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Elizabeth “Betty” Alexander Matthews passed away on Sunday, January 30, 2022 at age 93. She was born July 10, 1928, in Red Willow, Alberta, Canada, to Basil Gregory Alexander and Bess Holt Alexander. She was preceded in death by her pa... Read More
Elizabeth “Betty” Alexander Matthews passed away on Sunday, January 30, 2022 at age 93. She was born July 10, 1928, in Red Willow, Alberta, Canada, to Basil Gregory Alexander and Bess Holt Alexander. She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband of 66 years, Stephen A. Matthews; and her brother, Stephen Holt Alexander.
In 1938, Betty and her family moved from Alberta, Canada, to Mena, Arkansas. She graduated from Mena High School in 1945, from the University of Arkansas with a BA degree in 1949, then received an MA in Speech Pathology from the University of Florida in 1950. After graduate school, Betty married Stephen A. Matthews on November 3, 1950. He was the love of her life and they embodied warmth, caring, and loving humor throughout those 66 years. Together they raised a son and a daughter, enjoyed two grandchildren, along with many nieces and nephews. In turn all of this extended family hold warm memories of happy, fun family times in their home. They were integral members of a loving extended family.
Betty taught in Pine Bluff and White Hall schools. She was a charter member of the Arkansas Speech-Language-Hearing Association. She served as the director of The Southeast Arkansas Speech Clinic sponsored by Easter Seals before speech therapy was offered in the public schools in the 1950s.
Betty served as President of the Pine Bluff Chapter of AFS Intercultural Exchange Program and served as District Representative of Southeast Arkansas for many years. She was responsible for bringing high school students from all over the world and finding them homes in the Pine Bluff area for their year in the United States. Because of this she enriched the lives of many families and children in Pine Bluff and throughout the world. She was a member of RSVP, a member of the PEO Sisterhood, a member and Past President of Sesame Study Club, a member of Junior League of Pine Bluff, Synergy, and the Southeast Arkansas Arts and Science Center. Betty was a member of First Presbyterian Church where she served as an Elder, Sunday School teacher, and Circle chairman. She made it all look effortless and was a wonderful hostess. She took many a meal to friends and family going through difficult times, was present for others and a good and steadfast friend. Betty was a brilliant conversationalist who was genuinely interested in everyone she met.
Betty is survived by a son, David Stephen Matthews of Pine Bluff; a daughter, Susan Matthews Arnold (John) of Jonesboro; an AFS daughter and grandson, Barbara and Tobias Schenkel of St. Gallen, Switzerland; her grandchildren, Ruth Arnold Amensen (Kyle) of Conway and Matthew Arnold of Little Rock; and Shirley Roby of Pine Bluff who shifted from ''house keeper' to 'caregiver' over 30 years, as well as many (great) nieces, nephews, other extended family members, and close friends she adopted into her heart and family. She was a “people person” and was often one of the last ones to leave a gathering. She will be sorely missed.
Visitation will be at First Presbyterian Church from 12:00–1:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 5. A memorial service will be held at 1:00 p.m. on Saturday, February 5 at First Presbyterian Church, Pine Bluff. The family requests face masks to be worn at both the visitation and service. The service will be live-streamed at https://facebook.com/events/s/betty-matthews-service-of-cele/673888590310155/.
Memorials may be made to Trinity Village Retirement Center, 6400 Trinity Drive, Pine Bluff, AR 71603; Easter Seals of Arkansas, 3920 Woodland Heights Road, Little Rock, AR 72212; or to the charity of your choice.
We encourage you to share your most beloved memories of Betty here, so that the family and other loved ones can always see it. You can upload cherished photographs, or share your favorite stories, and can even comment on those shared by others.
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