Matthews-Bryson Funeral Home
123 West Commerce St.
Smyrna, DE 19977

About Us

Matthew R. “Rick” Bryson

A native of Smyrna, Rick graduated from Smyrna High School in 1983. He is currently pursuing part-time graduate studies at West Virginia University. He earned a BS degree in Education from Delaware State University and also earned an AAS degree in Mortuary Science from Catonsville Community College, in Baltimore County, MD. He was licensed as a Delaware Funeral Director in 1989, and received his Delaware Life Insurance license in 1988.

Rick has been involved in a wide array of organizations through the years, including serving on the Smyrna Planning and Zoning Commission, a Past President of the Smyrna-Clayton Rotary Club, a member of the committee for the Smyrna-Clayton Veterans Memorial, and various other church and community committees. He currently serves on the Smyrna Redevelopment Authority. In addition, he is a member of the National Funeral Directors Association and the Delaware State Funeral Directors Association, where he served as Secretary for several years.

Rick enjoys music, reading, sports, cars, and spending time with Carol and their children.

Carol L. Bryson

A Dover native, Carol graduated from Holy Cross High School in 1987. She earned a BA degree in Psychology from Wesley College, and earned an MA in Psychology from Washington College, Chestertown, MD. Carol has served in various committees in her church. She enjoys cooking, baking, crafts, and caring for their children.

George E. Bryson 1925-1993

Born in Odessa and raised in Townsend, George moved to Smyrna in 1947. He began assisting our founder, Bill Matthews, after he began dating and later marrying Bill’s daughter, Alice Jane.

George was active in many civic activities through the years, including memberships in the Citizens Hose Co., Rotary, Masons, and Jaycees, as well as serving on the Smyrna Town Council. He was Mayor of Smyrna for 13 years from 1967-76 and from 1979-81.

After the untimely death of Bill’s son Glenn in 1966, he assumed a more prominent role in the operation of the funeral home, and succeeded Bill in owning and operating the funeral home after Bill’s retirement in 1979.

In the 1980’s, George was appointed to serve on the Delaware State Board of Funeral Service Practitioners by Gov. Michael Castle, and served as the President of the board for several years.

In 1984, George purchased the property where Matthews-Bryson Funeral Home is now located, and after an addition and major renovations, he opened the “new” facility at 123 W. Commerce St. in 1986.

George served as owner/President until his death in 1993.

William E. Matthews Jr. 1894-1985

Born in Hollands Island, MD, and the son of a minister, Bill moved to Smyrna in 1908. Bill served in the Army during World War I. After graduating from Wilmington Conference Academy (now Wesley College) and Dickinson College, he pursued a medical degree at the University of Maryland. Bill completed his coursework in medicine, and as he was about to begin his residency and internship requirements, had an about-face about his choice of profession. Bill then completed the course of study at Eckles College of Mortuary Science in Philadelphia, and after working for an “undertaker” in Camden, NJ for two years and teaching part-time at Eckles, he returned to Smyrna in 1922 to open his own funeral home at 304 W. Commerce St. After his marriage in 1928 to Pauline Wiley, the funeral home relocated to 53-55 W. Commerce St., where it was located until 1986.

Bill was a community leader for 60+ years, and was active as a Sunday School Teacher, Rotarian, Odd Fellow, Mason, and as a member of Citizens Hose Co. in Smyrna. In addition, he served as a Delaware State Senator, Smyrna School Board President, and was Smyrna’s first elected Mayor.

Bill retired in 1979 after 57 years of service to his community, and passed away at the age of 91 in 1985.

W. Glenn Matthews 1929-1966

Born in Smyrna, Glenn was a graduate of of Goldey-Beacom College and the University of Delaware. He served in an infantry unit in Korea during the Korean War. After his stint in the Army and finishing college, Glenn graduated from Eckles College of Mortuary Science, Philadelphia, in 1957.

Glenn was active in Rotary, Masons, among other organizations, and ran unsuccessfully for the State Senate and later for the office of Delaware State Treasurer in 1964.

Glenn was a longtime member of Citizens Hose Co., Smyrna, and was serving as Chief at the time of his untimely death in an auto accident in 1966.