Bessie Lee Young Beckham was born on August 15, 1931 in Live Oak, Fla. She was the second of 11 children born to Eugene Young, Sr. and Mary Bell Ashley Young.
She attended public schools in Live Oak, Fla. and graduated from Richardson High School as Class of 1951. She later attended Tennessee State University and Florida A&M University. She received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Business Education from Florida A&M University and later became certified in education.
Bessie taught school for 32 years in the Hillsborough County High School system at Dunbar and Forest Hills Elementary Schools.
She was preceded in death by her parents Eugene and Mary Bell Young; four brothers: Charlie, John Henry, David and Eugene, Jr.; two sisters: Josie Young Meeks and Myrtis Young Allen; one daughter: Gretchen Beckham Hunter and her husband of 35 years, Robert L. Beckham, Sr.
She leaves to cherish her memory; three daughters: Wanda (Robert), Gwendolyn and Lazora (Thomas); two sons: C. Douglas Beckham and Robert Beckham, Jr. three sisters, Alma Kicklighter (Samuel), Edna Mae Honer and Janie J. Brown; one brother, Leslie E. Young (Alice); one brother-in-law, Rev. Otis Allen; and a host of grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins and other relatives and friends.
Bessie loved spending time with her family and after retiring, spent much of her time at her second home in Live Oak, Fla. with her parents and siblings. Bessie was an active member of First Baptist Church of West Tampa where she served as the church secretary for 25 years. She was also a founding member of the North Hyde Park Civic Association. Due to failing health, Bessie spent her final years in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Zion Hill Mortuary was in charge of all arrangements. 727-258-2970
Published on June 8, 2016