Fayetteville 'Bicycle Man' laid to rest


ABC11 last spoke with Mathis in March. He was dealing with heart issues, diabetes, and a number of other ailments. He had been in and out of the hospital for months.

Ann Mathis, his wife, said he died at home in the early morning hours of July 15.

Mathis brought Christmas joy to thousands of underprivileged children in the Fayetteville area for decades by refurbishing bicycles and donating them. Family members say Mathis' only pay-back was the children's smiles and hugs.

A week after his death, his funeral was held at Cape Fear Conference Headquarters B, in Raeford. Hundreds of people were in attendance for the noon service.

A memorial service was held Sunday for Mathis at Hood Memorial AME Zion Church in Fayetteville.

The Bicycle Man's brother-in-law said Mathis left behind a simple legacy, hundreds of smiling children.

"You know he lived his life, to make sure that children at Christmas always had bikes," John Davis said. "On Christmas he also tried to do computers, anything he could so to help the kids, that was what he was about. His legacy will be to continue on doing the things he believed in."

More about the Bicycle Man's efforts at: http://www.thebicycleman.com.

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