Muriel Alice Wayne began her earthly journey on September 11, 1923, as the second of four children born to Walter Charles Wayne, Sr. and Ethel Jeannette Wayne of Boston, Massachusetts.
Educated in Boston Public Schools, she briefly attended Boston Clerical School and received certificates of completion from federal government on-the-job training programs. She also earned credits in finance and accounting at the University of Massachusetts.
Muriel's warm outgoing personality and her love for her community began to take shape at an early age. She was introduced to Christian service and the tenants of faith while attending People's Baptist Church with her great aunt and mentor Nanie Branch. At an early age she became a member of her neighborhood church pastored by Rev. David Klugh. It is at Peoples were she also excelled in her leadership skills and her passion for God's work took root. In 1937, Muriel was baptized by Rev. Richard M. Owens.
During War World II, and following her graduation from Girls High School, Muriel traveled to Washington D.C. to work for the government. She became a member of Metropolitan Baptist Church, under the church's watch-care and the D.C. Women's Recreation Battalion. While residing in the nation’s capital, she met and married Samuel J. Walker, who was stationed at the National War College.
In 1945, Samuel and Muriel relocated to Boston and were blessed with two sons, Rodney, and Rondell. She reunited with her beloved Peoples Baptist Church and community clubs including the Robert Gould Shaw House. When their union ended, she began a new life raising her two boys with the loving influence of her parents, church community, and extended family.
In the early 1950s, Muriel made the acquaintance of Charles T. Cooke. The two became inseparable and after a short courtship they married. From their union they were blessed with one daughter, Charmayne. Following Charles's unexpected death, she continued to raise her children with her developing faith and under the protective watch of her close-knit community.
As a young widow, Muriel was an active member of Robert Gould Shaw House Chorus, Sidewalk Theater Group and People Baptist Church's Senior Choir. During this time, she also developed her skills as a bookkeeper and administrator and worked for Black businesses in the Boston area. These skills became vital to her future employment with the Jewish Memorial Hospital and Boston School System, District 9.
With the matchmaking intervention of caring friends, during her employment at the Boston Naval Shipyard, Muriel met Bradley K. Beasley (Brad), another Shipyard employee. The intervention worked and the couple were married in the late 1950s. Their family continued to grow and from their union came a daughter, Janice and a son, Darryl. After 43 years of marriage, the couple was separated by Brad's death in 2002.
Through the mountaintop and valley experiences of life, Muriel Beasley gained strength and determination through her faith in God. For more than eight decades as an active, engaged
leader and faithful servant, Muriel's membership at Peoples Baptist Church was fruitful. Her church work began with the cradle roll in Sunday School, singing in the Junior Choir under Gladys Purdue, the Young Peoples Choir, Baptist Youth Fellowship, Young Adult Fellowship, Junior Missionary and eventually the Women's Chorus. Her committed participation extended to other church groups such as the Olive Club, the Couples Club, the Business Finance Committee, the Planning Committee for various special events, the Fundraising Committee, and her role as an assistant Girl Scout leader. In 2003, it was no surprise when “Mother Beasley,” as she was fondly known by a multi-generational congregation, was honored by her beloved Peoples Baptist for her extraordinary service and years of dedication and commitment to the work of the Church.
During her long life, Muriel Beasley worked as a tireless advocate against racial, gender, health, and educational inequities in her beloved Boston. Her commitment to community was shown through her involvement with the Urban League Guild of Eastern Massachusetts, the Freedom House, Freedom House Goldenaires, the Roxbury YMCA Seniors on the Move: Chapter 4685 American Association of Retired Persons (AARP).
Muriel Beasley loved life and her infectious spirit was felt by all those who encountered her. Whether taking time to enjoy her family and friends, traveling around the world, or attending business meetings to strategize effective change, from her corner of the world, Muriel stayed on the move well into her 90s. Hers was a well-lived life and there was no denying her grace and inner strength.
In recent years, there was less physical activity and her ability to keep pace with a changing world became more challenging. Yet, from her Dorchester home, her determination to remain alert and connected to her beloved Boston community continued to the final day of her life, November 8, 2021.
Muriel Alice Wayne Beasley was predeceased by her parents, two sisters, Lucille Wayne Harris and Doris Wayne Tatum and a brother Walter Wayne, Jr. Those who remain to celebrate her life and legacy are her children Rodney Walker (Bernice) of Dorchester, MA; Rondell Walker (Deborah) of New City, NY; Rev. Charmayne Cooke of Dorchester, MA; Janice Beasley Riley of Virginia and Darryl Beasley of Boston, MA; her grandchildren: Brian Walker, Dr. Joyce Highhouse, Angela Hyman, Akiko Riley, Nadra Walker and Dezvray Beasley; “Grandma GG’s” great grandchildren: Skylar, Kirsten, Jordan, Gia, Azaria, Natalia, Amiyah, Elias, Caleb, Leilani, and Cayden. Muriel Beasley also leaves a multitude of other relatives, including a brother-in law, Phillip Tatum; nieces, nephews, cousins, surrogate children, and a host of close friends to cherish memories of her.