Gail was born in 1937 in Little Rock, the only child of Dalton and Blanche Matthews. He was raised in Vanndale, Ark. (eastern Ark.) and moved to Wynne his junior year. He graduated from Wynne High School in 1954 and was Valedictorian of his class. Gail's parents were educators. His mother was a second grade teacher for 40 years with the exception of a year that she tried to teach Gail and he said, “NO MORE!!” She was determined to teach him to write but did not succeed. Gail's dad was an educator for years until he took over the administration of Cross County Hospital. He had MS for 43 years but the later years of his life he enjoyed fishing at our cabin in Clinton. Gail entered college in Fayetteville in 1954 and graduated with an Accounting Degree in 1959 and a Law Degree in 1960. He first practiced law with Terral & Rawlings and in 1973 he went on his own, Matthews, Sanders And Sayes.
Virginia Ann Studdard was born in 1940, in England, Ark, the oldest of seven to Howard and lone Studdard. Ann grew up in NLR and has lived here most of her life. Her family moved to LR where she went to Central High for the 10th and 11th grades (the year of the crisus, 1957 ). Later they moved to Long Beach, Calif., where she attended her last year at Poly Tech High. Her family came back to Ark. 1-1/2 years later. Her mom and dad were in the restaurant business all over the LR and NLR area. Her dad was killed in a car accident in 1958 at the age of 41 leaving her mother with 7 children, Ann being the oldest at 18 and a sister being the youngest at 9 mos. They had a great family and friends and someway her mother got through it. She is still living at the age of 88. Ann is very proud of her brothers and sisters who are Howard, Jane, Jean, Jackie, Johnny, and Suzy (she passed away in 1997). Ann worked at UAMS in the Accounting/Payroll Dept for 4 years and went to work for the Boy Scouts of America where she met Gail.
Ann and Gail had their first date in March, 1961, and married in June, 1961. They met in the coffee shop of the Rector Bldg, at 3rd and Spring. She really had her eye on his friend but she made the right choice. She worked for a man who attended FUMC in LR and he thought Gail was FINE. In 1963 they had their first daughter, Julia Gail. She is an Occupational Therapist and owns her business, Helping Hand Children Center for special needs children (provides therapy and day care for them). She lives in Maumelle with her husband Johnny C. Washburn. They have given us two WONDERFUL granddaughters, Haley (17 years) and Hannah (13 yrs). They attend Central Ark. Christian School. In 1967 we had a second daughter Jennifer Ann. She is a CPA with her master’s degree in employment tax. She works part-time free-lancing for different companies. She is married to Randy Chapman and they have given us 2 more WONDERFUL granddaughters. Virginia Ann (age 5) and Marybeth (Age 3). Virginia starts to school next year.
Gail loves to golf, fish, and hunts everything but turkey. He and Ann love to travel. They love the Carribean. She loves to have her grandkids, take care of her nother, and serves on the Alter Arts and Wedding Guild and Funeral Guild. They have been married 46 years in June. They moved their membership from Gardner Memorial Methodist after 20 years to FUMC IN 1981 and have been members of the Builders Class. They moved to Maumelle 5 years ago to a smaller house and to be near the grandchildren.