Sharon Matthews Tieman
Sharon Matthews Tieman
  • September 10, 1931 - June 14, 2017
  • Texas

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The spirit of Sharon Fay Matthews Tieman departed from this earth in the early evening on June 14 to join her beloved mother and father in heaven above. She was dearly loved by all who knew her. She was born to Woodson Browning Matthews and Jimmie Jewell Wilson Matthews on September 10, 1931 in Austin, Texas. She lived her early years in the Rosedale neighborhood growing up as a typical young girl would do in the 1930s and 40s. She was friends with many of the other young girls in the neighborhood and they created lifelong and cherished friendships. Sharon graduated from old Austin High School, where she was a member of the Red Jackets. Also, as a member of a high school sorority, she enjoyed dressing up in beautiful formal gowns to impress her date to many dance parties popular at the time. Upon graduation at midterm in 1949, she enrolled in the University of Texas, where she was a member of the Delta Zeta Sorority.

In May of 1952, she married Robert Edward Tieman, a UT engineering student. In the fall of 1953, Sharon joined the ranks of military wives as Robert began active duty with the US Marine Corps Reserve in Quantico, Virginia. After Quantico, they were transferred to Camp Pendleton, California. On Christmas Eve in 1954, she gave birth to her first child, a son. Upon completion of his active duty in the summer of 1955, the family moved back to Austin. A second child, a daughter, was born at the end of the year. In the span of the next eight years, four more children were born to Sharon, one son and three daughters. It's obvious that Sharon would maintain a very active life - raising children, making school lunches, carpooling, attending school functions and the kids' athletics, volunteering at church picnics, and hosting carport parties in the Delwood Drive neighborhood. The tough discipline she instilled in her children, and their friends, was legendary. The family was one of the original families in the early years of Sacred Heart Catholic Church in northeast Austin.

After the children grew older and could care for themselves, Sharon re-entered the workforce, first as a part-time file clerk and ultimately as Benefits Coordinator and supervisor in the Human Relations section of the Texas Department of Health. Outside of work, she found time for jogging around Town Lake and running in the Capitol 10,000 races. As a prolific author, Sharon enjoyed writing an array of short essays about her experiences, her inner feelings, and all manner of things around her. No subject was too small. She was a member of Story Circle Network. Also, Sharon pursued the history of her parent's families while a longtime active member of the Austin Genealogical Society and travelling to genealogical repositories across the nation. She retired from the State in June 1994. Sharon and Robert were later divorced, but they remained very close friends, and they kept their family closely intact. Together, they planned and participated as a full family (20 or more) in frequent celebrations and long vacations, such as a Caribbean cruise, a trip to Disney World, and hiking in a snowbound Grand Canyon.

In March of 1991 and at the age of 60, she embarked upon an adventure that excited her so greatly she felt compelled to repeat it in different, but similar forms for many years to come. She backpacked, yes backpacked, in the inner gorge of the Grand Canyon with a group of other backpackers for five days! Besides the exhilaration of her physical accomplishment, the awesomeness and beauty of the Canyon's majesty inspired her in a deeply emotional manner. Thus, began a love affair with the Canyon that endured all the days of her life. She repeated backpacking trips to the Canyon in March 1992, March 1996, October 1998, and a rim-to-rim backpack in October 2000. There were several visits of shorter duration which limited her to day hiking. Under this spell, she filled her house and walls with books, maps, DVDs, photos, and paintings of the Canyon. She even included an assortment of carefully gathered stones and wood chips in her proud collection. She was an avid member and financial contributor to the Grand Canyon Association.

Sharon is survived by her former husband Robert; son Robert Stephen and husband Dennis Frahmann of Cambria, CA; daughter Susan Fay and husband David Eckelkamp of Pflugerville; son John Michael and wife Laurie of New Braunfels; daughter Katherine Louise and husband William Friesenhahn of Austin; daughter Elizabeth Kay and husband David Stephens Jr. of Austin; daughter Nancy Joan and husband Mark Guelker of Leander; brother Robin Matthews and wife Ann of Austin; eight grandchildren; one great-grandchild; numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Services will be held at Cook-Walden Funeral Home, 6100 North Lamar, Austin, Texas 78752. Visitation will be held 5pm to 7pm on Tuesday, June 20 with Rosary service to follow. Funeral Service is at 11 on Wednesday, June 21 with reception to follow. Burial will be at Austin Memorial Park at 1:30pm following the reception.

Pall bearers will be sons-in-law Dennis Frahmann, David Eckelkamp, William Friesenhahn, Mark Guelker, David Stephens Jr., and daughter-in-law Laurie Tieman. Honorary pall bearers will be grandsons Phillip Tieman, Patrick and Joseph Eckelkamp.

Flowers and condolences should be sent to Cook-Walden. If so chosen, memorial contributions may be sent to Grand Canyon Association, P. O. Box 399, Grand Canyon, AZ 86023.

The family expresses heartfelt thanks to the staff at Buckner Villas for the loving care given to Sharon.