Family and friends gather to say goodbye to “Captain Willie”


Mount Carmel Baptist Church was packed with family and friends to say goodbye to Willie Matthews better known as Captain Willie.

Those close to him shared their fondest memories.

“The man had a boat and he said he wanted to go fishing. We went fishing at least one hundred times. We never caught any fish,” says Minister Freddie Williams.

Matthew’s boat is what he became known for in Baton Rouge and was given the name “Captain Willie”.

Matthews saved dozens of his neighbors during the 2016 flood getting families and pets to safety.

Willie’s wife, Ruby, says helping others was just a natural quality he had.

“He helped people any way he knew how. Every time he bought a truck, he would dedicate that truck to doing the Lord’s work.”

Although he was involved in the community, he was a family man.

“He loved doing special things for me like polish my fingernails and my toes,” says Ruby Matthews.

“Before he left, he told me he loved me and if I ever needed him I could call on him. If someone messed with me, come and get him,” daughter Terrencia Harris explains.

Matthews also served in the United States Air Force and Navy serving both branches as a medical technician.

Through all of his years of service, his family says his legacy will live on.

“His character, his integrity, the man he was. To always bring life into people and always give honor to God and share that with people. It’s always a lesson that he was gonna give or leave with you and a smile,” says nephew Juan Matthews.

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