PO Box 1142, White Plains, Maryland 20695
Obituary of Beulah Stewart
Beulah Mae Scott was born in Atlanta Ga. on November 25, 1924. She was the fourth of five children born to Nancy Scott. She attended Atlanta public schools and graduated from Booker T. Washington High School.
As a teenager, Bea became responsible for her older sister Rosetta’s daughter, Betty. The two were inseparable. Ironically, Rosetta, Betty and Beulah all suffered from Alzheimer’s and they were all cared for by their child until they died. Betty died on December 27, 2017, six days before her beloved Aunt Beulah. Today, January 17th is Rosetta’s birthda
At the age of fifteen, Beulah attended a tent meeting. She was convicted and was reluctantly allowed to join the SDA church, provided Saturday worship did not interfere with household chores.
Being the only Adventist in the family had it’s challenges. Her friends teased her calling her “ ole Seventh day”, and her family was not supportive. Despite it all she held on to her beliefs.
Ole Seventh day was blessed to be welcomed into several families. Mrs. Ann Cantrell, a member of the local church, provided love, guidance, and even helped pay for Beulah to attend Oakwood College in Huntsville Al. Bea sold religious books (colporteur),to raise money for her second year of school, but fell short of her goal and was unable to continue college.
She was invited to take a vacation to Springfield Ma. Beulah went to the Baystate where she bonded with a new mother Mrs. Eudora Orr-Henry (Nana) and for the first time a father figure Mr. Edwin Henry (Gaga). Nana and Gaga housed Beulah, loved on her and encouraged her to go to nursing school. As part of her extended family, Beulah also helped raise the Orr children, Sissy, Johnny and Lynn, loving them, bringing them to church and being a constant support. Sissy would become George’s first baby sitter and currently is Adventist and works at Oakwood University
God was always with the Georgia peach. While in Massachusetts, she was hit by a car and suffered extensive head injuries but she survived. She was engaged a couple of times but heeded the warnings of God and Nana and called off the engagements to men who ended up being horrible husbands
Ms. Atlanta vowed to never marry a Jamaican man, but ended up falling in love with Ainsley Stewart, a farm laborer who was from... Jamaica. The couple got married on Valentines Day, February 14, 1960.
Beulah wanted to have lots of children. The family welcomed George Ainsley into the world and two years later a second boy was on the way. The delivery was traumatic; mother almost died and the baby died at birth, due to the umbilical cord cutting off his circulation. Beulah wanted to try again, but Ainsley, having come close to being a single dad, was too afraid to take the risk.
God knows the desires of our hearts. He blessed the Georgia peach with six amazing grandchildren who brought her much joy. She was very proud of each of them and loved them very much.
Beulah was a compassionate woman who loved people of all ages. She would often visit elderly friends in nursing homes taking her young son with her. From those early years, George purposed that when his folks got old he would take care of them and not put them in an institution. Who could know the ramifications of that childhood decision?
Mrs. Stewart worked for a number of years as a pediatric nurse at Baystate Medical Center, formerly known as Springfield Hospital. She was later employed by the Jewish Nursing Home, in East Longmeadow, Ma.
Beulah loved God. She was an active member of the Shiloh SDA Church. She served in many capacities thru the years, most notably as Sabbath School teacher, choir member, and church nurse. Though not punctual by nature, she made an exception where church was concerned. She like to arrive early and stay at church all day and into the night whenever possible.
Mother bear did not beat baby bear often, but when she did it was memorable. One day, master Stewart was talking and playing with one of his friends during church service. Mom told him to come sit with her and he rolled his eyes and gave her some attitude. In short order mom went outside, got a switch, took the unruly boy to the basement ladies room and beat him like a slave before calmly proclaiming... that she wanted him to go back in the sanctuary and she “ didn’t want to hear a peep out of him
She recounted the story to her grandchildren and one year Lyle, Jordan and Nina harassed their dad to take them to the scene of the whopping. Dad explained to no avail that the building was now owned by someone else, but the rascals were insistent upon visiting the scene of the crime. Upon going to the church formerly known as Bay Street SDA, Nina asked her dad what a “twitch” was. After dad produced a switch , she had the nerve to say it didn’t look like that could hurt!! Obviously George never introduced his children to the joys of the switch.
