It has been said that there are some people who bring a light into the world that is so great that, even after they are gone, the light remains. The Texas Professional Photographers Association has lost two such gentlemen in recent weeks, Mat Mathews and Vaughn Monigold. Those of us who knew them witnessed their commitment to professional photography and their dedication to serving our association. Our memories of them will stand the test of time. They say you never truly get over a loss of a friend, you just learn to live with it. Although you will eventually be whole again, you will never be the same. These were men who gave of themselves for others and enjoyed every minute of it. Like many who mourn their loss, I am proud to have called both of them my friends.
Bill Hedrick, Editor
Mat Mathews passed away on April 3, 2020, at the age of 85. Mat was no “ordinary” kind of fellow. He realized a lifelong dream in 1972 when he and his wife, LaDonna, opened Mathews Photography, a portrait studio in Gainesville, Texas. Together they served the greater Cooke County area for more than 40 years. He considered it an honor to be invited into the lives of families he photographed, capturing moments in time as they celebrated weddings, graduations, births and so much more.
He was active in his faith community as well and was a long-time member, song leader and Lay Minister of Mission Methodist Church (in Gainesville). Mat also served the UMC Conference for decades as their official photographer. In his community, Mat was recognized by the Rotary International with the Paul Harris Fellow Award.
It was in the 1980’s that Mat became an officer of the Texas Professional Photographers Association, serving as President in 1988. His presence could light up a room and his welcoming smile and caring personality will be missed by those who knew him over the years. Once you met him, Mat was hard to forget. For his dedicated service, he was presented with Life Membership in the Texas Professional Photographers Association.
Mat leaves behind his loving family: his wife, LaDonna; son, Alan Joy and Bridgette; daughter, Sherry Wright and Eric; grandson, Derek Joy; and two great-grandchildren, Cassiday and Taylor.
Vaughn Monigold passed away on April 7, 2020, at the age of 83. He was born in 1937 and graduated from Overton High School in 1955, attended Kilgore College, and later graduated from North Texas State College with a degree in Journalism. His career in journalism led him to positions with the Kilgore News Herald, Lubbock Avalanche-Journal, Texas Tech University Public Information Office, Dallas Times Herald, the City of Lubbock and more, Vaughn opened his studio in a commercial location in Lubbock.
Sometime later, he and Eleanor moved their home and studio to Tyler, Texas, and quickly earned a reputation as one of the finest wedding photographers in East Texas.
In the 1990’s, Vaughn became an officer of the Texas Professional Photographers Association, serving as President in 2000. He and his wife, Eleanor, were familiar faces at all TPPA events, even after retirement. Mark McCall described Vaughn as a “true titan of our industry” while Charles Foster commented that “his thoughtful demeanor, deep compassion for others, and always a desire to be helpful were just some of the reasons he was so beloved.”
Vaughn is survived by his wife, Eleanor; daughter and son-in-law, Kelli Schaap and Dan; son, Danny Hendrie and Rachel; sister, Gae Honzel; uncle, Jim Monigold; two grandchildren, Sara Winfield and husband Philip; and Aaron Schaap and Amy.