Melba “Beatrice” Ingle Mathew, age 85, of Lumber City, Georgia joined her soul mate and the love of her life to live eternally together on Tuesday, January 25, 2022 at Jeff Davis Hospital.
Mrs. Mathew was born on August 21, 1936 in Pettigrew, Arkansas in the Ozark Mountains. She moved with her parents and two siblings to Fort Smith, Arkansas where she eventually became the oldest of 7 children. Mrs. Mathew is preceded in death by her parents, James Dewey and Golda Blanche Embry Ingle; her husband of 61 years, Ralph E. Mathew; her 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 Creek Baptist Church in Lumber City.
Mrs. Mathew is survived by a daughter, Mary Mathew McNeal (Doug) of Hazlehurst; four grandchildren: Matthew McNeal (Chasity) of Garfield, GA, Daniel McNeal (Kristen) of Lumber City, GA, Melanie McNeal Varnadore (Mark) of Baxley, GA and Ian Mathew of Thomasville, GA; four almost five great grandchildren: Cooper McNeal, Jaxson McNeal, Ryleigh Varnadore, Gracie McNeal, Addilyn Varnadore; brother: Edward “Ed” Ingle (Mona) of Van Buren, AR; sister: Linda Ingle Barnhill of Van Buren, AR; daughter-in-law: Jo Such Mathew of Thomasville, GA; sister in law: Jeynelle Mathew Strickland of Winston-Salem, NC; several nieces and nephews also survived.
Beatrice, aka Mrs. Bea, aka Granny Bea, loved life before her husband left this world without her; Beatrice 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 with some of her recipes. Her greatest joy was watching her grandchildren grow up and follow them in their different activities to support them. A hobby of Beatrice and her deceased husband, Ralph, was working on family history. They were always able to find a way to show you proof of a new branch of the family tree.
Visitation will be held Friday, January 28, 2022 at 1PM at Fishing Creek Baptist Church.
Funeral Services will be held Friday, January 28, 2022 at 2 PM at Fishing Creek Baptist Church with Reverend Dusty Allen, Reverend Eddis Kirkland, and Reverend Stephen Glosson.
Members of the Fishing Creek Baptist Church will serve as Honorary Pallbearers.
Active Pallbearers will be Doug McNeal, Matthew McNeal, Daniel McNeal, Mark Varnadore, Wayne Miles, and Jackson Brown.
Interment will follow in the Telfair Memorial Gardens in McRae, GA.
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 St., Hazlehurst, GA 31539.