Bee Matthews, 82, Lawrence, Kansas, died on Friday, July 7, 2017. Bee was born on Aug 10, 1934, to John Paschall and Evelyn Ames Davis in New York, NY. Later she was joined by three younger siblings: Johnny, Evie, and Ames.
Bee Bee, as her husband Rev. Robert Matthews called her, was a minister’s wife for 28 years until Bob died in 1987 of lymphoma. She was a homemaker who raised three sons: Rob, Pack, and Paul. If you know any of them, you realize how unique and wonderful her mothering skills were. Each son choose to become homemakers themselves, thus passing on to the next generation of children the love they grew up with in her care.
There are as many facets to Bee as there are lives she touched. To soak up any one of her stories — whether it was helping her cousin, George, recover from a broken heart in Paris, or receiving instruction in the art of botany from her grandfather — was to come away with a deeper connection to a wide world.
If she didn’t always navigate the emotional landscape with grace, there were landscapes that she thoroughly mastered. Kansas native prairie was one of her many loves and interests. Cataloguing and showing others the abundance of life that we all so easily overlook was a lifelong passion. She found God manifest most completely in a reverence for life and nature. Bugs – which would be carefully collected and released outside – birds, trees, sky, grasses, bunnies, and flowers were where she most clearly felt the presence of the spirit.
Part of her life was tragic, including her struggle with arthritis. In her later years, she found herself increasingly alone, but at peace. She died at dawn, camped out on her porch with the moon and birds and trees.
She had lovingly planted and nurtured the flowers that have become her legacy — her amazing grandchildren: Zoe, Hannah, Robbie, Leah, Joe, Luke, Nick, and Ben.
Bee is survived by her sons; her grandchildren; her brother, Ames Davis of Nashville, Tennessee; and nephews and nieces, Randy, Wendy, Eric, Jody, Kate, Gail, Danny, and Lauren.
A memorial to celebrate Bee’s life will be held on Saturday, August 19th at 2 pm at the Baker Wetlands Discovery Center in Lawrence, Kansas.