MEMPHIS — Beatrice Louise Terry was born March 15, 1923, in Charleston, Mississippi, to Ms. Mamie Brown.
She departed this life on Jan. 5, 2020, at Harbor View Rehabilitation Hospital after a short illness.
A celebration of her life was held on Saturday, Jan. 18, at 11:30 a.m., at St. John Baptist Church in Memphis.
Interment was in Memorial Park Cemetery in Memphis, with arrangements entrusted to E.H. Ford Mortuary Services of Memphis.
Louise was the oldest of six children. She was raised in a God-fearing, loving home. She accepted Christ in 1936, at New Town Baptist Church in Charleston.
She was joined in holy matrimony to her loving classmate, Jesse James Terry, in 1941. To this union was born one child, Ora Jean.
Louise knew at an early age that she wanted to become a teacher. She received her formal education and graduated from Tallahatchie County High School in 1941. She worked in the fall and went to school in the summer to graduate from Jackson State in 1959.
Her zeal for teaching motivated her to earn her master’s degree from Memphis State University in 1973. Some of “Mrs. Terry’s” students remembered her teaching in a “one-room schoolhouse.” During her tenure, she mentored and inspired many to learn. She retired from the Memphis City Schools in 1993, after 45 years of service.
Louise was a happy and active bona fide member of the Charleston Day Club in Memphis, where she served in many capacities.
She was a historian, an avid reader and writer. She helped to compile and write booklets for various churches, social organizations and clubs.
Louise was always active, faithful and supportive financially in the many different auxiliaries and clubs of St. John Baptist Church, where she had been a member since 1965. She was a member of the Faithful Few, the Willing Workers and New Era Clubs. She was a trustee, church clerk, choir member of the Sanctuary and Cantata Choirs. She was the Official Board Clerk for a number of years until her health failed. She was a member of the Rebecca Sunday School Class and Club.
She was “Mama Lou” to her grandchildren and made each one feel specially loved.
She was preceded in death by her husband, mother, sisters and brothers.
She leaves to cherish her memory her devoted daughter, Ora Jean Mickey of Sacramento, California; one sister, Ms. Edith Mae Bellamy of Charleston, Mississippi; four grandchildren, Sharrell McGee of Sacramento, Vickie Hunter of San Jose, California, Lana (Edward) Jordan of Sacramento and Dana Terry of San Jose; 10 great-grandchildren, Roynell, Jelanie, Janay, Quentrel, Chanel, Devon, Spring, Sheila, Lenard and Sade; 16 great-great-grandchildren; three nieces, Joanne (Melvin) Melton of Ohio and Patricia Simmons and Yvette Simmons, both of Illinois; three nephews, Frederick (Bessie) Bellamy of Charleston, Mississippi, Wayne Bellamy of Ohio and David Ibrahim of Illinois.
Special love and “thank you” to her godson, Leroy Bell, deceased; goddaughter, Courtney Grier; caring neighbors, Dorothy “Faye” Hamilton, Lynn Valentine and Lori Cobgill.
Pallbearers were Mario Bellamy, Frederick Bellamy Jr., David Ibrahim, Ronald Clark, Osie B. Lewis Jr. and Thomas Trass.
Louise lived her life always seeking to be a faithful servant of the Lord. She will be remembered as a special and happy soul.