Bettye Doerr, 95


Bettye Viola (Shupe) Doerr, of Carbondale, formerly of Raymond, died on Friday, May 31, 2024, with loved ones by her side.
Visitation will be held on Monday, July 15, from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., at Carbondale First United Methodist Church. A memorial service will follow at 11 a.m. at the church. Burial will be held at Central Cemetery in DeSoto Township.
Mrs. Doerr was born on March 29, 1929, the youngest child of the late Flem and Cora (Cornett) Shupe of Vergennes. She was united in marriage to William A. Doerr of rural Elkville on April 2, 1948 and he preceded her in death. The couple had married following Mrs. Doerr’s graduation from Vergennes High School and studies at Southern Illinois University.
The couple shared a lifelong love of schooling and learning. During their first years of marriage, they farmed the Doerr family land while he completed undergraduate studies in agriculture at SIU. They moved to Champaign in 1951 where he pursued an MS degree at the Uniersity of Illinois. From there, they moved to Raymond, where he served for 13 years as the vocational agriculture teacher at the local high school and she worked as a secretary in the local school system.
Mrs. and Mr. Doerr returned to southern Illinois in 1965, when he joined the faculty of the SIU school of agriculture. That same year, she 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 the late Dr. Roy Heideinger.
Mrs. Doerr’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 her unfailing support, guidance and encouragement, gentle humor and the birthday cakes she baked in her honor.
For more than 50 years, she was an active member of Carbondale First United Methodist Church. She serve for decades as a volunteer in the Carbondale Memorial Hospital gift shop.
Mrs. Doerr is survived by her daughters, Kathy (Doug) Bertsche of Pontiac, VA (Bob) Stein of Wheaton and Naomi Miali of Carbondale; grandchildren, Meredith (Patrick) Watkins of Berwyn, Hillary (BJ) Wall of Brisbane, Australia and Michael (Elise) Stein of Wheaton; great-grandchildren, Reaghan and Will Watkins, Sunny and Otter Wall and Timothy, Madeline and Henry Stein; brother-in-law, Ray Doerr of Vergennes; several nieces and nephews on both the Shupe and Doerr sides and their families and her devoted health care aides, Haley, Wendy and Jess.
In addition to her husband and parents, she was preceded in death by her siblings, Elvin, Grace (Hepe Nausley), Horace, Nina and Hazel (Nausley) and two sisters, Ethel and Iva, who died before she was born.
Memorial contributions may be made to Carbondale First United Methodist Church, Central Cemetery, or the SIU Foundwation William A. Doerr Scholarship Fund.