Mrs. Melba “Beatrice” Ingle Mathew, 85, of Lumber City, joined her soul mate and love of her life to live eternally together Jan. 25 at Jeff Davis Hospital.
Mrs. Mathew was born Aug. 21, 1936, in Pettigrew, Ark., in the Ozark Mountains. She moved with her parents and two siblings to Fort Smith, Ark., where she eventually became the oldest of seven children. Mrs. Mathew is preceded in death by her parents, James Dewy and Golda Blanche Embry Ingle; husband of 61 years Ralph E. Mathew; son James Mathew; brothers James “Vernon” Ingle and John Ingle; sisters Darmolene Ingle Houston and Dorles Ingle Pettigrew. Mrs. Mathew was a housewife of a retired military Major in the U.S. Army who then became her husband’s partner in farming. She accepted Jesus as her Lord and Savior in 1968 and was a member of Fishing Creech Baptist Church.
Survivors include daughter Mary Mathew McNeal (Doug) of Hazlehurst; grandchildren Matthew McNeal (Chasity) of Garfield, Daniel McNeal (Kristen) of Lumber City, Melanie McNeal Varnadore (Mark) of Baxley and Ian Mathew of Thomasville; four almost five great-grandchildren, Cooper McNeal, Jaxson McNeal, Ryleigh Varnadore, Gracie McNeal, Addilyn Varnadore; brother Edward “Ed” Ingle (Mona) of Van Buren, Ark.; sister, Linda Ingle Barnhill of Van Buren, Ark.; daughter-in-law Jo Such Mathew of Thomasville; sister-in-law Jeynelle Mathew Strickland of Winston-Salem, N.C.; several nieces and nephews.
Beatrice, a.k.a. Mrs. Bea, a.k.a. Granny Bea, loved life before her husband left this world without her. She loved to travel and visit new places. She enjoyed cooking and you always looked forward to any new creation she came up with. She had won numerous cooking contests. Her greatest joy was watching her grandchildren grow up and follow them in their different activities to support them. They were always able to find a way to show you proof of a new branch of the family tree.
Services were held Jan. 28 at Fishing Creek Baptist Church with the Rev. Dusty Allen, the Rev. Eddis Kirkland and the Rev. Stephen Glosson officiating.
Honorary pallbearers were members of Fishing Creek Baptist Church.
Active pallbearers were Doug McNeal, Matthew McNeal, Daniel McNeal, Mark Varnadore, Ian Mathew and Wayne Miles.
Internment was in Telfair Memorial Gardens in McRae.
Flowers will be accepted or contributions can be made to Fishing Creek Baptist Church, 161 Horse Shoe Rd., Lumber City, GA 31549 or First Baptist Church Building Fund, 30 N. Tallahassee Street, Hazlehurst, Ga 31539.
Miles Funeral Home was in charge.