Dennis Richard Mathews, 68, of Harrodsburg, passed away at the Ephraim McDowell Hospital in Danville, on Nov. 22, 2022.
The son of Asa and Florence Mathews, Dennis was born and raised in Long Island City, Queens, New York.
He began his career as a cabinet maker of fine furniture, but decided instead to follow his love of Thoroughbred racing and went to work at nearby Belmont Racetrack. Over the years he became the star groom and foreman for such prestigious outfits as Paul Melon’s Rokeby Stables, Payne Whitney’s Greentree Stable and premier trainer David Whitely. Later in life, he managed a pet store in New York City. He played the accordion and the clarinet, and was a jazz aficionado, often going to concerts and jazz clubs to listen to and meet the great jazz players of the day. He read widely the works of the Roman Stoics and was a follower of their philosophy. He loved to garden, was a triathlete, an excellent deep sea ocean fisherman committed to ending the destruction of habitat in the world’s oceans, and a lifelong champion of stray cats and dogs. However, his greatest accomplishment he said was taking care of his elderly mother to whom he was devoted until her death at 93.