OBITUARY: Beatrice Lee Rea Matthews

Beatrice Lee Rea Matthews

Beatrice Lee Rea Matthews, 92, resident of Columbia, TN, died Monday, December 6, 2021, at NHC Maury Regional Transitional Care. She has been living in Columbia since 2014.

A Celebration of Life will be conducted Saturday at 12:00 P.M. at the Senter Funeral Home, 707 South Adams Street, Fulton, MS 38843. Burial will follow in Itawamba Memorial Gardens in Fulton, MS. The family will visit with friends Saturday from 11:00 A.M. until service time at the funeral home. Oakes & Nichols Funeral Directors are assisting with the family and local arrangement.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Cancer Research Institute of West Tennessee, 114 East Main Street, Henderson, TN 38340 – or to Graymere Church of Christ, 1320 Trotwood Ave, Columbia, TN 38401. Condolences may be extended online at

Born June 18, 1929, in Shannon, Lee County, Mississippi, she was the daughter of the late James Corbett Rea and the late Eura Lee Kizziah Rea. On November 2, 1946, she married Lawrence Rayden Matthews who preceded her in death on March 28, 1977.

Affectionally known as “Aunt Bea”, she was the Dorm Mother at Freed- Hardeman University in the Hall Roland and Benson Dorms. Mrs. Matthews was a member of the Church of Christ. She worked as a volunteer at the Huntsville Hospital, Huntsville, Alabama, and the Northeast Mississippi Medical Center, Tupelo, MS.

Survivors include her daughter, Deborah Matthews (Tony) Kirk of Columbia; grandchildren, Matt Kirk (Faith), Andrea Love (Josh), Paul Bryan Matthews (Camilla), Andy Matthews (Renee), and Amy Owen (John David); nine great-grandchildren (Harper Matthews, Dabbs Matthews, Catherine Matthews, Emily Owen, Samuel Owen, Jack Love, Levi Love, Eli Kirk, Enoch Kirk; daughter-in-law, Regina Matthews; and sister-in-law, Polly Mask, as well as numerous cousins around Mississippi and Alabama.

In addition to her parents and husband, she was preceded in death by her son, Paul Rayden Matthews.

Active pallbearers will be Paul Bryan Matthews, Andy Matthews, Barry Hinton, Josh Love, Jack Love, and Levi Love.

Honorary pallbearers include Tony Kirk, Matt Kirk, Charles Hinton, Glenn Martin, James West, and Ray Tucker.

The family would like to thank the staff at NHC-Maury Regional, especially in the Grove area, and Compassus, for taking care of her during her last days. We also appreciate Dr. Andrew Nielsen for being her physician for her last few years.

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