My Story…...Beverly Ann Ivory Houston
I was born on December 9, 1947 to my parents, Verton Franks Ivory and Helen Janet Ivory in Mansfield, Louisiana. I was the oldest and the only daughter. My brothers joined me to make our family complete: Verton Franks “Frankie” Ivory, Jr. and Allan Jerome “Romie” Ivory. My father and mother, maternal and paternal grandparents all preceded me in death.
We eventually moved to Kansas City, Kansas. I became enthralled with my Nannie, Vivian Franks Washington. She took me under her tender wings and taught me about the finer things in life specifically how to be a young lady as well a good wife. She introduced the Lord and the King Solomon Baptist Church Family to me. I owe a debt of gratitude to her for all that she did for me.
I attended both Dunbar North and South Elementary Schools, Northeast Junior High School and I graduated from the best Class at Sumner High School, the Class of 1965. While in high school I was a cheerleader. After school, I continually supported my class by attending all of our class reunions, our annual birthday parties, and any other fundraising activities we did. I loved being with my classmates.
I believed in the Living Christ. I joined the King Solomon Baptist Church and was baptized at the age of 8. The late Rev. Webster C. West was my pastor for several years. I was actively involved serving on the Jr. Usher Board and sang in the Junior Choir. Because of my Nannie, Mrs. Linnie Cotton and Mrs. Carrie Cotton, I attended Youth City Mission and spent summers at Camp KVD in Topeka until I was 13. I continued my work with Missions as a Young Matron and served on several program committees. In 2003, Mama Helen moved her membership to Walnut Boulevard Missionary Baptist Church, under the leadership of Rev. Royal Scott, Jr. Shortly afterwards, I joined there also. My first committee work was chairing the Church Anniversary. I continued to work serving on the Church Anniversary Committee in different capacities and worked on the Pastor’s Anniversary Committee. I he with was a member of the MJ and Bessie Smith Scholarship Committee and helped with the fundraising, chairing the first ever successful Cruise Fashion Show! I was always charged with making the corsages and boutonnieres for our special occasions. The last office I held was Vice-President of the General Mission. I served in the kitchen on various occasions.
John was driving on 7th Street Trafficway, heading towards is job at General Motors when his eyes fell upon a young lady whose walk called his name, caught his eye, and caused him to stop and inquire about who she was. The rest, as they say, is history. I married John Houston on February 15, 1969. I was so looking forward to celebrating our 50th anniversary in 2019. I had started planning for our “big party”. John and I are the parents of four beautiful children: Kim Charisse, John Thomas, Jr., Jason Kline and Jermaine Karlton. I raised them in the fear of the Lord. I spent countless hours at baseball, football and basketball games. I even coached a baseball team. I wanted only the best for each of them and did my best to make sure they had the best. Each graduated from high school; each attended college, and all got married and have children. My life became richer with the additions of Christian, Jared, Dominick, Cameron, Andrew, Matthew, Morgan, Kyleah, Jalen, Parris, Jada, Kenadi, Kyerra and Kevin Jr. I am also blessed with great-grands: Phoenix, Amara, and Malachi, (age 1 month).
I loved to sew. I loved to work with my hands. And I was good at it. I decorated my house (inside and out) for every holiday. I loved to dress and when it came time for me to step out, I always matched from hat to shoes and everything between. I loved the finer things in life. Family dinners included formal table settings. It had to be correct! I loved to travel, play the horses and going to the Casino.
I worked all of my life with several companies: H. D. Lee, General Motors, Wyandotte County Health Department, Kansas Department of Labor, the United States Post Office and Price Chopper Stores.
I loved my aunts, Enita Alexander and Lucy Dwight. (They loved me as if I were their daughter). God blessed me with loving friends and I thank Him for them. Thank you, Juanita Carr, for all your knowledge and love; thank you Carolyn Billups Pitchlyn for your life-long friendship, and to Mr. Wonderful, Ronald Hopkins thank you for sharing your wife, Gerri-Ann with me for all our escapades; you know I love you both! To my class members and all my other friends…. know that you helped to make my life worth living!
I fought the good fight, I braved through my illness, and at the dawn of the day, July 11, 2018, the Lord called me home from labor to reward. I thank God for His loving kindness, grace and mercy.
My legacy of love includes my Husband, John Houston, Sr., Children, Kim (Pius) Frye, John (Pamela) Houston, Jr., Jason (Julie) Houston and Jermaine (Lynn) Houston; Grandchildren: Christian, Jared, Dominick, Cameron, Andrew, Matthew, Morgan, Kyleah, Jalen, Parris, Jada, Kennadi, Kyerra and Kevin, Jr.; Great-Grandchildren: Phoenix, Amara and Malachi; brothers: Verton Franks (Debra) Ivory and Jerome Allan (Tina) Ivory; Paternal Aunts: Enita Alexander and Lucy Dwight; sisters in-love: Jeweline Ivory and Quintella Ivory; in-laws: Billie (Emma) Houston, Flornell Rush, Helen Martin and Mary Houston; a host of cousins, classmates, church members, and friends.
My Epitaph: I lived, I loved fiercely, I live eternally!