Sidney C. Hawley Matthews, 62, who headed an art-appreciation program for children, died of breast cancer Wednesday at her home, Sledding Hill Farm in Lansdale.
For 30 years, Mrs. Matthews was a volunteer with the North Penn Chapter of Art Goes to School. Until last year, when she became ill, she headed the program, which introduces students to famous works of art.
Mrs. Matthews graduated from Springfield High School in Delaware County and from Bryn Mawr Hospital's School of Radiation. She was an X-ray technician at the hospital when she met her future husband, William J. Matthews, who was a patient. They married in 1968.
While raising a family, Mrs. Matthews was involved in the Green Circle program, which helps students accept differences in each other, in the North Penn School District. She was past president of the district's Special Education Council; her husband was vice president. They had two children with physical and developmental disabilities.
Mrs. Matthews was a guide for six years at the Peter Wentz Farmstead in Worcester, and was a member of the Main Line Ladies Golf League. She taught religious education at Mary, Mother of the Redeemer Church in North Wales. She and her husband also taught marriage-preparation courses at the church, and led couples' marriage encounters in the Philadelphia area.
Mrs. Matthews, who was a descendant of the 18th-century botanist John Bartram, enjoyed designing and tending the gardens on her more-than-six-acre property.
A needleworker and gourmet cook, she sewed dolls and teddy bears as presents for new babies of relatives and friends; made chocolate Easter eggs for her children; and could bake a strawberry rhubarb pie with her eyes closed, her sister Linda Hawley said. "She was the ultimate entertainer," Hawley said. "Her holiday dinners were works of art."
Mrs. Matthews' husband died in 2006. In addition to her sister, she is survived by sons Liam and Evan; a daughter, Hillary; another sister; and three brothers.
A Funeral Mass will be said at 10:30 a.m. Monday at Mary, Mother of the Redeemer Church, 1325 Upper State Rd., North Wales. Friends may call from 8:30 to 10:15. Burial will be in St. John Neumann Cemetery, Chalfont.
Memorial donations may be made to New Horizons Un-Limited, an Aspergers syndrome support group, c/o Kathy Haley, 238 Crosshill Rd., Wynnewood, Pa. 19096.