Martha Hart Beasley

Published 3:14 pm Thursday, September 12, 2013

Martha Hart Beasley passed away as gracefully as she had lived on May 21, 2013, in Portland, Ore., with her son, Geoffrey at her side. She had, just four days earlier, blown out candles on her 92nd birthday cake, with her characteristic sweet demeanor and winning smile.

Born in Brookhaven, then attending Copiah-Lincoln College, she was a cheerleader, voted most popular student and crowned Queen of the college. A fellow student, William Dawson Beasley, sent her self-deprecating notes until she relented and met him for a Coke. Thus began her life with the young Air Corps officer, a B-17 pilot. After the birth of her three sons, Brian Dawson, William Webster and Geoffrey Enochs, the family traveled overseas, and eventually, upon retirement, settled in Winter Haven, Fla. She received a BA in early childhood education at Ole Miss and spent many years in the Polk County, Florida, School System. She was very active in First Presbyterian Church. Preceded in death by Brian (1971) and Webb (1976), she and Bill traveled extensively until he died in 1999. In 2005, she left her many southern friends and moved to Portland to be close to her remaining son.

She was preceded in death by her sister, Mac Hickman. She is survived by Geof; his partner, Jim Sampson; a brother, Webb Hart; nieces and nephews, Bill (Barbara), Tom and Elise, Dixie (Glenn), Kyla and Sue Hart; and Miss Katrina Beignet, a feline refugee from Hurricane Katrina.

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She was a rare soul, loved by anyone who knew her, and giving only unconditional love in return.