Mrs. Beatrice Geneva Bledsoe
The former mayor of Five Points, Ala., Mrs. Beatrice Geneva (Ward) Bledsoe, 95, of Five Points, Ala., died Sunday, August. 5, in Gadsden, Ala., surrounded by the love and prayers of family. Funeral services will be held at First Missionary Baptist Church (549 Riley Street) in Roanoke, Ala., on Saturday, August 12, at 11:00 a.m. (CST) with Rev. Dr. Melvin Owens officiating. Interment will be at Skyview Memorial Gardens Cemetery in Welch, Ala.
The family will receive friends on Friday, August 11, from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. (CST) at Vines Funeral Home Chapel (211 B St SW) in LaFayette, Ala. The remains will lie in state at Vines Funeral Home Chapel on Friday, August 11 from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m. (CST), and on Saturday, August 12 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. (CST) at First Missionary Baptist Church.
If you are unable to attend, the service will be live streamed on the Vines Funeral Home Facebook page.
Mrs. Bledsoe was born May 22, 1928, in Chambers County, Ala., to the late Charline Allen Ward and the late Freeman Ward. Affectionately known as Gen, Mrs. Bledsoe graduated from the Chambers County Training School in Lafayette, Ala., and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Home Economics from Alabama A&M University in Huntsville, Ala., in 1957. Upon completing her education, Mrs. Bledsoe spent 36 years as an educator in the Chambers County Public School System, teaching science, social studies, and home economics at Phillips High School in Five Points, Ala., and Chambers County High School in Milltown, Ala. “I had the most gratifying experience helping students develop into outstanding young men and women,” Mrs. Bledsoe said during Retired Teachers’ Day in 1993. “I’ve always loved to help people. Every day wasn’t easy, but seeing my students strive to do their very best made it all worthwhile.”
In 1992, Mrs. Bledsoe made history when she was elected the first Black and first female mayor of Five Points, Ala. She served the 250 residents of the southern town for 20 years. During her tenure as mayor, she secured federal grants to improve the town’s water and sewer services and placed tremendous emphasis on the growth of families and youth to build a safer and stronger community. She oversaw renovation of the Five Points Community Center to make it handicapped accessible and initiated an annual Christmas tree festival.
On May 23, 1953, she married her high school sweetheart, Randolph “Stony” Bledsoe, a United States Marine and the first Black police officer with the LaFayette (Ala.) Police Department. Their union was blessed with twin daughters, Sandra Faye Ware of Roanoke, Ala., and Wanda Kaye Smith of Gadsden, Ala., and a bonus daughter, Jacqueline Ward of Lanett, Ala.
Mrs. Bledsoe was an active and impactful member of her community. She was a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, the NAACP, and the Alabama Conference of Black Mayors. Additionally, she acted as the chairperson of the Chambers County Alabama Democratic Conference and served on a variety of boards including, East Alabama Mental Health, Chattahoochee Hospice, East Alabama Community Planning and the Chambers County Enterprise Community.
On Sunday, August 6, while surrounded by the love and prayers of her family, Mrs. Bledsoe died and enter into the Lord’s eternal care.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Randolph Bledsoe; daughter, Sandra Faye (Bledsoe) Ware; son-in-love, Eddy Maurice Ware; brother, Hubert “Pete” Ward; sister-in-love, Ollye Marie Ward; and great-grandchild, D'Marzavion Ferrell.
She leaves to cherish her memories one devoted daughter: Wanda (Kenny) Smith of Gadsden, Ala.; one extended daughter: Jacqueline Ferrell of Lanett, Ala.; one loving sister: Annie Winston of Five Points, Ala.; six grandchildren: Shawn (Joanna) Ferrell and Sonya Ferrell of Lanett, Ala., Kia Smith and Kamesha Smith of Atlanta, Ga., Jamal Ware of Roanoke, Ala., and JaJuan (Adrianna) Ware of Huntsville, Ala.; seven great-grandchildren: Cameron Bothwell and Shai Smith of Atlanta, Ga., Amarah Faye Ware of Huntsville, Ala., and Shawnteria Ferrell, Hannah Brooks, Jaishawn Ferrell, & Jamaanie Ferrell of Lanett, Ala.; six nieces, one nephew, and a host of host of nieces, nephews, family, colleagues and friends.
