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December 22, 1933 ~ July 14, 2023 (age 89) 89 Years Old
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Mary Elizabeth “Bette” Eskew, 89, of Centralia passed away Friday, July 14, 2023, at SSM Health Good Samaritan Hospital in Mt. Vernon. She was born on December 22, 1933, the daughter of Erie Marler and Tommie Holt.
She married James Gibson in 1951 and had two daughters, Rhonda and Brenda. They later divorced. Bette then married Vic Chiavario Jr. in 1958 and gained two stepchildren, Nancy and Mike. Bette later gave birth to their daughter, Lynda after moving to Centralia from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. This marriage ended in divorce and Bette later married Grover “Poncho” Connelly, Don Caspers and then Chet Eskew.
Bette received her GED diploma from the State of Florida and later took some college classes at Kaskaskia College in Centralia. Bette studied to become a pilot and flew her first solo flight on July 7, 1970, from the Centralia Airport. Family and friends rushed to the airport to watch her land and to congratulate her with a party. Another interest to Bette was the Bible and Theology, so she attended classes at Tyler Crusaders Bible Institute in Orlando, Florida.
Bette held a variety of jobs throughout her lifetime. She waitressed, worked retail, was a school secretary, and a sales woman. She worked in a factory at one time making brass elevator plates for the blind, and started a cleaning service with a friend, cleaning houses and businesses. Bette retired as an office manager from Security Alarm in 1998. Bette was a talented seamstress, home decorator, classic movie buff, cat lover, and collector of thrift store finds.
Bette leaves behind daughters, Brenda Lyons and husband JC, Lynda Chiavario; grandchildren, Jamie Fairchild, Tye Eagan, Kelly Eagan, Jesse Eagan, Nonny Chiavario, Skler Chiavario; step-granddaughter, LeAnn Oubre; eight great-grandchildren, Aldon, Karter, Adalyn, Peyton, Amber, Rocky, Sadie, and Dylan; three great-great-grandchildren, Rocky, Brad, and Ethan; step-sister, Janelle Smith; and numerous nieces and nephews. She will be missed by her friends at Temple Baptist Church and Plaza Verde Apartments.
Bette was preceded in death by her parents, Erie and Tommie; daughter, Rhonda; brothers, Bill, Bud and Ronnie Marler; and step-sister, Baby Doll Harris.
A celebration of life service will be held at 6 p.m. Thursday, August 10, 2023, at the Irvin Macz Funeral Home in Centralia. Friends and relatives are welcome to a time to share condolences with Bette’s family from 4:00 p.m. until the time of the memorial service on Thursday at the funeral home. Memorials may be made to Temple Baptist Church and will be accepted for the family at the Irvin Macz Funeral Home in Centralia. Online condolences and memories of Bette may be shared with the family by visiting www.maczfuneralhomes.com and/or on the funeral home’s Facebook page.