Family, friends and community members honored the life of a community and environmental leader Thursday.
Keep Waxahachie Beautiful honored Beverly Worthington's life with the planting of a wildflower garden in Chapman Park. Worthington passed away in February.
“Beverly was a part of the community. She worked here. She raised her family here. Even beyond that she contributed by just helping with the smallest tasks of picking up trash everyday,” said Derica Peters, Keep Waxahachie Beautiful coordinator. “She cared about how the city looked and keeping it clean, doing her part as an individual citizen to give back to the community in that way.”
Worthington was honored in coordination with national native planting day, Peters said, which took place earlier this month. The wildflower garden was planted near the flagpole at the park. After the dirt was turned over, those in attendance planted flower seeds.
City Manager Paul Stevens said Worthington's home was located next to the park and she frequently pickup up litter in the park to keep it clean and a place the everyone could enjoy.
“She was a great person and very enthusiastic and energetic. She loved Waxahachie and was always willing to do her part,” Stevens said. “I would see her walking in Chapman Park almost every morning. Every time that she was walking, she would have handfuls of trash. People talked about how her behavior was contagious and they would do it as well, which I think that was a great testament to her.”
Worthington brought the idea of creating creature trashcans to be placed in the city parks after seeing them in another city from a trip she took, Stevens said. To further honor her life, Keep Waxahachie Beautiful named their Bee mascot “Beverly the Bee” after her. The bee creature cans in Chapman Park are made in her memory.
Wendy Middleton, Worthington’s daughter, said her mother would be honored to receive this type of recognition.
“She never said what her motivation was but mother grew up very poor and didn’t have very much. She just enjoyed the little and big things that were beautiful. She loved Waxahachie and everything about it, the people and the beauty of it. Mother just loved it and wanted to be involved,” Middleton said. “She would have been honored but she didn’t like the spotlight.”
Tom McAfee, Worthington's special friend, said she would walk to the park and pray every day.
“Beverly, she was just an incredible person. She was a very unique person that she loved this community and did a lot for it but she never wanted any credit. She did a lot of things under the radar,” McAfee said. “She was probably a recycler before recycling became the in thing to do. She was always recycling everything and instilled that in her children and in me.”
Worthington was also a member of the West Ellis County Unit of the American Cancer Society, board member with the Waxahachie Family YMCA, chairperson of the Waxahachie Chamber of Commerce Board and member of the Waxahachie Foundation.
The 13-acre Chapman Park is located on Brown Street and provides a mile-long walking path, playground and several picnic areas.
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