Lasting Memories

Wilbur Erskine Mattison
July 11, 1922-Feb. 9, 2023
Ellijay, Georgia

Dr. Wilbur Erskine Mattison Jr., fondly nicknamed Dr. Billy, Flash, Pop, Will, and most recently Doc, passed from this earth for a Heavenly view on February 9, 2023. He was 100 years old. Wilbur lived the last nine years of his life with his daughter Patti in Ellijay, Georgia. on a beautiful property he called Pop’s Place. He most loved to host his grandchildren and great grandchildren and delighted in watching them play in the creek and enjoy the beauty of nature.

Wilbur was born in Anderson, South Carolina on July 11, 1922. His parents were Wilbur Erskine Mattison and Marguerite Henry Mattison. He enjoyed a happy southern childhood with his sisters, Marguerite (Punky) Mattison Rice and Mary Louise (Weesie) Mattison McLaurin. He attended the Citadel and served in The United States Army during WW2 from 1943-1947. He was wounded in France and was honored with a Purple Heart. He was an active member of the Purple Heart Society in Ellijay.

Following his military service, Wilbur attended Johns Hopkins Medical School, graduating in 1952. He married Patsy Conroy on September 8, 1951. Wilbur and Patsy had two children, Patti (Mattison) O’Dell and Wilbur (Billy) Mattison. Following his internship at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland, Wilbur accepted a position with the Menlo Medical Clinic in Menlo Park, California. He and his wife Patsy loved their life in the Bay Area. Wilbur enjoyed a long medical career and was a great physician and diagnostician, beloved by his patients and colleagues. He served as the President of the Stanford Medical Staff and was a Professor of Medicine at Stanford.

In 1968, Wilbur founded the Charles Armstrong School for Dyslexic Children. He dedicated fifty plus years in service to the school. Countless dyslexic children have benefited from their education at the Armstrong School and Wilbur’s vision and dedication to the school will impact countless more as the school is thriving as one of the most outstanding schools for dyslexic children in the country.

After retiring from medicine, Wilbur dedicated his time to the Armstrong School, writing his memoirs, and spending time with his friends and family. His daughter Patti, daughter-in-law Kristy, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren are so fortunate to have had so many years with him as an integral, joyous part of their lives. We are all so proud of his many accomplishments, his humility, and his philanthropic approach to life. He truly made the world a better place.

Wilbur was preceded in death by his parents, Marguerite and Wilbur Mattison, his wife Patsy Mattison, and his son Wilbur (Billy) Mattison. He is survived by his daughter, Patti O’Dell, her husband, Joe Cantwell, his son-in-law, David O’Dell, his daughter-in-law Kristy Mattison, his grandchildren Justin O’Dell (Jenny), David Patrick O’Dell, (Isy) Matthew O’Dell (Courtney), Sean Timmons (ReNata), Lenae Timmons Cenollari (Korado), Natalia Mattison, Brandon Mattison, his sisters Marguerite Rice and Mary Louise McLaurin, and eleven great-grandchildren.

A celebration of Wilbur’s wonderful life will be held on March 19th at 1:00 PM at the Craddock Center, 186 Fred Craddock Drive, Blue Ridge, Georgia 30153. He will be interred at Silverbrook Cemetery in Anderson, South Carolina alongside his parents, his beloved wife Patsy, and his niece Mary. His family will celebrate his life at a graveside service on March 26th.

Our family is grateful for the care dad received at Manor Lake, the Hospice staff, and especially the caregivers (angels) who attended to him with such kindness at the end of his life. Wilbur asked that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Charles Armstrong School, 1405 Solana Drive Belmont, California 94002-3653, or the Craddock Center - 186 Fred Craddock Drive- Blue Ridge, Georgia 30513.

Dad said often in his last days that he was looking forward to a Heavenly view. Dad, as William Shakespeare said, “May choirs of angels sing thee to thy rest.” Thank you, Dad, for everything.

From Victoria Eversole
March 1, 2023

I'll always have fond memories of seeing Dr. Mattison and his family at family gatherings for Thanksgiving and Christmas. Our family also joined the Mattison family on a trip to Disneyland...Dr. Mattison would make my sister, Ginny, giggle endlessly when he'd sing "Ginny Mouse...Ginny Mouse" to the tune of Mickey Mouse. Such glorious times. RIP Doc.

From Leslie Stepp
Feb. 28, 2023

Wilbur was a wonderful friend to my step-father Dr. edward Barthold. He was kind, friendly and made the lives of many a dyslexic tolerable and better. He will be missed.