GALVESTON — Harold Joseph Mathis Jr. passed away on September 19, 2021, at the age of 81.
Harold was born on February 10, 1940, in Galveston, Texas, to Harold Mathis Sr. and Helen Palliser Mathis. He was a proud “B.O.I.” (Born on the Island) who loved to tell stories about his Galveston heritage and local Galveston characters.
He graduated from Ball High School in Galveston, earned his undergraduate degree at Texas Lutheran University, and his graduate degree from The University of Texas Business School. Harold then served in the United States Air National Guard from 1967 to 1970.
He married the love of his life, Margaret Miller on June 26, 1971, and they were married for 50 years.
A born entrepreneur, he founded and ran Central Gulf Marine for over three decades. He was a shrewd investor who liked to say that he “first bought Compaq stock back when he had to spell the name for his broker.” He was a fierce advocate for shareholder rights and good corporate governance, speaking at shareholder meetings across the country and instigating reforms at major Fortune 500 companies.
Harold was the proverbial “jack of all trades” around the house who believed he could fix anything and always said, “If you take good care of something, it will last your whole life.” He was his family’s handyman, yardman, electrician, plumber, and mechanic, as well as an amateur inventor who held several patents.
Harold and Peggy joined Christ the King Lutheran Church where he served as an usher and on the food ministry. He served on various boards at Texas Lutheran University as well as the Lutheran Foundation of the Southwest. Harold served on the board of directors at First National Bank of Missouri City and was a longtime member of the Richmond Rotary Club.
He became a grandfather later in life, and his grandchildren were the light of his life. He especially loved playing with his electric train set with his grandson, Pierce. He was considered a fair and honest man by all who knew him, and he was dependable to the core.
Harold is survived by his loving wife, Margaret (“Peggy”) Mathis, his sons Benjamin Lamar Mathis and Kristopher Joseph Mathis, daughter-in-law Kristin Pe Mathis, grandson Pierce Mathis, and his granddaughters Charlotte Mathis and Asha Mathis.
The Visitation will be held from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. Thursday, September 23, 2021, at Garmany & Carden Funeral Directors Chapel, 1201 Fourth Street, Rosenberg, TX 77471. The Memorial service for Harold Mathis will be held on Saturday, September 25, 2021, at 2:00 p.m. at Christ the King Lutheran Church, 2353 Rice Boulevard, Houston, TX 77005. Per Harold’s wishes, guests are asked to wear masks and social distance.
There will be a private family burial at Morton Cemetery in Richmond prior to the service. Serving as pallbearers are John Bunk, Herb Hamilton, Jimmy Lindemann, Wayne Poldrack, Lamar Meadows, and Sidney Mellon.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to The Galveston Historical Foundation, 2002 Strand, Galveston, TX 77550; Christ the King Lutheran Church, 2353 Rice Blvd., Houston, TX 77005, or the charity of your choice.
Condolence messages may be written for the Mathis family at www.garmanycarden.com
Services are under the direction of Garmany & Carden Funeral Directors, 1201 Fourth Street, Rosenberg, TX 77471 (281)342-4671.