Beverly Mosely left a bad marriage in Florida, boarding a Greyhound bus to California with her two daughters and a single suitcase, hoping for a fresh start.
In the 24 years that followed, it seemed to her loved ones that she had created a good life for herself. Mosely, 57, worked her way up from a vocational nurse who worked nights to become the ombudsman at Kaiser Permanente Panorama City Medical Center.
She traveled abroad and splurged on a luxury she had longed for all her life: a Mercedes-Benz.
She parked the sedan -- with its vanity plate -- at the station near her Moorpark home Friday and rode the Metrolink train to work for only the third time in her life, said her close friend Joan St. Louis. She was killed that afternoon when her return train collided with a Union Pacific freight train in Chatsworth
"She was a wonderful, amazing, beautiful, irreplaceable individual," said her brother-in-law, Robert Peck, from Mosely's home where family members gathered. "It's pretty devastating."
For The Record
Los Angeles Times Monday, September 22, 2008 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 1 inches; 23 words Type of Material: Correction
Crash victim: The obituary of a Metrolink train crash victim in Thursday's California section misspelled the last name of Beverly Mosley as Mosely.
At work, Mosely was known for her empathy and kindness, said St. Louis, an assistant hospital administrator at the same hospital. A soulful singer, Mosley was often recruited to sing "Amazing Grace" at office memorial services.
Mosely was passionate about jazz and the theater and spent many nights at the Hollywood Bowl, friends and colleagues said. She also loved to travel. Cabo San Lucas was one of her favorite places, and she bought a condo there so she could visit often.
Mosely had become a grandmother two months ago and was walking on a cloud, filling her office with photos of baby Kingston.
But St. Louis said that what she remembers most about Mosely was her moxie. Not satisfied being a licensed vocational nurse, she went on to become a licensed registered nurse. Then she went to college and earned a bachelor's degree, then a master's.
"Through much sacrifice and much hard work, she kept going back to school and improving herself," St. Louis said. "She was always looking to be better. That's what she focused on."
Mosely had only recently begun taking the train, to save money on gas, St. Louis said, and because she thought it was the environmentally responsible thing to do.
Mosely is survived by her mother, two adult daughters, her grandson and many siblings, nieces, nephews, aunts, uncles and cousins.
-- Evelyn Larrubia