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1929 Bettye 2024

Bettye Viola Doerr

March 29, 1929 — May 31, 2024

Carbondale resident Bettye Viola (Shupe) Doerr died on Friday, May 31, 2024. Loved ones were with her as she expelled her last breath at 5:27 p.m. She was 95 years old.

 

Bettye was born on March 29, 1929, the youngest child of Flem and Cora (Cornett) Shupe of Vergennes, IL. Following graduation from Vergennes High School and studies at Southern Illinois University, Bettye was united in marriage to William A. Doerr of rural Elkville on April 2, 1948.

 

Bettye and Bill shared a lifelong love of schooling and learning. During their first years of marriage, they farmed the Doerr family land while Bill competed undergraduate studies in Agriculture at SIU. They moved to Champaign in 1951 where Bill pursued a MS degree at the University of Illinois. From there, they moved to Raymond, IL where Bill served for 13 years as the vocational agriculture teacher at the local high school and Bettye worked as a secretary in the local school system.

 

Bettye and Bill returned to Southern Illinois in 1965, when Bill joined the faculty of the SIU School of Agriculture. That same year, Bettye began employment at the SIUC Fisheries Research Laboratory as the first Civil Service secretary assigned to the Lab. She continued in the role of lead secretary until her retirement in 1991, under the directorship of the Lab’s founder, Dr. William M. Lewis and later Dr. Roy Heidinger. Bettye’s exceptional administrative and management skills, professional integrity and personal commitment contributed significantly to the success of the Lab. Dozens of men and women who were Fisheries graduate students during her 25-year tenure will long remember Bettye’s unfailing support, guidance and encouragement, her gentle humor, and the birthday cakes she baked in their honor.

 

For 50+ years, Bettye was an active member of Carbondale First United Methodist Church. She served for decades as a volunteer in the Carbondale Memorial Hospital gift shop.

 

Bettye is survived by daughters Kathy (Doug) Bertsche of Pontiac, IL, Virginia (Bob) Stein of Wheaton, IL, and Naomi Miali of Carbondale; grandchildren Meredith (Patrick) Watkins of Berwyn, IL, Hillary (BJ) Wall of Brisbane, Australia, and Michael (Elise) Stein of Wheaton, IL; and great-grandchildren Reaghan and Will Watkins, Sunny and Otter Wall, and Timothy, Madeline and Henry Stein. Other survivors include brother-in-law Ray Doerr of Vergennes, several nieces and nephews (both Shupe and Doerr) and their families, and her devoted health care aides Haley, Wendy and Jess.

 

She was preceded in death by her husband, Bill, her parents, and siblings Elvin, Grace (Heape Nausley), Horace, Nina, and Hazel (Nausley). Two sisters, Ethel and Iva, died before Bettye was born.

 

To accommodate family travel schedules, Bettye’s life will be celebrated on Monday, July 15, at Carbondale First United Methodist Church, with visitation at 10:00 a.m. and a memorial service at 11:00 a.m. She will be buried at Central Cemetery in DeSoto Township.

 

Memorial contributions may be designated to Carbondale First United Methodist Church, Central Cemetery, or the SIU Foundation William A. Doerr Scholarship Fund.

 

Meredith Funeral Home in Carbondale assisted the family with arrangements. To leave a story or memory of Bettye, visit www.meredithfh.com.

To order memorial trees in memory of Bettye Viola Doerr, please visit our tree store.

Service Schedule

Upcoming Services

Visitation

Monday, July 15, 2024

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

First United Methodist Church

214 West Main Street, Carbondale, IL 62901

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Memorial Service

Monday, July 15, 2024

12:00 - 1:00 pm (Central time)

First United Methodist Church

214 West Main Street, Carbondale, IL 62901

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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