Natalie is the perfect example of what it means to live a full and faithful life. She laughed every day; she loved with her entire heart; she had a strong faith; and she admired the little things in life. She met her husband Doug in Evansville in 1984, working at the same restaurant. They later married in 1988 and celebrated their 28th year of marriage on August 6th. Chelsea was born in 1993, and just 13 months later Abigail was born. Natalie had the most fiercely unconditional love for her husband and girls and showed them this love each and every day.
Natalie was never a woman of excuses. In her 20 years of battling cancer, she never made an excuse; in her 23 years of raising her girls she never let them make an excuse; and in her more than 30 years as an educator she never let her students make excuses. She believed in being true to self (and confident in that self), admitting mistakes, and accepting and learning from them. She believed that when you fall down, you get back up. She was tough, but she was also kind and generous. Her heart was full of love and her actions were inspirational. Her strength and passion for life impacted so many of her family members, friends, and those she worked with.
Natalie passed away on Saturday, August 13th at 63 years old. Doug, Chelsea, and Abby were surrounding her in bed. During the weeks prior, Natalie was able to spend time with family and friends who meant so much to her. She valued the relationships she built with each and every person and she would be the first to say that she was very blessed with the people that were in her life. Her life was filled with love and laughter.
Natalie was born in Hanover, Indiana to John and Lenora Fox. She was blessed with an older brother and sister, John Fox Jr. and Barbara Messer, who she absolutely adored. She grew up in Indianapolis where she attended Franklin Central High School. She graduated in 1975 from Depauw University with her Bachelors Degree in Psychology. She then went on to attain her Masters from Butler in Special Education (1977) and later in school counseling (1992). She spent most of her career at Ben Davis High School as a guidance counselor where she was able to impact so many teachers and students. Natalie had a passion for higher education, and motivated all of her students to go to college. She saw so much potential in the students at Ben Davis and worked hard to find opportunities for them to attend college and encouraged them to dream BIG despite the barriers and obstacles that often threatened to hold them back.
Natalie loved working out in her garden or even tearing weeds out of other people's yards. Rain or shine, she was out in her or her neighbor's yards, working hard to care for God's creations. She took such pride in her work; she loved flowers and growing tomatoes.
Natalie lived an active life; she had a passion for exercising and being outdoors. She wanted to raise a healthy family, and that she did. No illness or physical injury could ever keep her from doing what she loved.
Natalie had a love of animals; she especially loved her dogs. In order to honor Natalie, her daughters, husband, and close friends have decided to ask for contributions to be given to the Hamilton County Humane Society. Please follow this link to make donations in her name: https://www.hamiltonhumane.com/how-to-help/donate/...
Natalie's wishes were not to have a funeral, but rather to have a celebration of life a few weeks after her passing. The date and time are to be determined. She asked that we spread her ashes in Traverse City, Michigan where she has many fond memories at her sister and brother-in-law Anne and Dave Mann's lake house. She wishes to be scattered over Lake Michigan.
Natalie is loved so much and will be missed.
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I graduated in 2005 from Ben Davis High School. Till this day Mrs. Mattingly was one of the most influential people that i have ever come across. She never let one moment go by without smiling and guiding all of her student down positive paths. I have yet to meet a heart so sincere. She never allowed me to short change myself and for that i will forver love Mrs. Mattingly and forever be grateful for the woman that she was to me and for me in my life.. When i thought i was down spirialing she reached out to my mother and made a pact to keep me going down the most positive path. I will never forget you! Love Always, Kianna Foster (BD C/O 2005)
Submitted by Kianna Foster on Jan 7 2017 06:10:48 PM
Kianna Foster lit a candle for Natalie Ann Mattingly
Kianna Foster lit a candle on Jan 7 2017 06:10:15 PM
In 1994-1995 mrs Mattingly was one of the teachers i had and she was the most amazing teacher i ever met.she encouraged all students to give their best all the time and she helped me get through high school. She truly cared and she was the nicest,lady you could meet.she was very special and i am glad to have known her. Rip we love you
Submitted by Brian dooley on Aug 30 2016 07:17:26 PM
This tribute to Natalie was so wonderful. What a remarkable woman in every way. My condolences to all of her family & all of her Ben Davis HS special friends and colleagues. As I have said before she was such a warrior. A career well done, a life well spent. She will be missed by so many.
Submitted by Pris Dillow on Aug 27 2016 07:40:58 PM
Priscilla Dillow lit a candle for Natalie Ann Mattingly
Priscilla Dillow lit a candle on Aug 27 2016 07:35:25 PM
I graduated from Ben Davis in 2005 and Mrs. Mattingly was my guidance counselor. I will always remember how her positive energy filled that little office, how her eyes sparkled when she smiled and how she pushed me to fulfill my academic goals in high school and applying to colleges. Her loved ones are in my prayers. May beautiful memories of her live on forever.
Submitted by Marlowe (Haddix) Necessary on Aug 26 2016 02:09:01 PM
Having just returned from Kansas, I received news of Natalie's death. Doug, Chelsea,and Abby, you are in my thoughts and prayers for God's peace through these days. It has been my privilege to know your family. I appreciated the support Natalie expressed for me through the years I coached golf. Chelsea and Abby, your Mom was proud of you. With deep regards, Stan Ellis.
Submitted by Stan Ellis on Aug 21 2016 04:51:32 PM
Such a strong, bright, dedicated woman... Natalie was a force to be reckoned with, whether working for one student, an injustice, or a program. She was an amazing role model for young women--and a great example of integrity for young men.
She was filled with love for and pride in her daughters, and lived her day-to-day role as mother with great joy.
Sending deep respect and much comfort to all who love and miss Natalie.
Submitted by Kathleen A. Carter on Aug 21 2016 10:48:19 AM
Ii an so sorry for your loss. I've been there myself and fully understand the pain you feel. Natalie must have been a wonderful person, I wish I had known her.
Submitted by Bill Zehner on Aug 20 2016 11:51:19 PM
Natalie and her family lived on the same street as my parents, Dale and Jean Baker. My daughter, Aeron Hylton, spent many hours playing with Abby and Chelsea at their house and at grandma's house, and they took great trips to the zoo and the children's museum. Natalie always said that Aeron made her laugh! Natalie was a great help to my mom when my father died and also when mom had her cancer fight. Natalie was a great person, and she will be missed.
Submitted by Cindy Lockhart on Aug 20 2016 02:13:06 PM
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