Beverly Harolyn Riley Tatum was born May 19, 1947, in Pittsburg PA, the only child of Sara Parker and Harold Riley. Her parents divorced when she was very young. Her mother, Sara relocated to Cleveland, OH along with Beverly’s grandmother, Beula Parker and her cousin Freida Taylor. Beverly attended the Cleveland Public Schools from early elementary until she graduated from John Adams High School in 1965.
Following graduation Beverly enrolled in Ohio University and majored in Home Economics. She graduated from OU in 1970 with a BS degree. In 1975, she earned a Master’s degree while working full-time as a pre-school teacher in the Cleveland Metropolitan School District’s Early Childhood Education program. Beverly eventually served as a coordinator in the Childhood Development Program supervising 27 classrooms. She continued to work in the area of Child Development for the next 39 years until she retired in 2009. After retirement Beverly participated in a program at Cleveland State University as a nutrient researcher in the Childhood Obesity Prevention Project entitled “Jump to It.”
Beverly had a strong faith and devotion to the Lord which sustained her throughout her life. She accepted Christ early in life and was an active and faithful member of East Mt. Zion Baptist Church. In her later years, she became an Associate Member of South Euclid United Church of Christ where her goddaughter, Pastor Courtney Clayton Jenkins, serves as the Senior Pastor and Teacher. She maintained her membership at East Mt. Zion even after she affiliated with SEUCC. She remained active at both churches.
She met the love of her life, Floyd Tatum, at a Cleveland Alliance of Black School Educators event. They were married February 22, 1986 in Cleveland. Beverly and Floyd loved to travel by car and train across the country to visit family and friends. No destination was too far. They traveled to Washington DC by train to attend the first inauguration of President Barack Obama in 2009.
Beverly was an avid reader who loved the spoken and written word. She enjoyed watching Jeopardy and murder mysteries on television. Her greatest joy was creating exceptional special events turning dreams into reality. She was a Certified Wedding Planner and coordinated weddings for more than 40 years. She established Bride-to-Be once she received her certification from the Association of Bridal Consultants.
She was an active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and pledged Epsilon Iota Chapter at OU in 1969. She remained active in the Greater Cleveland Alumni Chapter when she returned to Cleveland. She was also an active member of CHUMS, Urban League Guild, Ebony Bobcat Network (OU), and the Orchid Dinner Group.
Beverly was a caregiver for many years for her beloved grandmother Grammy, her mother Sara, and cousin, Freida who all preceded her in death.
She was always supportive of all her family and friends and their children. Her two goddaughters, Lindsay and Courtney, held a very special place in her heart. She was always there for them from their early years and all the special milestones in their lives. She was supporter and mentor to numerous young people who regularly sought her guidance and advice.
Beverly departed this life on March 19, 2021. She leaves to cherish her memory, her loving husband Floyd, a daughter, Arlinda Tatum Halsell, goddaughters Lindsay Clayton Jenkins and Courtney Clayton Jenkins, and many loyal family members and friends.
Goodbyes are not forever, are not the end; it simply means I’ll miss you until we meet again.
Beverly H. Tatum
SHAKER HEIGHTS, Ohio -- Sadness hit Shaker Heights and the surrounding communities hard after the tragic death of a woman who reached out to and helped so many women and children. Now, friends and colleagues take time to remember her life and all of the work she did in her community.
Grade school teacher Aisha Fraser was tragically killed in Shaker Heights. Fraser's friends and colleagues offer the following words to describe her - special, energetic and sweet keep coming up.
"You could see she cared about children and not just her own," said Brytnee Crenshaw. Crenshaw did children's ministries with Fraser. "Aisha had this special connection with every kid and I felt like she was a mother to everyone and anyone. She was so special. She was never down. She was always so happy and cheerful and I feel like we lost a great person," Crenshaw said.
Fraser's friend, Barb Crenshaw, was shaken by the news of her death. "It's just awful. She was so nice . You don't imagine those kind of things happening to people like that, but you know it does," Crenshaw said.
"She was a very nice young lady. She was energetic and always willing to help people," said Marcia Morrell Smith. Morrell Smith and Fraser were in the local chapter of Chums, an organization devoted to the well-being of women and children. "We belong to a group called Chums. She was such a busy bee. A hard worker and she'll be sorely missed," Morrell Smith said.
Fraser was a very active participant in her church, Garfield Memorial in Pepper Pike, where the pastor, Chip Freed, said many tears were shed for her during Sunday church services. Fraser volunteered in the church’s café, greeted people, and would supply books for children who weren't even her students. "She was so affirmed. If she was having a bad day you'd never know it. She could sense people who were and she would intentionally pour into them, greet them with a smile, hospitality and a hug," Freed said.