Mom, routinely had chores for her son. She asked him to iron her nurses uniform and slip one time, but after he burnt a hole in the slip by not adjusting the setting, mom instructed him to only iron his father’s clothes in the future.
George was often greeted with the smell of fresh baked goods upon arrival home from school. Mom would strategically leave a list of chores right next to the food. To eat the food was to acknowledge receipt of the assignment list. A few times when she made drop cookies, George would pinch off parts of the cookies rather than eating whole cookies in an attempt to circumvent the work (same cookie count, just smaller cookies), but to no avail.
Beulah, a great cook, loved trying new recipes, and her men were her tasters.
Bea could make things that you are not supposed to like, magically delicious. Prune spice cake, and prune pie were favorite, regularly requested desserts. Prunes? Go figure.
While she left the cooking of West- Indian food to her Jamaican husband, (with the exception of beef patties) all other cuisine was fair game. From Italy, home made spaghetti sauce and eggplant parmesan made with produce from her husbands farm; from Sweden, delicious breads, from the Nation of Islam, tasty bean pies without the bow ties. She was a master at making vegetarian dishes. Her carnivorous husband would not touch this cuisine, but for the equal opportunity eater George, it tasted just like chicken.
There was only one recipe that Beulah could never get right. Blueberry pie. Try though she might, adjusting the corn starch, or other ingredients, the result was always the same... father and son teasingly called it “blueberry soup”!!
Industrious woman that she was, Bea canned and froze produce from her husband’s farm insuring a steady supply of good food throughout the year.
Mom Stewart provided balance in her home. Her sweet disposition had a calming, nurturing effect on her men. Despite working full-time and running a household she found a way to be consistently present, which did wonder’s for George’s confidence. She loved music, traveling, watching TV (soap operas, Judge Judy, Family Feud), socializing, playing games (she was a professional cheater in Monopoly) and laughing. Her silly son, who called himself her twin, enjoyed making her laugh, often so hard tears came streaming down her face. A hopeless romantic, her favorite book of the Bible was Hosea.
While in high school, George made plans to go into the Air Force upon his graduation. Growing up with a strict dad, he felt boot camp would be a piece of cake. When he told his mom of his plans, she started crying and said ” If you go in the military, I’m going to get a flag.” Perhaps her basis was her older brothers who fought in the war. Unwilling to hurt his mom George reluctantly agreed to go to college.
When George moved to Maryland he was surprised that many of his female friends called him spoiled. Whenever he told them that his mom, after going to bed after midnight, would get up each weekday at 5:00 am and fix a breakfast typically consisting of porridge for her husband as well as pack his lunch, then cook a separate “southern” breakfast for her son (grits, eggs, pancakes, meat etc..), and make a different lunch for him, eyebrows would raise. When George further recounted that his mom would also “iron his underwear”, the women would absolutely lose it. Major sister-girl attitudes would emerge irrespective to the race of the woman. Whenever son explained these strange reactions to mom, she would erupt into laughter and say” baby you are not going to find one like me!”
Mom tried to wean her son from home made school lunches but he would not stand for it. In middle school and high school when he would forget his lunch, the absent minded student would go to the school office and call home, “Mommy can you bring my lunch please ?”. Mom would routinely say “ You are a big boy now, you don’t want your mom bringing you your lunch.” to which George would reply..” Yes I do!”
Beulah spoiled her men and they spoiled her. She was always well dressed. Her husband loved shopping for her, and her son would regularly provide her with the latest fashions from the big city, Washington DC. Husband and son were extremely protective of the queen. On one trip home from church while waiting at a red light, a man told Ainsley that his wife was so pretty “If the car door wasn’t locked he would get in the car and sit next to her.” Ainsley drove away but after taking his family home, he went back looking for that man. Later in life, Beulah would often say “You wait til I tell Ainsley,” or “You wait til George gets home, he is going to kick your....” Sometimes she would forget who she was talking to and threaten George with George. When he would correct her she would say” Oh sorry baby.”
