Cover photo for Billie Sue Matchke's Obituary
Billie Sue Matchke Profile Photo

Billie Sue Matchke

January 3, 1949 — July 10, 2020

Billie Sue Matchke

Billie Sue (Spindle) Matchke, 71, passed away on July 10, 2020, in San Diego, CA, several weeks after being diagnosed with Covid-19.

Billie Sue was born on January 3, 1949, in St. Augustine, FL. Her family moved several times before settling in Roanoke, VA, where she made many fond memories at both Vacation Bible School and William Byrd High School. She developed a group of wonderful, lifelong friends — "the Byrd girls" — and would proudly recite her school cheer even in her later years.

In 1971, Billie Sue and her two young children followed her mother to the sun-drenched shores of San Diego. Soon thereafter, Billie Sue graduated from Coleman College and accepted a job at NADEP North Island, where she worked as a production controller for the next three decades, and through which she met her soulmate, Jerome "Jerry" Matchke. They remained together until his death in 2010.

The most important job of Billie Sue's life, however, was being a grandmother. When her granddaughter, Elle, was born in 2000, she instantly became Billie Sue's whole world. The pair were incredibly close, and spent every day together in the summer: hitting up Souplantation, swimming at the pool, exploring SeaWorld and the San Diego Zoo.

Billie Sue also drove Elle to her rehearsals with Arms Wide Open, a performance troupe for kids with special needs. Elle was preparing to be Wendy in "Peter Pan" when tragedy struck, and she passed away from a heart defect at age 14. As a way of coping with her heartbreaking loss, and as a way of remembering Elle, Billie Sue began volunteering with Arms Wide Open. She quickly became "Grandma" to the children and their families, a role that meant so much to her.

No matter where she went, Billie Sue was the life of the party; a spitfire of a woman who could never sit still. She was extremely outgoing, always quick to strike up a conversation and make new friends. After retiring, she began driving for Uber and Lyft; her favorite part was chatting with her riders. Billie Sue also loved being "Gigi" to her husband's great grandchildren, and mom to her beloved pets Bruiser, Nibbles, Stella, and Penelope. She was a special person to countless people, including her many groups of beloved friends.

Now that she is gone, Billie Sue will be remembered for giving 100% of herself to others, without expecting anything in return. She will be remembered for always speaking her mind, for being loyal to a fault, and for loving her family unconditionally. She will be remembered for rocking her tie-dye and #pinkforelle — and for making life more fun, simply by being herself.

Billie Sue will be buried at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery on July 9, 2021, at 11:30 a.m. (unless regulations permit the gathering of large groups at an earlier date, in which case the services will be moved up).

Billie Sue is predeceased by her parents William T. and Louise C. Spindle; her sister Linda Drury; and her granddaughter, Summer Ellen (Elle) Tudor. She is survived by her children Christina Beckner and Charles Beckner; her siblings George Morehead III, Samuel Spindle, Charles Spindle, and Bunny Spindle; her stepchildren Paula Wallace, Lyn Matchke, Pam Paula, and Ray Matchke; her step-grandchildren Emily Wallace, Andrew Wallace, Amanda Wallace, Jennifer Wallace, Leah Wallace, Erica Anderson, Amy Ray Hankinson, Alex Matchke, and Madison Matchke; and many cherished step-great-grandchildren.

Past Services


Friday, July 9, 2021

11:30 - 1:00 pm

Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery

1700 Cabrillo Memorial Dr, San Diego, CA 92106

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