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In Memory Of Our Poets

Caroline Davidson "Dootsie" Ball (Matthews) (1927-2016) - Class Of 1943

Caroline Davidson Ball Matthews of Montgomery died peacefully at home on February 21, 2016, at the age of 89. She was preceded in death by her husband, John R. Matthews, Jr., and her sisters, Lee B. Ruth, Jane B. Reynolds, and Theda B. Tankersley.

Ms. Matthews is survived by her four children, Caroline M. C. Thompson and her husband, Don, Jane M. Davis, John R. Matthews, III, and Fred B. Matthews; five grandchildren, Will Cutchins and his wife Alexis, Carrie Boyd and her husband Dave, Lizzy Messick and her husband Jason, Allison C. Trunk and her husband Bill, and John R. Davis; and seven great-grandchildren, Calliope, Fiona, and Margot Cutchins, Corin, Caroline, and Lillian Boyd, and James R. Trunk.

The eldest daughter of Fred S. Ball and Caroline D. Ball, Dootsie, as she was affectionately known her entire life, was born on May 29, 1926, and was a ninth generation resident of Montgomery, Alabama. She graduated from Lanier High School and attended Hollins College in Virginia before returning home to graduate from Huntingdon College in 1947.

As one of twelve female students, she attended the University of Alabama School of Law in the same class with her future husband, John. Dootsie and John married in 1948 and both graduated from law school in 1950. As John began his law practice in Montgomery at the family firm of Ball & Ball, Dootsie began raising their family. She was steadfast in her love and devotion to all her children, and was unfaltering in her quest to find ways to better the life of her beloved son, John. Her determination and successes on his behalf have been an inspiration to her entire family and to her community.

Throughout her life, Dootsie was an active member of St. John's Episcopal Church, where she was baptized, confirmed, and married. She taught Sunday School and led the Children's Chapel for many years. She was a longtime member of the Junior League, and gave of her time and energy to support many programs for mentally disabled children and their families, including the Children's Center, the MIND Program, and the Autism Society of Alabama. Most recently, she supported the drive to bring Triumph Services to Montgomery.

Her family would like to express their heartfelt gratitude to her minister, Robert Wisnewski, and his wife Mary Ward, for their friendship and support. Her family is very grateful for the loving and professional care provided by Jennings Professional Services, especially Vernita Jennings, Shelia Walker, Charlotte Savage, Ashley Winchester, Lacy Walters, Sandra Ross, and Brenda Hall. Her family would like to thank Daphne Johnson ("Boss") and the volunteers at the First United Methodist Church Respite Care Ministry for providing Dootsie with many days of joyful fellowship and activities in a loving environment.

The funeral will be at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, February 25th at St. John's Episcopal Church, followed by a graveside service at Greenwood Cemetery. Family and friends are invited to gather at 10:00 a.m. in St. John's Parish Hall. In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to St. John's Episcopal Church, the First United Methodist Church Respite Care Ministry, or Triumph Services.

Published in the Montgomery Advertiser on Feb. 24, 2016.