New Roads honors memory of Beulah Morris with candlelight vigil

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POSTED: Saturday, May 4, 2013 - 6:00am

UPDATED: Saturday, May 4, 2013 - 6:04am

The town of New Roads struggles to understand the death of Beulah Morris nearly two weeks ago. But Friday night, they began the healing process with a candlelight vigil outside her home.

"I know she deserved a whole lot more," said Harold Terrance, Morris' next door neighbor, who organized the vigil, "but she's with who can give her all that she needs; that I do know."

Pecan Drive East was filled with prayer and song, as dozens of friends, family, and neighbors came together to honor Morris, who was killed on April 23. Police believe her grandson, Brandon Battley, beat her to death before checking into a mental health facility in Lafayette.

"Now the whole thing was not about the incident," stated Roosevelt Gremillion, a longtime friend of Morris' and head of the local chapter of the NAACP. "The incident happened, and there's nothing we could do about that."

Instead, the vigil was about her legacy of generosity.

"Everybody loved Ms. Morris," Terrance said. "Sold you a little frozen cup, a little Dixie Cup. If you didn't have no money, you know, 'give me what you got.'"

"And her children have done some tremendous things in this community," Gremillion added. "She was a rock." 

Kids in the neighborhood streamed to her door over the four decades in which she lived here. Friday night was about repaying that kindness.

"There are kids that are gonna make their kids come, because that was the right thing to do," Terrance stated. "I really believe that. That's why everybody came."

And neighbors believe that they will take on that role now that Morris is gone.

"If you don't have, or if I got, you got. If you need something, you just say, and always, somebody that know somebody to get it done," Terrance said of the neighborhood's spirit of cooperation.

There was be a funeral service for Morris Saturday morning at 11 a.m. at Fairlands Baptist Church.

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