwyler (Ann Arbor, MI), her son, David Detwyler and daughter-in-law, Sherry Edwards Detwyler (Ann Arbor, MI), brother, Jack Matthews and sister-in-law, Terry Matthews (Westcliffe, CO), nephew, Joshua Matthews (Dayton, OH), and long-time partner, Rodney Prater (Ann Arbor, MI). She is preceded in death by her parents, Lloyd Parker “Matt” Matthews and Hazel (Goss) Matthews (Jackson, MI).
Sharon was born on November 8, 1939 in Holland, MI and moved to Jackson, MI as an infant. She graduated from Jackson High School (1957) and was married to her high school sweetheart, Thomas Detwyler, from 1960 through 1976. Sharon graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in English Literature in 1963, and in the 1970s earned a master’s degree in Education from Eastern Michigan University. Sharon began her career teaching middle school English in Baltimore County, MD (1963-1966) and later finished her calling at Clinton High School (MI) where she taught special education for over 20 years.
Sharon was beloved for her welcoming spirit and sense of humor. She was devoted to loving her two children, and especially cherished her only grandchild with whom she shared a special twinkle of the eye. Ms. Matthews was dedication to her students and was awarded several “Best Teacher” awards during her years of service to education. Sharon shared lots of good times and trips with her partner, Rod Prater, over a span of 40 years. Sharon attended the first March on Washington for racial equality in 1963. She traveled the world extensively, and equally relished her time at home watching old movies. She cherished her close friends, who characterize her as the “life of the party.”
Sharon’s eclectic interests and affinities included rendering fashion drawings, art, the beaches of Lake Michigan, turquoise jewelry, Chanel No.5 perfume, the music of Bob Seger and Pink Floyd, long stem roses, restaurant dining with lots of wine, heated political debates, proper grammar, U of M Football—and after long-standing feline-phobia she even eventually learned to love cats! Shortly before her death Sharon expressed that she'd lead a fulfilling life, and wryly stated that the only regret she had was that she never dined at The Ritz in Paris.
At Sharon’s request she will be cremated, with no formal funeral service. A remembrance “Let’s Toast” party will be held on her 80th birthday (November 8, 2019) at her daughter’s home.