Beulah Mae Wilson, 99, passed away on May 16 after a brief illness. An 80-year resident of Columbia, she was staying with family in Texas when she fell ill.
Her ashes will be interred in a graveside service at Memorial Park Cemetery alongside her husband, Murrell Wilson, who died April 4, 2002.
Beulah Mae Wilson was born Jan. 19, 1921, at home near New Cambria, Missouri, to Arthur and Katie Hayes. Born to a farm family of eight children, four of whom still live in Missouri, Beulah graduated high school in Bucklin, Missouri.
At 18, she moved to Columbia to take a position as nanny to the Buckie and Lala Walters family, who owned Dean’s Town and Country. Beulah met her future husband, Murrell Wilson, when he lived across the street with his mother, who operated a boarding house for university students in the late 1930s.
Beulah and Murrell married May 11, 1941, in St. Louis, where the groom’s uncle performed the ceremony. Murrell had just graduated from MU with a degree in agriculture and an ROTC commission as 2nd Lieutenant. Murrell and Beulah moved to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, where Murrell was a transport officer during World War II. Beulah was baptized in the historic Fort Sill chapel along with many young soldiers preparing to ship out.
After World War II, Beulah and Murrell settled back in Columbia, where Murrell opened an American Insurance and Real Estate office. Beulah served as business manager and secretary. Later, Murrell had an office on the second floor of the Exchange National Bank building, and again, Beulah was office manager.
Beulah and Murrell have three children: Jennie Wilson Griffith of Florida and Minneapolis; Murrell “Butch” Wilson (Sally Bolstad Wilson) of Southlake, Texas; and Kathy Wilson Murray (David Murray) of Ashland, Missouri. Additional family includes 10 grandchildren and 23 great-grandchildren.
Beulah’s surviving siblings are Eileen Taylor of Shawnee Mission, Kansas; Grace Lauer of Lee’s Summit, Missouri; Mabel Bennett of Polo, Missouri; and Bill Hays of New Cambria, Missouri.
Beulah was a member of Broadway Christian Church, where seven grandchildren were married and one granddaughter was ordained as a minister. Beulah was a member of Red Hats Club and the Sixty Plus Club at Broadway Christian.
Beulah and Murrell were avid MU sports fans and held season football tickets for 50 years. One year, three generations of the Wilson family built a homecoming parade float that commemorated “60 Years of Tuition” paid by all the Wilson family members who graduated from MU.
Beulah designed several homes the family built, including one on Cliff Drive, two on University Avenue and their last home on Hulen Lake. As Murrell was in real estate, their houses were always for sale, except the last one.
She also loved gardening and nursed many sick plants back to vigor. Late in life, Beulah took up painting. At her 90th birthday party, the family held an exhibition of all her paintings to that date.
Beulah and Murrell invested in a small farm southwest of Ashland, Missouri, just along the edge of the Missouri River bottoms, with a 100-year-old log cabin. The Wilson Tree Farm was named when pecan and walnut saplings were planted. The entire Wilson clan enjoyed many campfires under the trees beside the log cabin.
A memorial fund has been established in memory of Beulah Wilson. Gifts may be sent to Broadway Christian Church, 2601 W. Broadway, Columbia, MO 65203. Please write “Beulah Wilson fund” in the memo line.
A graveside service will be private due to COVID-19 restrictions; however, it will be livestreamed on the Memorial Funeral Home, Crematory & Memorial Park Cemetery’s Facebook page. Please visit www.memorialfuneralhomecolumbia.com to see service updates and leave condolences.