Her family is especially grateful to the medical staff at Gadsden Regional Medical Center in Gadsden, Ala., and the home care professionals who cared for Mrs. Bledsoe in the final years of her life: Angenette Boley, Denise Collins, Rebecca Curry, Elsie Gibbs, Joe Ann Johnson, Staci Otis, and Margaret Row.
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Mrs. Bledsoe, a eminence women, whose presence influenced my character, development and behavior. She guided me to know my own value and encouraged me to be a lady holding my head high. I am grateful, that as I live my life, I can share my trade skills as taught to me from a person who was different from the usual. CCHS Class of 1986
Mrs. Bledsoe was our teacher, mentor, and source of inspiration. My Condolences to the family. Rest in peace my beloved Soror
VIVIAN MAGBY MCCANN
May your precious memories and the sympathy of friend help to comfort you at this time.God bless.
ANGIE STAPLES GRINER
The Best Teacher at Milltown loved her class, was a good role model. Rest in Heavenly Peace .class of “76”
HOPEWELL BAPTIST CHURCH WITH REV. AND SIS. DOUGLAS JONES SR.
Now at peace forever. Happy as can be. Perfect joy and beauty in that everlasting light. Home in Heaven where Jesus is. We know she want take nothing for her journey right now. Going home to heaven where we all must go one day. Resting in the arms of our father God for eternity . You all are in our thoughts and prayers Bledsoe family. We love you all.
What a wonderful person who had profound impacts on so many lives.
Sending much love to the family
Praying for the family and friends. Mrs. Bledsoe always greeted people with her warm and loving smile. She was a dedicated woman of God.
THE BURNETT FAMILY
To be absent from the body is to be present with the lord. Take your well deserved rest
Well done though good and faithful servant. Such a beautiful soul. Loved by so many. That beautiful smile will never be forgotten.
EDWARD AND GLORIA TURNER
You have played a part in a lot of students life. May God continues to bless your family
Such a wonderful woman. Thank you for being an inspiration to all! Rest in peace.
ROBIN BROOKS BROWN
Mrs. Bledsoe was a great Christian role model, a kind and caring teacher, and an excellent mayor. She made the world a better place and will be missed by all who loved her.
DOROTHY BROWN MATSEY
I was very fortunate to have had Mrs. Bledsoe's influence in my life at two schools; Phillips High, Five Points, AL and CCHS, Miltown, AL. Thank you for your kind heart, love of teaching and genuine concern for student growth. "She gave the best hugs".
To her family, daughters I was in school with please accept my condolences in your loss. Mrs. Bledsoe will be missed but never forgotten.
REV. AND MRS. GILBERT STAPLES
Prayers and sincere condolences to the family. Mrs. Bledsoe was a beautiful, poised and graceful woman with a light within that was shining every time we encountered her.
SARA SWINT RICKS
Blessings to the family.she was a sweet and awesome teacher.we loved her
DONNA A. BAKER
My teacher, my wedding planner, and my dear friend for many years - Rest in Heavenly Peace. Condolences and prayers for the family. Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted. Matthew 5:4
On behalf of East Alabama District Women's Auxiliary I would like to express our sincere condolences and prayers of strength to the family of Sister Geneva Bledsoe. We will forever cherish the memories of Sister Geneva Bledsoe who served faithful in East Alabama District as Matron's Counselor and mentor to young and older women. May she for ever rest in peace. It is our prayer that God will give peace and comfort to the family.
Nell Finley, Women's Auxiliary President
MELTON MARY FINLEY
My condolences to her family,the best teacher I had at milltown
So sorry for your loss.....sending prayers for tha family.....
Wonder woman and Leader,My Condolences To The Family.
Prayers and condolences. Such a sweet lady who taught me a lot. Sweet angel take your rest.
EVELYN HIGGINS BOYD
My family lived near Ms. Bledsoe growing up, and she has always been one of the sweetest ladies. My family extends deepest condolences to the Ward/Bledsoe families.
CRENSHAW FAMILY OF FIVE POINTS
Our thoughts and prayers are with the Bledsoe family.
