Cora L. Matthews
September 10, 1918 – March 26, 2020
Highland Falls, NY
The beloved matriarch of the Womack-Holiday and Matthews family, Cora Lee Matthews passed away on Thursday, March 26, 2020 at her home in Highland Falls, NY. She was 101 years old. Daughter of the late James and Rossie Womack Holiday, she was born on September 10, 1918 in Erwin, NC.
Cora arrived at West Point in 1941. In 1942, she married Sgt. Sanders H Matthews Sr. a Buffalo Soldier at West Point (passed away August 2016). They were married for 74 years and had two sons: the late Sanders H. Matthews, Jr (passed away in August 2003) and the late Dennis R. Matthews (passed away December 2016). She is survived by her two granddaughters, Dr. Aundrea Matthews of Highland Falls, NY and Stephanie Matthews-Privott (Jerry), and her great granddaughter Sydney R. Privott, of Richmond Virginia, and a host of cousins, neices, and nephews.
She worked as a presser at Cadet Laundry in West Point, NY. Being an entrepreneur at heart, she became a licensed hairdresser and established the first African American salon in Highland Falls. As a hairdresser, she retired from Letchworth Village in Thiells, NY and worked for many years for William F. Hogan Funeral Home in Highland Falls, NY. Her strong work ethic, determination, and love for the underdog, allowed her to open many doors for people in her community. Throughout her life, she has demonstrated compassion for others and received numerous honors for her community service.
Cora was a devout Christian, and a faithful servant of the Lord. She served as a Deaconess, "Mother of the Church" and was loved by all at Ebenezer Baptist Church in Newburgh, NY. For many decades, she has been credited for helping local churches, choirs and pastors.
Cora Lee Matthews will be loved and remembered forever by her family and all her friends that span across the world. Her final resting place will be alongside her husband at the West Point Cemetery on the grounds of the United States Military Academy, West Point, NY.