Cover photo for Sandra Matthes's Obituary
Sandra Matthes Profile Photo

Sandra Matthes

d. September 26, 2023

Sandra “Sandy” Lee Schmickl Matthes, 82 years old, of Forest, Virginia, passed peacefully into the arms of her Savior on September 26, 2023. Born on July 25, 1941, in Chicago, Illinois, she was the daughter of the late Frank John Schmickl and Virginia Meta Tiarks Schmickl.

Sandy attained degrees from Bryan College (Dayton, Tenn.), University of Tennessee (Knoxville, Tenn.), and Florida State University (Tallahassee, Fla.) where she completed her Ph.D. in Music Theory in 1995. Sandy was Professor of Music Theory at Liberty University for 31 years and a church musician for almost her entire life, most recently serving as Music Minister of Heritage United Methodist Church for 25 years and retiring in 2022.

Sandy is survived by her husband of 63 years, Dr. Lloyd J. “Jake” Matthes; children: Phillip Matthes (Pamela) of Evington and Rebecca Hopkins (Kevin) of Richmond; her grandchildren: Amanda Roberts (Gil) of Altavista, Anna Thacker (Travis) of Lynchburg, Benjamin Matthes (Tammy) of Lynchburg, Stephanie Mills (Trey) of Winchester, Stephen Hopkins of Richmond, and Melanie Hopkins of Savage, Minnesota; great-grandchildren: Ember, Aiden, Lillian, Ivy, Holden, Malcolm, and Sage; and many loving friends throughout the world.

Dr. Matthes was a member of Rivermont Evangelical Presbyterian Church. She enjoyed many homemaking endeavors including gardening and baking, as well as traveling with her husband and spending time with family and friends. But her greatest joy and influence came from glorifying the Lord through music, serving as church pianist, organist, and choir, handbells, and orchestra director, as well as empowering many others to do the same.

A Service of Worship and Remembrance will be held on Wednesday, October 4, 2023, at 1:00 p.m. at Rivermont Evangelical Presbyterian Church with Dr. David Weber, Senior Pastor, officiating. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that all memorial contributions be made to the Virginia Schmickl Music Scholarship at Bryan College. (Bryan College Advancement, 721 Bryan Drive, Dayton, TN 37321).

The family wishes to thank Gentle Shepherd Hospice for their loving and compassionate care in Sandy’s final weeks.

Tharp Funeral Home, Lynchburg, is assisting the family. To send condolences, please visit

“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:16 (NASB)
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Sandra Matthes, please visit our flower store.


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