Mathews, Dean Colbert
October 22, 1920 – June 7, 2014
Age 93 of Eden Prairie, retired Minneapolis/St. Paul executive, died on June 7th at his home in Eden Prairie, MN. Mathews was president of Quality Park Box Company, Quality Park Envelope Company, and Century Envelope Company. These Twin Cities companies were merged during his tenure into Quality Park, Inc., later a division of Alco Standard Corp. He initiated the expansion of these operations to become a major national manufacturer and distributor of office supplies. He later served as Vice President and General Manager of the Consumer Products and Business Services Groups of Standard Packaging Corp; NY, and from 1965 to 1969 as president of Brown & Bigelow, St. Paul, MN. Upon acquisition of these companies by Saxon Industries, Mathews resigned and assumed the presidency of Shedd Brown, Inc., Minneapolis, MN and Eau Claire, WI retiring in 1980. Mathews was born in Cleveland, OH, a descendant of a pioneer family in Ohio’s Western Reserve, his great-great-grand-father having been Ohio’s 3rd Governor whose uncle, representing the Connecticut Colony, served as a member of the 2nd Continental Congress and signed the Declaration of Independence and later was Governor of Connecticut. His great-grandfather, Dr. John H. Mathews and his grandfather, Dr. Samuel Huntington Mathews practiced medicine in Painesville, OH, the latter’s practice interrupted for three years by a trip to the California goldfields by wagon train in 1849. Mathews graduated from Shaker Heights High School and from Case Institute of Technology with a BS degree in Metallurgical Engineering, and was employed by Bethlehem Steel Corporation as an open hearth metallurgist. During WWII he served in the Navy, attaining the rank of Lieutenant Commander. His last active duty station was in the Twin Cities as acting Naval Inspector of Ordnance and Inspector of Naval Material for the Ninth Naval District. Mathews was involved with many Twin Cities community activities, serving on the Board of several civic and charitable organizations. He was a member of the Executive Board of both the Indianhead Council and the Viking Council of the Boy Scouts of America, and received the Silver Beaver Award from the latter. Involved with youth athletic affairs, he was a director, coach and team sponsor of the original Edina Little League, director of the first Edina Youth Hockey League, and an organizer of community support for construction of Edina’s Braemar Ice Arena. In connection with his business activities, he served as a Director of several corporations, as well as of the National Paper Box Manufacturers Association, the Envelope Manufacturers Association, and the Rotary Club of Minneapolis. He was a member of the Governor’s Advisory Commission to the Department of Economic Development during Wendell Anderson’s term as Governor, a member of the Rotary Club of St. Paul, honorary member of the Rotary Club of Huntsville, Ontario, and a member of the Young Presidents Organization. Mathews was Chairman of the Board of the Specialty Advertising Association International, and was honored as Man of the Year by the industry in 1981, and elected to its Hall of Fame in 1982. As an avid reader, writer, gardener and outdoorsman, he enjoyed summers at his home on the Lake of Bays in Ontario where, in later years, he was involved with the measurement and study of acid precipitation. With his wife Betty he wintered at his home in Arizona, removing his residence to Rio Verde in 1994. There he served as an officer and director of the Rio Verde Community Association and as editor and publisher of the community newspaper for several years. In 2005 he resumed Minnesota residence in Eden Prairie. He was a member of the Episcopal Church of St. Stephen the Martyr, the Minikahda Club, the Rio Verde Country Club, Ham & Eggs Club, Skylight Club and the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity. Preceded in death by his wife of 71 years, Betty, he is survived by his son Dean C. Mathews III of Edina, MN; daughter Elizabeth M. Gross of Bellingham, WA; daughter Deborah M. Johnson of Greenfield, MN; daughter Ann of Cloquet, MN; 8 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren. Memorials are suggested to: University of MN Arboretum 3675 Arboretum Drive Chanhassen, MN Greater Minneapolis Animal Humane Society.