Frank & Bright Funeral Home

« Return to Obituaries | Print

Beth VanMatre

Oct 3rd, 1948 - Dec 1st, 2023

Funeral:  1 p.m. Thursday, December 7, 2023, at Frank & Bright Funeral Home

Visitation:  11 a.m. until 1 p.m Thursday at the funeral home

Burial:  Willow Branch Cemetery


     Elizabeth “Beth” VanMatre, age 75, of Cisne, Illinois, passed away Friday evening, December 1, 2023, at Deaconess Midtown Hospital in Evansville, Indiana.

     Beth was born October 3, 1948, in Richland County, the daughter of Norvon and Vena (Shipley) Fisher.  She married Billy Harmon VanMatre on February 26, 1972, and they shared 38 wedding anniversaries together.  Billy passed away June 29, 2010.

     Beth's life was a beautiful tapestry woven with threads of compassion, kindness, and an unwavering love for both people and animals.  As a dedicated wildlife rehabilitator, she extended her nurturing touch to creatures of all kinds, from raccoons and squirrels to even skunks, with a special devotion to the vulnerable babies. Her heartfelt commitment earned her an affectionate nickname—“Possum Lady.”  In recent years she still shared her home with some pretty special companions—her dog and birds.

     Her love for music was a melody that echoed throughout her life.  Beth found joy in singing and playing the piano, expressing her deep faith through music in the churches she attended.  She and Billy also participated in other area opry music gatherings.  She was both a great cook and a spectacular baker, whose award-winning creations filled tables at flea markets and craft shows that she and Billy frequented.  One of her most cherished legacies will be the treasured time she spent with her grandchildren who developed the skills and knack Beth taught to them while demonstrating how to make some of those countless delicious pies and breads.

     Beth's generosity knew no bounds.  She discovered beauty and gifted her spirit in the simple pleasures of life—through her love of flowers, her value of God’s smallest of creatures, and her musical praise—all while making time for precious and forever-remembered moments with her children and grandchildren.

     She is survived by her children: David (Sharon) VanMatre of Wynoose, Oakie (Regina) VanMatre of Olney, Joyce Denoncour of Flora, Betty (Smitty) Smith of Grayville, Charlotte Prieur of Fort Smith, Arkansas, Carl VanMatre of Indianapolis, Indiana, and Debbie (Craig) Fickas of Cisne; 16 grandchildren; 15 great-grandchildren; 5 great-great-grandchildren; many nieces and nephews; and a special friend: Jim Brassie of Olney.  She was preceded in passing by her parents; husband; a daughter: Janice VanMatre; a granddaughter: Paige Hahn; 2 sisters: Karon McVaigh and Lois Eckiss; a brother: J.C. Fisher; and 2 nephews: David and Brad Eckiss.

     A funeral ceremony will be held at 1 p.m. Thursday, December 7, 2023, at Frank & Bright Funeral Home in Flora.  Burial will follow at Willow Branch Cemetery, Rinard.  Visitation will be from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m Thursday at the funeral home.  Memorial donations are suggested to Hope Ministries in Geff, and these will be accepted through the funeral home.  To share a condolence or memory, visit:


Gary Jones

Aug 8, 1939 - Apr 18, 2024

Ralph Baity

Jul 20, 1934 - Apr 14, 2024

Jeremy Deem

Nov 1, 1976 - Apr 13, 2024

Dianna Cricelli

Aug 31, 1955 - Apr 12, 2024

Queda Headlee

Jul 8, 1934 - Apr 10, 2024




Sharon and Mike Gray

December 3rd

Sorry for your loss. I have know Beth for many years, a sweet person, loved her family and friends. Prayers of comfort for all the family and friends.

Penny Dunn

December 4th

I am so very sorry for your loss. Beth was a sweet and special person May you find comfort in knowing that she now rests in the arms of Jesus.

Jamie Sams

December 3rd

I'm posting this candle to remind us of eternal life. Beth is walking with the lord now. It was an honor to help her feel better through the years and become her friend. I will miss her. Steve and I give our deepest sympathy and condolences to the family.

Lisa Rueff

December 4th

I'm so sorry for your loss my thoughts and prayers are with you all Beth was a beautiful lady and I enjoyed working for her through Community Care

Carroll Britton

December 4th

Ms Beth was such a sweet lady. I really enjoyed getting to know her while I was at Heritage Woods. She truly loved her family (specially her grand-daughter) and had such a soft spot for animals. My prayers are with you and your family.

Brenda L Bandy

December 4th

Joyce, I am so sorry you lost your mother. She sounded like a wonderful person. My thoughts and prayers are with you, Britt, Jordan, and Joplyn. Sending hugs and love. ❤

Jannette jones

December 5th

So sorry to hear this I used to babysit Debbie and Carl Beth was always so kind and caring she will be missed

Sherry and Rod Harder

December 5th

Beth you are your unique self...and we have NO doubt you're shining on, from your vantage point with Jesus! Will forever remember the Wednesday night Bible studies, your delicious food ( enough to feed 3 armies(!!) and your compassion. Thank you for the laughs, the fun, the tears and encouragement, too. We WILL party again!! 💜

Linda Davidson

December 5th

Beth was very loving, caring and understanding. And now she's receiving her reward in Heaven!



Micheal W. & Kristal G. Engelmeier
Peggy Coble
Wayne Eastin and Diane Johnson
Charlotte Lynn
Jamie Sams
Sharon and Mike Gray
Bruce and Robbin Dickey
Penny Dunn
Roy and Teresa Schoiber
Randy & Lisa Hargis
Ken and Tammy Haven
Linda Leak
Norma Hargis
Norman and Shirley Fry Workman
Margie Bogle
Mark &Karen Jones
Carl and Brenda Bandy
Jim and Linda Grove
Rebekah Dockins
Larry and Sue Kramer
Ella Burgess
Jim and Jill Fehrenbacher
Joyce Watson
John and Brandii Newby
John and Patricia Newby
Bruce & Nannette Richards
Sherry and Rod
Joanne Hillderbrand Rogers
Paul and Jo Ann Crain


Write a Condolence

Share Obituary


Light a Candle

Select a candle tribute and enter your name (or names) below. Click "Light Candle" when completed.

Choose a Candle

Frank & Bright Funeral Home
and Cremation Services

500 North Main Street
Flora, Illinois 62839

Phone : (618) 662-2141
Fax: (618) 662-4600
Email: [email protected]

Receive "First Notice" Updates

Enter your email address below to receive updates when new obituary notices are posted to our website