Calvary Baptist Church in Bowling Green said ‘Happy Birthday’ this week to its oldest member, Louise J. Beazley, who turned 102 on Aug. 5.
The church hosted a birthday party in her honor following the Sunday worship service. About 150 people gathered for the event.
“I started going to Calvary Baptist Church when I was about five years old,” said Beazley, who grew up and spent most of her life in Caroline. “I had a wonderful time at the party,” she said, visiting with old friends and new friends alike.
Beazley donated chimes to the church, an electric keyboard, and shrubbery. The generous centenarian with a good sense of humor moved Chancellor’s Village, a senior living facility in the Fredericksburg area, in 2002. “I love it here,” said Beazley.
Beazley, who was eight years old when World War I ended, remembers when U.S. 301 was built in the 1930s, dividing her family’s property. In 1950 the county purchased the land on the west side of the road to build Union High School, which is now the Caroline County Community Services Center.
Beazley’s mother died when she was young. He father opened a post office in 1933 and named it after the two families in the area – the Beazleys and the Goodwins. He called it Post Office Begood.
Beazley and her sister, Lillian, who is deceased, lived on Lafayette Avenue in Bowling Green for many years. They rented out space in their home, and many tenants over the years were members of the church.
When Beazley was 27 she got a job with Virginia Electric – which later became Rappahannock Electric Cooperative – as a secretary to the manager. She retired from REC at the age of 65.
She is one of seven remaining charter members of the Caroline Historical Society. At one time, Beazley served as the society’s secretary. Although she no longer attends society meetings regularly, she still pays her membership dues early every year.
Beazley said she has nothing to fear at this point in life. “I believe in the Lord, and I’m ready when He’s ready,” she said.