Beatrice remembered: Friends, family pay tribute to young woman killed over weekendBy JYESHA JOHNSON MULTIMEDIA COORDINATOR,
Beatrice Williams had her whole life ahead of her, but that life was cut short in a hail of gunfire early Sunday morning.
Williams was an innocent bystander, in the wrong place at the wrong time.
As has happened with more frequency in Indianola lately, a shootout, this time on Main Street, started around 1 a.m., and one of the bullets pierced Williams’ chest.
“I’m supposed to be getting ready to plan her birthday party,” said Carolyn Williams, the mother of Beatrice Williams. “I’m not supposed to be planning her funeral.”
Willams was no stranger to violence.
She worked as a correctional officer at the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman.
“That was my biggest fear, the rioting going on at Parchman” said Carolyn Williams.
Williams’ mother often called her daughter “poo poo” or “my big foot.” Williams was one of her mother’s two daughters. ”“She was so good and a joy to be around,” said Williams’ mother.
Even as Williams grew older, she still valued her mom’s cooking and would joke about waiting while she prepared a meal.
“She liked to play jokes, and stuff” said her mother, as she reminisced about the fun nature of her daughter.
Despite the dangerous nature of being a correctional officer, Williams enjoyed her job. She worked at Paarchman for two years. During that time she earned a promotion.
“She was a force,” said Dreifus Smith. "She had a heart to learn her job, and she executed her job with passion. She took her job seriously. I can still hear her voice and visualize her walking with her big can of mace.”
While Williams was a trainee, she carried a smaller can of mace, and with her promotion she earned a bigger can of mace to carry. Williams began the journey of becoming a correctional officer with one of her best friends, Jasmine Moultrie. “Beatrice was a loving caring person. Even when you mad or sad she could make anybody laugh,” said Jasmine Moultrie. “ We’ve been friends for so long I can write a book about her. We have been friends since middle school. We went to high school, college & academy training together.”
Just like Moultrie, Williams had a host of family and friends who adored her.
Toni Washington was also one of Beatrice Williams’ best friends.
Williams spent the day with Washington before her passing, and they were doing what she loved to do, shopping.
"She was an outgoing person, very sweet and didn't mind helping anyone,” said Toni Wasington. “She always had a smile on her face and loved to have fun and shop.” Williams was part of Gentry’s Class of 2015 and she made an impression on many of her classmates. Her classmates remember her outgoing personality and ability to place a smile on their face.
“Beatrice was one of the sweetest and funniest friends anybody could ever ask for. She stayed cracking jokes to cheer somebody up if they felt down and most of all she was very sweet and respectful,” said Deshannon Williams, a member of Gentry’s Class of 2015.
Abria Myrick remembers a time when she and Beatrice both had smiles on their faces.
“When we all found we passed our state exam, we were so excited filled with joy,” said Myrick. “All you could hear was laughter and screaming in the hallway.The teachers had to tell us to be quiet.”
Williams held the qualities that anyone would want in a friend.
“She was very dependable,” said Myrick. “Whenever you needed her she was there.”.
William’s death comes as a tragedy, but her life served as a joy to her family, friends and everyone she managed to make smile.
“She was a woman that was eager to learn, diligent to her workforce and always remained steadfast regardless of what curve ball life threw at her,” said Anedia Minton.”I will continue to carry her attributes in my spirit daily as I continue my life’s journey down here on Earth!”