NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Ezra Carlisle Beasley Jr., a longtime leader in the student transportation industry, passed away on Sunday.
Beasley worked in the transportation field for just about 40 years, according to his obituary. He started out in 1960 as an operations manager for trucking carrier Mason Dixon Lines, and came aboard Metro Nashville Public Schools six years later as the director of pupil transportation.
At the Tennessee school district, he supervised nearly 600 employees; managed a fleet of over 500 school buses, which transported about 50,000 students to and from school; and successfully implemented one of the earliest desegregation plans in the U.S.
Beasley’s obituary also notes that he took pride in “never losing a child” to injury during the course of his career at the school district.
After he retired from Metro Nashville Public Schools, Beasley worked for another 15 years as a consultant, lecturer, instructor, and expert witness in the industry. He was also active with the National Association for Pupil Transportation (NAPT), having served as one of its first presidents (from 1979 to 1980, according to a membership update released by NAPT), and was a multi-term member of the board of directors. Beasley also received the NAPT Distinguished Service Award, and was inducted into the NAPT Hall of Fame.
Additionally, he was honored by the National Safety Council with its highest award: the Distinguished Service to Safety. He was also recognized with School Bus Fleet’s Administrator of the Year award in 1976.
Frank Di Giacomo, SBF’s publisher emeritus, recalled how much Beasley cared about pupil transportation, and how he was “very conscientious and structured” in serving the industry.
“He was very much an icon of that particular era,” Di Giacomo added of Beasley’s work in the late 1970s and early 1980s.
Beasley also contributed as a source to an SBF article on serving as an expert witness in November 2000.