The Stewart’s taught their son to be truthful. There was an occasion where this honesty had dire consequences. George’s friend, Steve Jackson (who played the piano earlier today), is an amazing chef. George ate a piece of his friend’s German chocolate cake and it was divine. After eating the cake, he excitedly called home from college and said,” Mommy, my friend Steve made a German chocolate cake and it was even better than yours!” This comment triggered a previously unknown reaction ...angry mama syndrome. Mama bear retorted, ”... since your friends cake is so good, have him make it from now on!!” The year was about 1981 and mom was true to her word, she never made another German chocolate cake for her son again. In her later years she enjoyed eating Steve’s cake several times but she didn’t know he was the chef.
Though separated geographically, the mother son relationship didn’t miss a beat. The “two peas in a pod” talked regularly and mother would visit several times a year. After graduation from college, mother and son continued to spend at least four to six weeks together every year until she eventually moved to Maryland in December 2011.
George loved hanging out with his sweetie pie and exposing her to different things be it new cuisine like Thai, new sweets like Chik-Fil-A peach milkshakes, or entertainment at a number of venues. Mom, an attendee at many of her son’s events was always well received and doted on like the “Queen Mother”. This made George very happy. When she became wheelchair bound things like bathroom breaks became more challenging, but their excursions continued. George found that without the footrests, he could transport mom efficiently by picking her up, placing her in the chair, popping a wheelie and whisking her away.
Gramma B’s was loyal to her son, unless her grandchildren were involved. On one trip to Springfield, George and his oldest son Lyle decided to settle who was the greatest in basketball. Lyle talked the event up then on game day a strange thing happened. Gramma B got dressed, got her cane and went outside. George asked her where she was going and she said” I’m going outside to see my grandson beat up on his dad.” While she had attended lots of George’s school and church league games, she had never ever gone to see him play in the neighborhood, but here she was smiling and walking with purpose to the big event.
Lyle was the man. All the spectators with the exception of one Spanish boy, rooted for him. To add insult to injury, this game marked the first time that Lyle blocked his dad’s shot. In quick fashion he blocked the shot, laughed and scored while George was frozen to the court trying to figure out what happened with the loud applause of the spectators led by Gramma B in the background, and Jordan taking pictures. George struggled and won a hard fought game but the cheaters, Lyle and his gramma insisted that the younger Stewart was the victor.
Mrs. Stewart, the family matriarch, continued a legacy of strong women in her family. While she had an easy going southern belle demeanor she possessed an unquestionable strength like her mother Nancy, her sister Rosetta, her niece Betty, her niece Erika, and her granddaughter Nina. Though small in stature she was mentally tough, tenacious and eternally positive minded. She endured life’s challenges and rarely complained.
One of the few times that she was visibly shaken was when she and her husband came to visit George in the hospital after both of his legs were broken as a result of a horrendous bike accident. It was unbearable to see his mom sad so George cracked jokes until he could lighten the atmosphere and get her to laugh. Laughter was truly the best medicine for Beulah.
George used mom’s affinity for sweets to tailor an exercise program for her at the local gym... Costco. After securing the shopping cart, which doubled as something for her to hold on to, they would proceed to the bakery where a package of cookies would be placed in the basket in her line of sight. The pair would proceed up and down each aisle, filling the cart, as mom continued pushing the heavy cart focused on receiving a sweet reward at checko
Gramma B refused to do puzzles, but George had other ways to stimulate her brain. In addition to healthy eating, he regularly gauged her mental state by asking her questions.
Do you want some ice-cream mommy? “Yes. Do you want to go work on the farm? No!
It’s raining. I’m going to take you outside and give you a shower. “ Not me!” Let’s go to the cookoo house –“ you go...I’m not going’
Mom I want to sit on your lap and have you read me a story. “Boy are you crazy, you are not going to break my legs!!” Even with her Alzheimer’s her lucidity was often intact
Beulah is preceded in death by her mother Nancy Scott, husband Ainsley Stewart, brothers; Dock Scott, John Goosby, James Scott, sister Rosetta Scott, and on December 27, 2017 her niece Betty Spencer. She is survived by her son George Ainsley Stewart (Cleotha), sister-in-law Carmen Turner (Reginald), brother-in-law Enoch Stewart (Cheryl), six grandchildren; Lyle Ainsley Stewart, Jordan Hugh Stewart, Malik Justice Hagans, Dare’ Sterling Hagans, Nina Iris Curtis, George Ainsley Stewart II, close family friend Alice Lockett, many nieces and nephews as well as a host of other relatives, family and friends.