TRUDY DANIEL BOLT
My condolences to the family. She was a very special person that was so gentle in spirit. I enjoyed having her as a teacher at Milltown.
REV. LONNIE AND JANICE HOUSTON
God bless the family
CARRIE STORY COPELAND
Sending my love to the family, I grew up with her children and we were a member of the same Church Macedonia Baptist Church, my Condolences.
REGINA RANSOM SMITH
Love this lady of God! Prayers for the family!
CARON WILLEAN SHEALEY
Mrs Bledsoe, was a loving and kind person. She always had something encouraging to share with you. My prayers are with the family, may God comfort and keep you continually.
I will always remember Mr Bledsoe she was a nice and sweet teacher when she taught me forty years ago at Milltown (CCHS).she will be miss deeply ,sending love and sympathy and prayers to her family.
We serve in city government for many years together, five points and Roanoke,
Also in the East Alabama District. Take your rest.
Sending prayers to the family of Mrs Bledsoe Rip.
So sorry to hear of Ms. Bledsoe’s passing. She was my Home Economics teacher at Milltown. I know she will be missed. My thoughts and prayers go out to her family. May she rest in peace.
Prayers for comfort to the family and friends. Great teacher at CCHS (Milltown). Deepest sympathy.
Sending my condolences and prayers for the family. Ms. Bledsoe was the best Mayor of Five Points, the best boss and most caring person for anyone, all children and willing to help anyone no matter what….
I’m going to definitely miss you and your legacy shall live on !!!
"Sending love and our deepest condolences. Love Hardnett Family .
DALE (AIKENS) BRADFORD
She was my teacher at CCHS in Milltown, Love her and she was a sweets lady. Prayers for her family.
Such a sweet lady she will be missed! Sending prayers
She was a sweet person and I will miss her dearly rip in peace my friend
Sending love and my condolences to Wanda , Jamal and Juan and the family, ,praying God gives each of you the strength to endurance.that you all need right now. Mrs Geneva was an Awesome lady with a sweet sweet soul, may she Rest In Peace..
My condolences she was a great person I will miss her dearly
Awww! She was so sweet. Always showing love and very kind. Rest in him
Leander Baptist church Daviston, Alabama sending love and condolences to the family. She was a special woman of God.
She was my homemek teacher at Milltown sweetest soul, kind always helping. Sor to hear this.
JENNIFER BENEFIELD FRENCH
sending my love and prayers to the family mrs.bledsoe was a wonderful teacher and mentor i remember her fondly and all the fha conventions she took me too during her tenure as a home ec teacher the world is a worst place without her in it
Much love for being my mentor in Christian service , and the advancement of young women in the East Alabama District.
Ms. Geneva’s charm and care for others helped us grow in service. We traveled many miles together, teaching and learning what was pleasing in God’s word.
My prayer go out to her family may you find peace in knowing she was loved by many.
The family has my condolences and prayers for strength love the Whites
DEBORAH CROOK SMITH
May you be comforted during this time of nereavement
NANCY LANEY HARDNETT
I was a classmate of her twins Sandra& Wanda but she also taught me at five points High School& at mill town chambers co High rest well miss Bledsoe I. Know you will be missed I remember all the talks we had in school
JESSE AND CHARLOTTE ABNER
One of my favorite teachers. Sending condolences to the family.
PHENETIA CLARK MARION
Rest Well my best substitute teacher at FivePoints high !!!
You willl truest be missed. You will remain in lots of hearts forever My favorite teacher in Milltown Learned me to cook and sew. Still love them cheese straws My thoughts and prayers Bledsoe family Mom will remain in my heart till we meet again R.I..P my friend Will miss you sweet lady
MARY JOYCE ABNER-CHISLOM
The most beautiful and sweetest lady you ever wanted to meet you will be forever remembered My condolences to the family
TAMMY BURTON TURNER
I will forever be thankful for you Mrs. Bledsoe...CCHS Milltown Lions!!! Rest In Paradise....
Sending my love and condolences. She was my teacher at Milltown. Boy do I love this lady she taught me so much. Rest in paradise sweet angel.
Sending love and prayers to the family.with deepest sympathy
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