Alice Beasley, 88, of Nacogdoches, passed away Saturday, July 18, 2020, in Nacogdoches.
Visitation will be held from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., Monday, July 20, 2020, at Watson & Sons Funeral Home in Center. Funeral service will be held at 10:00 a.m., Tuesday, July 21, 2020, at Watson & Sons Chapel in Center with Bro. Paul Sevar and Dr. Jack Smith officiating. Interment will follow at Mt. Olive Cemetery in Silas.
Alice Ann Bishop was born March 22, 1932 to Aaron Van and Maggie Baker Bishop in the Arcadia Community, Shelby County Texas. Her father told her six year old sister, Nina Lee, that the Easter Bunny had brought her a baby bunny. Nina cried when she saw she had a baby sister and not a baby rabbit.
Alice spent most of her young life in Arcadia, attending a one-room school, Cooper, near her home. They later moved to Timpson, Texas where Alice attended junior high and high school.
At 13 years old, while attending First Baptist Church Timpson, Alice was saved.
At 15 years old, while on a date with another boy, Alice met Bill Beasley, who she immediately thought was very handsome. She found out he worked at a furniture store in Timpson so a few days later, she went to town, lingering on the sidewalk outside the store. Sure enough, Bill saw her and came out and asked her on a date. And the rest, as they say, is history.
At 16 years old on July 17, 1948, Bill and Alice were married in the parsonage of First Baptist Church by the pastor, Bro. W.A. Dollahite. Not long after their marriage, Bill began working road and bridge construction, taking them all over the state of Texas moving more than 50 times over the course of Bill's career. Alice always attended church wherever they moved.
Many of those moves were very short in duration. One pastor told, her she should wait to move her letter as it was still two churches behind! For a brief time early in their marriage, Bill worked in Carthage, Texas and Alice worked in a dress shop. Eight years after their marriage, Bill and Alice welcomed what would be an only child, a daughter, Becky Kay.
Over the next 69 years of marriage, Alice worked tirelessly as wife, mother, and grandmother. She was an excellent cook and all of the family enjoyed many wonderful meals at her table. When Becky was in high school in Angleton, Texas, Alice and her best buddy Dorothy decided they wanted to go to cosmetology school. They attended for several weeks and were fiercely competitive in their grades. At the end of one long day of being on their feet without a break, Dorothy quipped, "Alice, it would be easier to be a prostitute. At least we could work lying down!" Dorothy was, and continues to be, quite a character and they decided their lives at home were fulfilling enough. They continued to be close friends and spent many hours visiting each other.
In 1979, Bill and Alice made a permanent move to Garrison, Texas although Bill continued to travel doing construction work. They continued to live there until Bill's heart bypass surgery forced him to retire in 2006 at age 82. In 2008, they moved to Nacogdoches, Texas where Alice and Bill lived until 2016 when Alice fell and fractured her hip, shoulder, and arm. She went to Garrison Nursing Home for rehab and of course, Bill went with her. Bill's health declined and he passed away March 24, 2017. Alice's mobility had declined and she decided to stay in Garrison.
While there, she came to love games, especially BINGO, which she often won. She enjoyed attending Sunday school and listening to the many churches who came there to sing and play. She was also a member of the handbell choir which she absolutely loved. They played for Garrison as well as neighboring nursing facilities. She also continued her long friendship with Dorothy and they spent many hours on the phone.
She was in her usual state of good health and had tested negative for coronavirus four times. She had just lost a close friend in the facility to the virus and was depressed because no family could come to visit. Becky and her husband took her on a trip to visit her grandson and his family in North Richland Hills, who she had not seen for months, and also to visit her niece and her family in Big Spring, who she had not seen for years. While there, we were notified her last test came back positive. She seemed fine at that time, but in the next 48 hours, she developed symptoms and was hospitalized where she quickly declined. She lost her battle here July 18, 2020, but won the victory re-uniting with the love of her life one day after what would have been their 72nd wedding anniversary.
She is survived by daughter, Becky Smith and husband Dr. Jack Smith of Nacogdoches, Texas; grandchildren, Brandy Rowland and husband Michael of Center, Texas and Devin Rieger and wife Monica of North Richland Hills, Texas; great grandchildren, Victoria Gilchrist of Nacogdoches, Texas and Austin Gilchrist of Center, Texas; special long-time friend, Dorothy Hunt of Henderson, Texas; and a number of nieces, nephews, great nieces, and great nephews.
Preceded in death by husband, Willard “Bill” Beasley; parents, Aaron Van and Maggie Baker Bishop; brother, Johnny Bishop; and sister, Nina Tyer.
Pallbearers will be Devin Rieger, Austin Gilchrist, Lark Gilchrist, Jeff Renick, and Eric Renick. Honorary pallbearers will be Michael Rowland and The Renewal Sunday School Class at Calvary Baptist Church Nacogdoches, Texas.
Online condolences & tributes can be sent at www.watsonandsonsfuneralhome.com