Carl Johnson Mathis passed away on the evening of June 8, 2021.
As anyone can attest who came into contact with him, Carl was an unforgettable figure.
From his physical presence (an imposing height of six feet, five inches and an equally impressive and extremely difficult to find shoe size of a narrow fourteen) to his encyclopedic knowledge of some of the most arcane pieces of information (anyone who asked him about radio signals or antennas found themselves suddenly transported to the role of student before a charismatic professor exclaiming the wonders of technology) to his love of college football (in college he was Leo, the lion mascot at Florence State College, now University of North Alabama), he left an indelible mark on all those he encountered.
If we are being honest here–and why shouldn’t we be–it wasn’t just people upon whom he made an impression, man’s best friend was equally enamored with him. There never was a dog that Carl came across that didn’t take to him immediately and he reciprocated the same attention and love back.
After graduating from Florence State, he served in the Transportation Corps in Vietnam (1966-68) as a First Lieutenant. After teaching high school math, he moved into the profession that became his passion for the rest of his life: sales and telecommunications. First, Carl made his way by shilling products for other companies: Motorola, NEC (Nippon Electric Company), and Panasonic. Tired of working for the man and living away from the South (having done his time in Washington State and traipsing up the New Jersey Turnpike and Parkway), Carl decided to become the Man, starting his own business, becoming the President of Power Sales and returning his family to Raleigh, North Carolina. In recognition of his importance to the field Carl was recognized by the Radio Club of America as a Fellow in 2001. He also served as the Chairman, President and Director of Manufacturer’s Representatives Educational Research Association and the Institute for Professional Advancement.
One of Carl’s favorite things to do was travel, whether in the United States or internationally. One of the items on his bucket list was to travel to all seven continents. He had successfully visited all of them minus Antarctica.
Despite his travels abroad, he always looked forward to returning to the United States, the country he loved and exclaimed was the greatest place in the world.
Before he passed, Carl was content and accepting of what was to come. He expressed to his family that he had no regrets and had a fantastic 76 years.
His influence, personality and enthusiasm will long be remembered by all he touched.
One of the things closest to Carl’s heart was the University of North Alabama and during the last year of his life he worked diligently to create a scholarship to honor the students who attended UNA during the 1960s. The family asks that in lieu of flowers donations be made to this scholarship fund.
When you go to the site below, please enter the Spirit of the 60s Scholarship Fund (under the choice of other) and say your donation is in memory of Carl Mathis.
You can go to https://www.una.edu/give/give-now.html.