George Bevans and Minerva Gaskins both migrated from Accomac County, Va., to Baltimore. They arrived in Baltimore at separate times, but they met and united in holy matrimony and that union produced six children. The third child, Fannie, entered this life on May 25, 1923. She was raised in a loving and God-fearing family along with her brother Harold Bevans, sister Golden Burke, sister Catherine, all of whom have passed away; and her younger siblings George Bevans and Ruby Lee with whom she shared a close family relationship for over eight decades.
Christian service, community service, education, energy, encouragement and enthusiasm were key characteristics of Fannie. She attended the Baltimore City public schools and excelled in her academic pursuits. She often spoke fondly of her days and friends at Booker T. Washington School 130, and was a proud graduate of Frederick Douglass High School. She was thrilled to have the opportunity to attend college, but illness delayed her for a time. She contracted pleurisy and was hospitalized for a year at the Henryton Sanatarium. Fannie took advantage of that period to read the Bible cover to cover and draw even closer to the Lord. People who know her can truly say that the Lord was always first in her life.
The love of her life was her husband, Philip L. Poulson. He also relocated from Accomack (spelling changed in 1940) to Baltimore where they met. They corresponded in writing for four years while he was serving in the U.S. Army Air Corps. Philip and Fannie married, July 26, 1946. They shared love and a devoted life together for 55 years until his passing in 2001. Added to their family was a son Alan V. Poulson, who they raised to love and serve the Lord.
Fannie held several jobs in her early years, and her energy and ambition kept moving her forward. She attended Cortez Peters Business School and gained skills that lasted a lifetime.
She commuted for a time to Washington, D.C., and worked for the Department of Labor. Fannie took advantage of an opportunity to work at Douglass High where she worked as the school secretary. College classes were conveniently held at night at Douglass High, so she ended her work day and went directly to class. Finally, after a 10-year delay, Fannie had a chance to get that college education that she always wanted.
She couldn’t stop, she received her teaching certification from Coppin State Teachers College, she graduated from Morgan College (now Morgan State University) in 1954, she studied at Temple University in Philadelphia, Loyola College in Baltimore, and she earned her master’s in education from the University of Maryland, College Park.
Mrs. Poulson’s career as an educator in Baltimore City started as a teacher at school No. 181, then on to Dunbar High School where she taught and was the sponsor for the senior class. She taught at and Western High School and served as a guidance counselor at Roland Park Junior High. She headed the guidance department at Forest Park High School where she retired in 1982, after 36 years in the school system. Retirement gave her time to really get active.
“Fannie B.” was a dedicated worker in many organizations. She was an early member of the Kappa Chapter of Iota Phi Lambda Sorority, where she held many offices on the local, regional and national levels. She was the organizer of the Baltimore chapter of the Top Ladies of Distinction. Among others, Fannie was also quite active in the Maryland League of Women, the National Council of Negro Women, the Morgan Alumni Association and a life member of the NAACP. Because of her extensive commitment to community service, she was recognized by the mayor, governor and the president of the United States.
Sister Poulson served the Lord with gladness. The Poulsons were members of the Morning Star Baptist Church, where they served in Christian education and served on the deacon board. Sister Poulson moved her membership and joined her mother, brother and sister at the Macedonia Baptist Church.
Her relationship with the Morning Star pastor and church family remained amicable. At Macedonia, she became a deaconess and was quite active in the Ladies Guild. Deaconess Poulson also continued her work with youth and adults in Christian education.