Squandered Heritage Vintage

Goodbye Herman Beasley

Mr. Beasley

I remember the first time I met Herman Beasley. It was at a community event at Xavier. There were very few people, in fact the meeting was held in a second floor boardroom. At the time the distrust was acute, people were still shell shocked and struggling to come home. We were being thrust into a planning process that was met with suspicion, fear and annoyance. And there was Beasley, working the room like a U.N. ambassador. You could not help but be charmed.

Over the next 3 plus years he has been a staple of our neighborhood meetings and in many ways the center. His charm was just a small part of who he was; it was just the first layer, but underneath there was a man brimming with pride for his family, for his wife who posses great talent and has turned the inside of their modest home into a work of art with her painting.

He was also a man who brought on the proper amount of rage, after the murder of a crack dealer in the house next door in early 2007 Mr. Beasley expressed his frustration and anger and sadness. When a tornado ripped through the neighborhood he took in his elderly next door neighbor in the immediate aftermath. His concern was obvious. His compassion real and his leadership unmistakable.

He was the most important person to many and this photo of him with his “World’s Best Grandpa” sweatshirt proves to me that he was the most important person at home, where it really counts. We have great leadership in this City in the person of Herman Beasley. That is what we all know. When our elected officials let us down it is most important to remember Herman Beasley, the man who makes living here worth it.

He passed away at home with his wife by his side, and I am sure a platoon of love was surrounding him.

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About Karen Gadbois

Karen Gadbois co-founded The Lens. She now covers New Orleans government issues and writes about land use for Squandered Heritage. For her work with television reporter Lee Zurik exposing widespread misuse of city recovery funds — which led to guilty pleas in federal court — Gadbois won some of the highest honors in journalism, including a Peabody Award, an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Award and a gold medal from Investigative Reporters and Editors. She can be reached at (504) 606-6013.

  • BrooksNYC

    I never had the privilege of meeting Mr. Beasley, Ms. Gadbois, but you make it clear that the world lost an inspiring and wonderful man. Thank you for this lovely tribute. Our thoughts and sympathy are with his wife and family and all who loved him.

  • Laureen

    I was fortunate that Karen introduced me to Mr. Beasely. When we’d go by it was always so nice to see him outside on his porch. We were doing some difficult work and seeing him was a breath of fresh air after a day in the field, he always made us smile. Karen is right, you could not help but be charmed by his personality. He will be greatly missed. I am very sad to hear the news of his passing.

  • escalante lundy

    I’ve known Mr. Beasley and his family for about 30 years. However, I only really got the chance to really spend time with him over the past 2 years. He is a man with the utmost integrity, honor, respect and commitment. He is a loving family man and community stalwart. Mr Beasley is a shining example of what a man and human being can ascend to in a pesimistic world. He always believed in ability of good over the opportunity of bad. The world will miss Herman Beasley.

  • Our friend and neighbor Mr. Beasley was a one of kind personality. I don’t think that he ever met anyone who didn’t fall completely for his warmth and charm. Mr. Beasley was one of the first members of NorthWest Carrollton’s new organization. He came to our meetings even when we were meeting vagabonds. Anyone who knew him always hoped to be able to see him on his porch whenever we drove or walked by because a smile from Mr. Beasley was like getting a deposit in your personal happiness bank. We will miss him.

  • Rose Beasley

    Happy Father’s Day

    A dad is someone who
    wants to catch you before you fall
    but instead picks you up,
    brushes you off,
    and lets you try again.

    A dad is someone who
    wants to keep you from making mistakes
    but instead lets you find your own way,
    even though his heart breaks in silence
    when you get hurt.

    A dad is someone who
    holds you when you cry,
    scolds you when you break the rules,
    shines with pride when you succeed,
    and has faith in you even when you fail…

    Love U Dad always….

  • Erskin & Dolores Taylor III

    Herman was a schoolmate of ours. (C G. Woodson, Booker T Washington) His persona was reflective of all of the above and those that follow.
    Herman’s strength as a strong family member, committed community member, and strong believer in his faith, gave him a strong set of values matched by few. He was not famous, but the important thing is, nor was he infamous. When his flicker of light went out, it left the world a whole lot darker.
    No grief for you because we know the light is much brighter on the other side.
    You live forever by way of the example you set for family, friends and the world.

  • debi

    Dear Rose:

    Thank you for that tribute to your dad. You made me love mine even more.

  • Faith Jackson

    To the Beasley Family,
    I have known you all so long that I don’t remember not knowing you. It is like that with a lot of our church family. Your father was always a bright spot in my trips home. I looked for him and your mother ever Sunday. I know your hearts are hurting because you loved him so much. He was truly a nice person and I will miss him.