Friends recall junior as ‘optimistic’

Junior Matthew Beasley died Dec. 2. Although he was quiet, Beasley was “naturally a funny guy,” said his friend and senior Kendall Harbin.

by Editor-in-Chief Jasmine Fleming

The UNA community lost a talented student when 20-year-old junior Matthew Beasley died Dec. 2.

Beasley was a transfer student from Bevill State Community College in Hamilton, which was close to his hometown of Winfield.

In Winfield, Beasley began displaying his talent in basketball, which caused him to meet lifelong friends and fellow UNA students senior Kendall Harbin and junior Will Addison.

After meeting on the court, Addison and Beasley were “basically brothers,” he said.

“He was so tall that he was also naturally good at (basketball),” Harbin said.

At around 6 feet 5 inches, scoring was easy for Beasley, Harbin said. It was more difficult for Harbin, who was shorter than 6 feet.

Off the court, Beasley’s personality was more introverted, Harbin said.

“Matthew was always the quiet type until you got to know him,” he said. “Once you got to know him though, he was honestly one of the funniest people you’d ever meet. He was naturally a funny guy.”

Beasley was also optimistic, Addison said.

“(Whether a situation was) good or bad, Matthew was just as happy as he could be,” he said.

Over the years, the three discovered another favorite pastime: making music.

“He was a pretty good drummer and guitar player,” Harbin said. “I remember not playing with him for a couple of months after he first started, and then coming back and seeing how much he had improved was phenomenal. It blew my mind.”

Addison and Beasley kept their dedication to music alive at UNA.

“We actually had a music room in our house in Florence,” he said. “We’d play loud and proud for hours on end. It was our pastime together.”

Their love of music was part of the reason they enjoyed living in Florence, Addison said.

“It was a music town, and we had dreams of playing music at different places in town,” he said. “Music was our lives.”

Beasley’s talents also extended to the classroom.

“He made a huge impact on the Bevill campus in Hamilton,” said Greg Taylor, biology instructor at Bevill State. “Some people don’t realize the impact they make on people’s lives. I know he truly touched my life.

“He came out of his shell in my class. Mr. Beasley was the serious one, and his lab partner was the cut-up, but by the end of the semester the roles reversed, and he showed his wonderful personality.

He was also a hardworking student “full of promise, and the people who knew him are suffering a terrible loss,” he said.

At UNA, Beasley studied finance.

“His dad owns his own business currently out of Winfield,” Addison said. “I think he was going to open another branch of that business in Florida. He just thought it was a good opportunity.”

When he wasn’t studying or making music, Beasley was often playing the computer came League of Legends, which he and Addison played often.

Although Beasley is gone, his family and friends will not forget the impact he had on them.

“I love him and miss him every day,” Addison said.

Editor’s Note: Bevill State Community College Student Josy McCracken contributed to this report.