Published 11:29 am Tuesday, February 7, 2023
Feb. 26, 1926-Jan. 20, 2023
Beatrice Irene Matchus, age 96, formerly of Midland, passed away peacefully Friday, Ja. 20, 2023, in San Angelo, Texas with family by her side. Bea, as she was known to family and friends, was born Feb. 26, 1926, in Niles, Michigan to Edward Howard Klute and Edith Irene (Sittig) Klute. She grew up in Niles and graduated from Niles High School.
Bea dreamed of becoming an airline stewardess which at that time required nursing qualifications. She enrolled at Michael Reese School of Nursing in Chicago and found her calling as a registered nurse. During this time in school, she made more lifelong friends. After graduation from Michael Reese, Bea worked as an operating room nurse for a neurosurgeon in Chicago.
It was one of her classmates, Aunt Lucy, who introduced her nephew, Edward John Matchus, to Bea and soon love was in the air -or rather on the telephone! Ed and Bea married in Farmington, NM on June 25, 1949, and together, they went exploring for oil and gas up and down the Rocky Mountains. This was the start of many adventures together. In the early years, there were tent camps while mapping. Their first home was a floorless tent in Desolation Canyon, Ouray, Utah. They would move 11 times before settling in Midland; among the places they lived were Laramie, WY; Cutbank, MT; Green River, WY; Roswell, NM; Aspermont and Abilene, TX; and finally, in 1957, Midland.
Once in Midland, their family joined St Ann’s Parish in September 1957. All five of their children attended and graduated from St. Ann’s School. Bea joined the Catholic Church and was an active participant in the RCIA program for many years. When her children were young, Bea led several Cub Scout and Girl Scout troops. Eventually she rejoined the work force and worked as a charge nurse for several local hospitals. Later in retirement, Bea would also volunteer at the Midland Children’s Clinic.
A lifelong learner, Bea continually took classes at the college, and was passionate about reading. She served on the board of the Midland Need to Read Adult Literacy Program and taught many to read. Bea enjoyed playing scrabble, hockey, quilting and handwork. She was a member of the Midland Quilters Guild for many years. Most of all, Bea loved to spend time in the Gila Wilderness Area in New Mexico where she and Ed built a cabin. The family spent many wonderful years enjoying the out of doors with its starry, starry skies and natural wonders. Several weddings took place at this peaceful venue which added to their happiness.
Bea Matchus is survived by her sons Edward John “E.J.” Matchus, Jr and wife Cherry of Midland; and Thomas “Tom” Matchus and wife Jan of Midland; daughters Edith Stanton Snodgrass and husband Steve of Brady and Sarah Adamson and husband Danny of Midland. She is survived by 12 grandchildren: Holly Hamm and husband, Blake of Houston, TX; Chesly Herd and husband, J.T. of Midland, TX; Lindsey White of Spicewood, TX; Emily Jo Hood and husband, Richard of Morrison, CO; and Tanner Matchus and wife Colleen of Barre, Vermont; Karl Stanton and wife, Emily Newell, of Frankfurt, Germany; Cari Tawney and husband Ronnie, of College Station, TX; Cody Snodgrass and wife Amanda, of Ballinger, TX; Sean Matchus and wife, Genesis, of College Station, TX; Seth Matchus; Samuel Matchus; Simon Matchus of Midland, TX; and 7 great-grandchildren: Jakob Hamm, Callie Herd, Carrie Herd, Drue Slater, Naomi Slater, Elijah Hood, Rowan Hood, Milani Matchus, Oakleigh Matchus and numerous nieces, nephews and dear friends.
Bea was preceded in death by her parents, husband, daughter Nancy Matchus, son in law Daniel Fallwell, great grandson Austin Herd, 2 brothers, Martin Klute, Karl Klute, and 1 sister, Florence Russell. Memorial contributions in memory of Beatrice Irene “Bea” Matchus may be made to the Midland Need to Read Adult Literacy Program, 1709 West Wall, Midland, Texas 79701 or www.midlandneedtoread.org and/or ALS Texas Chapter, www.alstexas.org and/or St. Ann’s Catholic Church 1906 West Texas Avenue, Midland, Texas 79701 or www.stannsparish.us.
A memorial service for Beatrice Irene “Bea” Matchus will be held at a later date. Friends may view Bea’s Memorial Video Tribute and/or sign her online memorial guest book at www.leatherwoodmemorialchapels.com