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Justin Arne Mathes

In Remembrance
January 30, 1981 – January 24, 2024


We write this with heavy hearts and tears in our eyes. Justin Arne Mathes was our loyal husband, our beloved son, our playful brother, and our cherished friend who departed this world on January 24, 2024. Justin touched people with his unique, gentle spirit, always questioning the world around him.

Born on January 30, 1981, Justin grew up in the woods of Chatham County, NC. His parents, Ken and Doris, taught him to love nature. Justin played in the leaves and climbed trees (and sometimes fell out of them). His love of the outdoors inspired him to pursue rock climbing, lead hikes in the NC mountains, and eventually travel the world with his wife, Nicole, to exciting places like Antarctica.

Justin was playful and kind. He let his nieces (both his Nashville ones and his adopted Durham ones) use him as their personal jungle gym. He played board games and video games and thoroughly enjoyed beating his brothers, Silas and Jason, at Splendor.

Justin was curious and very smart. He graduated high school from the North Carolina School of Science and Math in 1999, where he met his lifelong friend Paul. He then received a chemical engineering degree from NC State University. He asked how and why and was not afraid to rock the boat or upset the status quo. His inquisitive nature eventually led him to work with his dad and friends, Screech and Patrick, at Chatham Heating and Air Conditioning in Pittsboro, NC. His love of problem solving, out-of-the-box thinking, and a strong work ethic set him apart in everything he did.

Justin is survived by his loving wife, Nicole Turcotte Mathes; his proud parents, Ken and Doris Mathes; his brother Silas Mathes and wife Julie; his brother Jason Mathes and wife Margaret; and his cherished nieces and nephews (both related and not).

Up until the very end, Justin was quick to offer a witty, clever word to disarm a situation, even one as somber as his own death. May Justin now rest in peace, surrounded by the beauty of the great outdoors he so dearly loved and the warmth of the memories he created with those he cherished. He will be deeply missed and forever remembered.

A memorial service to celebrate Justin’s life has yet to be planned. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Carolina Tiger Rescue or ALS United NC in Justin’s memory.

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