Lesley Anne Matthews Carey, a proud resident of Matthews, age 50, passed away peacefully on Jan. 7, surrounded by loved ones. Those who knew her witnessed how courageously she fought her battle with breast cancer in order to continue a wonderful life with her loving husband, John Carey, Jr., and two beautiful children, John Matthews (Matt) Carey (17) and Kristen Leigh Carey (15). Family meant everything to Lesley, as she loved deeply, and quietly took care of everyone else around her. The strength and grace that she displayed during her valiant fight was inspirational to so many.
Lesley was born Mar. 5, 1969 in Atlanta, GA to John Herbert Matthews and Joan Lesley Halkett Matthews. She was the oldest of the three “Matthews girls,” along with her sisters Jennifer Matthews Olson and Sarah Frances Matthews. The family moved to Eagle Lake, John Matthews’ hometown, when Lesley was 10 years old. Among Lesley’s many talents, as a child she was a dancer, an avid reader and an incredible artist. She graduated from Rice Consolidated High School in 1987, going on to attend Texas A&M afterwards, majoring in Architecture. She graduated from Texas A&M in 1991, returning to reside in Eagle Lake shortly thereafter. In 1993, she started her own traffic supply business, TrafCo Industries, Inc., along with her business partner and dear friend, Lonny Daley. What started as a small vision, has now grown to be a thriving and successful business, employing nine people from the surrounding communities. Lesley and Lonny also created a new road reflector product that was patented in 2019, changing the way roads are now constructed. They were both extremely proud of this achievement for TrafCo. Just as Lesley became in her adult life, TrafCo quickly became a fixture of the community, always quietly helping so many by generously giving and supporting local projects and organizations.
In October of 2000, Lesley married the love of her life, John Carey, Jr. John and Lesley loved each other deeply. They were best friends, and they created an amazing partnership that lasted almost 20 years. From the beginning, John was always her rock – the steadying calm in the whirlwind of things that Lesley cared passionately about. When she was diagnosed in 2018, he showed the rest of the world what a loyal and loving husband should be, taking her to every doctor’s appointment and taking such wonderful care of her every step along the way. John, Matt and Kristen are heartbroken by their loss, but all have Lesley’s amazing strength and perseverance ingrained in them, and therefore will move forward triumphantly despite the hole that has been left behind. What Lesley wanted most in this world was to see her family thrive and to achieve any and all goals that they set out to accomplish. Her immediate family is surrounded by an amazing support system of family and friends who love them dearly and will continue to do so indefinitely.
Over her almost 30 years as an adult in the community of Eagle Lake, Lesley was a member of Christ Episcopal Church, the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), the Rotary Club, the Lions Club, the Civic Garden Club, Revitalize Eagle Lake, the Eagle Lake League of Arts and the Rice Consolidated All-Sports Booster Club. She was also invited to become a Director for the First National Bank of Eagle Lake in 2010, proudly taking her father’s position on the board as he retired from it. She was honored to serve on this board and truly valued the many strong friendships she gained during her tenure. She made an impact on everything and everyone she touched, always striving to leave the world a little better than how she found it. She was truly a beautiful person, both inside and out.
Lesley is survived by all of her immediate family members listed above, as well as her small but extremely close Matthews family who loved her dearly - two nephews, Andrew and Jake Olson, Bonnie Halkett (aunt), Sue Matthews Weller (aunt), along with her husband, George A. Weller, Jr. and cousins Verner Matthews (Matt) Weller and family, Kate Weller Thompson and children, George A. Weller, III and Herbert H. Weller. She is also survived by her amazing and loving Carey family, mother-in-law, Bernice Carey, and brother and sister-in-law, Justin Schneider and Michelle Carey Schneider, along with their beautiful children, niece, Emily, and nephew, Cole. Lesley was preceded in death by grandparents, Verner (Lefty) Matthews, Frances Sue Matthews, John G. Halkett, Bernice Halkett Dunne and Edward J. Dunne, as well as her father-in-law, John B. Carey, Sr.
Lesley’s wishes were to have a private family funeral service in the same small church that she was christened in over 50 years ago. There will also be a public visitation for friends to attend at Henneke Funeral Home in Columbus Thursday, Jan. 16 from 5 – 7 p.m. The family has asked that in lieu of flowers, donations may be directed to the following organizations, Rice Consolidated Art Program, P.O. Box 338, Altair, TX 77412, Eagle Lake Volunteer Fire Department, 104 E. Post Office Street, Eagle Lake, TX 77434 or Garwood Volunteer Fire Department, P.O. Box 131, Garwood, TX 77442.