Robert “Rog” Mathews
It may have seemed like things grew silent, even as if time stood still for a brief moment, last Saturday. Long-time law enforcement officer and a community icon, Powell County Chief Deputy Robert “Rog” Mathews passed away after a long illness. He was 61 years old.
Mathews was born in Chicago, the was the son of the late Jimmy and Twyla Allen Mathews. He started his career serving people in the U.S. Army. Rog, as he was affectionally known by so many, began his law enforcement career as a patrolman in Clay City. Rog got his nickname from his younger sister who couldn’t pronounce his name as a child and the nickname stuck with him. He became a member of the Stanton Police Department in 1985, working himself through the ranks to become the chief. He retired from the department in 2004. Along the way he became a mentor to a young generation of police officers and helped to teach them that their professional was a full service to the community and all of its residents.
Rog could not stay out of the profession he loved for long. Mathews joined the Powell County Sheriff’s Department in 2004 and served there, as Chief Deputy, until his passing.
Rog’s love for his community transcended beyond just being an officer. Mathews was a founding member and Vice President of the Red River FOP Lodge 70, active with the Cops and Kids Program which helped children at Christmas time and he was a team member of the Powell County Drug Court.
Social media posts offering condolences and prayers have been pouring in. Mathews was well-known in law enforcement circles around the region and state. He touched the lives of many in Powell County as well as in nearby communities as well. He was respected by people on both sides of the law.
One social media post seemed to sum up Mathews stature to his colleagues. The post, from a former Stanton Police officer stated that when the situation was tense or things were heating up, the radio call of “Powell County 129 is 10-8 and enroute” meant that back-up was coming.
It was a call officers loved to hear and they knew Mathews always had their back. It is a sound that will be sorely missed. As will his smile, wit, his peace sign greeting and hearty laugh. Not to mention the numerous acts of kindness he performed for those in his beloved community.
He is survived by his wife, Vanessa Elkins Mathews; two daughters, Christy Mathews and Nancy (Steve) Mann both of Stanton; one son, JR (Christina) Ware of Stanton; special son, Trooper Britt Rollins of Stanton; one sister, Patricia (Jerry) James of Gray, LA; two brothers, David Mathews of Stanton and Johnny (Elsie) Mathews of Winchester; two grandchildren, Jace and Emma Ware; three nephews, Justin James, Preston James and Eric Mathews along with one niece, Micah James.
Hearne Funeral home was in charge of arrangements.