Beverly Ruth Witherspoon was born on November 3, 1951 to the blessed parents of JoAnn and
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Lee Carl Witherspoon Sr. She was the third of five children; the late Helen Bonner, Patricia Hattaway, Timothy Jerome Witherspoon, and Lee Carl Witherspoon Jr. Brought up in Antioch Missionary Baptist Church, Beverly was baptized at an early age, under the leadership of Pastor Marshall Ezell Sr.
She attended Chickasaw Terrace elementary from 1957-1963. Attended Nelson Adam middle school from 1963-1964. Her high school years began at Mobile county training school in 1965-1970. As a result of integration, she was a part of a transition over to C.F. Vigor high school where she was a member of the class of 1971. Upon discovering her God given talent, she began singing with Charley Foxx, the duo became known to many as the “Beverly and Charley Foxx Review”, with the notable song “Mocking Bird” recorded in 1972 fresh out of high school. Beverly also sang with a host of other local talents; Such as Barbara Bell, Alfredetta Winston, Ruth Daily, John Davis, Conzie Gilisleeve,and Gilder Leve (just to name a few) She made a living by holding down a few jobs, the most notable being Inglass shipyard until 1976. It was in this time period Beverly decided to pick up and move with her two children Monterio and Kendra, out west to California.
The big city of Los Angele proved to be a challenge as she traveled with two small kids. Starting out in a popular predominately black area, where her oldest sister Helen Bonnor resided in the City of Watts California. Beverly struggled as a single mother yet, was very determined to do what needed to be done in order to survive and care for her children as a result, she worked several jobs to make ends meet. Her initial purpose was to move out west to become a stellar in Rock & Roll however, the Lord had other plans. As times were hard, she resorted to her source of strength and foundation, her creator and provider, her wheel in the middle of the will, her way maker, her first love, and her peace; which led her to the church. While in the church, she sang in the choir, and the more she sang, God tilled her heart to be changed for the devotion of gospel music. The first church Beverly attended in L.A. was Greater New Light Missionary Baptist church. Her 2nd ministry involvement came from Victory Baptist church. There her music ministry as a choir member and featured soloist (under the direction and mentorship of Min.Samual Span) took off. She traveled with the church under the leadership of Rev. Chapman. While at Victory she traveled and sung all over California. She also sang in the LA chapter of the gospel music workshop of America, which included the Rev. James Cleveland who she was a soloist in his recordings. Somewhere during ministering throughout California, it soon expanded out of the country to places like London England, Paris France, and Sweden. Her first big group was when she was asked to sing with the Legendary Clara Ward Singers which became the 1st of her gospel recording career. To those places she traveled with the Charles May ensemble, and The Rickey Grundy Choral. All the while she ministered in song, she became the first female welder for the Rapid Transit District (known today as MTA) in Los Angeles, where she faced lots of opposition, from not only being a woman in a male dominated profession, but also being a black woman. Beverly recorded two Albums along with traveling with the Ricky Grundy Choral. In this period, she was introduced to the First A.M.E church where Rev. DR. Cecil L. Murray was the pastor and Joe Westmorland was the minister of music. Under this ministry Beverly performed in the musical “Job “alongside the late musical recording genius Min. Daryl Coley, performed at the famous Wilshire Ebell, as well as performances at the Hollywood Bowl. Beverly made appearances in plethora of movies such as “Heatwave” (a movie depicting the times of the Watts riots), “Sister Sister”, and “227” (several appearances). All this time Beverly was still able to maintain her career in welding RTD, now known as MTA. She retired from MTA in 2001. During her sons’ middle school years, she met, dated, and eventually married the love of her life James Peters, who was also an employee of RTD/MTA as a mill wright, he also retired the same year as Beverly. In 2003 Beverly decided to return back to her roots and build in Mobile, AL with James Peters. In 2009 Beverly and James finally sealed their union with holy matrimony. Her life was dedicated to less singing and lots of travel back and forth to California and Texas visiting her two children and their families. While back in Alabama she was able to reestablish her childhood relationships as well as her remaining brothers and sisters, nieces and nephews and classmates, residing in Alabama.
Beverly Witherspoon- Peters is preceded in death by her Beloved parents Jo Ann and Lee Carl Witherspoon Sr.,and her beloved eldest Sister Helen Bonner
Survived by her Spouse James Peters Jr. of 30 + years, two children, son Monterio Deshon Witherspoon and daughter Kendra Queen (Zechary Queen) grandchildren Joshua Deshon Witherspoon, Kennedy Robin Queen, Erin Simone Witherspoon, Kamerin Ruth Queen, Kamille Rosa Queen, E’maya Michelle Witherspoon, and Eris Gabrielle Witherspoon and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, close friends, and loved ones