Fayetteville's 'Bicycle Man' dies at age 76
Posted July 15, 2013
Fayetteville, N.C. — A Fayetteville man known for giving away bicycles to thousands of children for more than two decades died Monday morning after a long illness, his wife said.
Moses Mathis, 76, spent 22 years collecting bicycles from the community and then fixing them up to distribute at Christmas to children whose families could not afford them.
"I love the kids," he said in December. "I love the smiles on their faces."
In 2006, Mathis was honored by President George W. Bush with the President's Call to Service Award, which recognizes those who have a minimum of 4,000 hours of lifetime service.
Mathis' sisters – Revs. Linda Williams and Irene Bell – said helping others gave their brother joy.
"He just loved doing things for other people," Williams said. "He was just unique. We love all our brothers, but there just wasn't quite anybody like Moses."
"Seeing a little tot get on a little bike and say, 'it's mine,' you know, that was his work," said Rev. Irene Bell.
Funeral arrangements are pending.
Mathis' wife of more than 45 years, Ann Mathis, said her husband had been in the hospital in recent months and recently returned home under hospice care. He had two children and six grandchildren.
"He meant everything to me," Ann Mathis said.
She said she plans to continue the work her husband started.
"He just always had other people at heart," Williams said. "That's just who he was."