xml:space="preserve">
xml:space="preserve">
Advertisement
Advertisement

James E. ‘Jim’ Matthews, former president of the Greater Baltimore Board of Realtors and landmarks preservationist, dies

James E. “Jim” Matthews received the 2004 Realtor Community Service Award.
James E. “Jim” Matthews received the 2004 Realtor Community Service Award.

James E. “Jim” Matthews, who sold real estate for more than 50 years and championed smart growth for Towson, died of cancer complications June 9 at his home. He was 85 and lived in the Ridgely Condominiums on East Joppa Road.

Born in Baltimore and raised on Oxford Road in Stoneleigh, he was the son of Richard L. Matthews, a salesperson, and Estelle Bramble, a homemaker. He was a 1954 graduate of Towson High School, where he played soccer and baseball.

Advertisement

He competed in the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, while playing for a local team.

A 1953 Sun article said he played baseball six days a week. “Matthews’s big value to Stoneleigh is his ability to get on base and score runs.” He played first base and center field.”

Advertisement
Advertisement

He was awarded an athletic scholarship and earned a degree at Duke University, where he played lacrosse and soccer. He was a member of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity. He served in the Army Reserve.

Mr. Matthews began his career in real estate in 1963 with Russell T. Baker. He later founded Matthews and Co., which later became Moore and Matthews in Jacksonville.

“Jim was a kind and gentle man. All my friends wanted to clone him,” said his wife, Sara “Sally” H. Helsel Broadbent Matthews. “He set an example of a life well-lived.”

Active in his profession, he was an instructor at the Realtor Institute for more than 30 years. Friends said he devoted much of his time to professional associations and work with community groups.

Advertisement

“Jim was the consummate gentleman and businessman,” said Al Ingraham, chief executive officer of the Greater Baltimore Board of Realtors. “He was particularly adamant about controlling growth east of York Road in Towson.”

Mr. Ingraham also said that Mr. Matthews was one of 12 founders of the Greater Baltimore Board of Realtors Foundation and worked to rehabilitate nine homes on Montpelier Street in Waverly as part of a Habitat project.

“Jim also worked for the foundation to build a playground at Stadium Place when he saw how few recreational opportunities existed in Waverly,” Mr. Ingraham said.

Mr. Matthews was a member of the board of Community Built Playground Inc., which designed and built the neighborhood playground.

When an arsonist burned the completed playground on Ellerslie Avenue, Mr. Matthews insisted it be restored.

“Jim told me, ‘We are not going to tolerate this,’ ” Mr. Ingraham said.

Mr. Matthews was a past president of the Greater Baltimore Board of Realtors and the Maryland Association of Realtors.

Mr. Matthews also worked in land development for Oak Investment Inc.

He did land development from Harford County to the lower Eastern Shore. He developed Oakmont Green in Hampstead and town houses on Webster Street in Federal Hill and Holly Knoll in Glen Arm, among other projects.

In 1999 he was elected to the National Association of Realtors Presidential Advisory Group on Smart Growth.

Mr. Matthews was also elected chair of the Landmarks Preservation Commission of Baltimore County in 2003.

He received the 2004 Life Achievement Award from the Maryland Association of Realtors and in 2018 the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Greater Baltimore Board of Realtors.

While on the board of directors for Metro Housing Inc., he assisted the minority community in building affordable housing units, a day care center and a senior center in Towson.

He received the 2004 Realtor Community Service Award for his contributions to the local community.

He remained an avid baseball fan and attended the Orioles Dream Week in Florida in 1989. In addition, he either coached or attended hundreds of games played in and coached by his children and grandchildren. He also played tennis.

He loved riding the waves at Middlesex Beach in Delaware, where he also had a home and competed in body surfing events. He was an avid reader.

Family members recalled that he greeted them the day before Thanksgiving at his home with a mug of his homemade oyster stew.

He was a member of the Towson Jaycees.

Survivors include his wife of 33 years, who owned a real estate brokerage; a daughter, Lisa Matthews of Marshfield, Massachusetts; two sons, Mickey Matthews of Baltimore and Brooks Matthews of Riderwood; three stepsons, Tim Broadbent of New York City, Chris Broadbent of Ashburn, Virginia, and Scott Broadbent of Great Falls, Virginia; a stepdaughter, Melissa Alecce of Timonium; 14 grandchildren; and a great-granddaughter. He was previously married to Nancy Kibbe Matthews.

A memorial service will be held at 1:30 p.m. today at Trinity Episcopal Church, 120 Allegheny Ave. in Towson, where he was a member.

Recommended on Baltimore Sun

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement