William R. (Bill) Beard, 84, of Richmond Indiana, passed away on January 12th at Reid Hospital after a lengthy illness.
He was born April 17, 1935 in Richmond, Indiana to Walter and Ruth Day Beard, graduated Centerville HS in 1953, and lived in Richmond most of his life. Throughout their marriage, he and his wife Anita lived their faith every day and have been active members at First English Lutheran church. Above all he loved his family and lived life to the fullest. Bill was a man of principle and did not hesitate to express his thoughts on any topic. He was a fun-loving guy with a contagious smile and a wonderful sense of humor. He enjoyed flexing his bilingual talent by talking in both English and Donald Duck. He was blamed for all practical jokes whether or not he did them, tormented every waitress within a 50-mile radius, and was feared by local car salesmen.
He grew up on a farm, was proud of his rural heritage, and always grew the best garden on the block. He was a member of Future Farmers of America, and was active in Wayne County Rural Youth, serving as Vice President at the state level. He treasured the many friendships that were formed during his growing up years that lasted throughout his lifetime.
He was active in sports all of his life, participated in local Senior Games, won bocce ball tournaments with his brother-in-law, horseshoe tournaments in his league, and received several awards, including the “Mary E. Wiggans Sportmanship Award” For demonstrating outstanding sportsmanship.
Drafted twice in the Army, he served in Germany and during the Bay of Pigs incident and was proud of his service for his country. He worked 43 years in electric utility positions, starting his career at RP&L and retiring as line superintendent from Whitewater Valley REMC. In retirement he worked several jobs, including “Bread Stick Man” at Fazolis, “Mr. Fixit” for Interfaith apartments, and the feared “Weed Patroller” for the City of Richmond.
He is survived by his wife and best friend of 58 years, Anita Goris Beard; Two sons, Rodney of Fairborn, Oh, and Brian (Darlene) of Charlottesville, Va; Sister Ada (Lowell) Manlove of Ft. Meyers FL; Niece Jackie (Gene) Webb of Richmond; Nephew James (Vickie) Little of Indianapolis; Niece Sarah Elizabeth Whalen of Austin Tx; Cousins, Grand nieces, nephews, and his “Favorite” and only sister-in-law Thelma Goris of Richmond.
He was preceded in death by his parents; Sister and brother-in-law Mary Agnes and James Little; Nephew Jonathon Scott Whalen.
The family would like to especially thank Pastors John Walker and Chip Belanga for their support and spiritual guidance throughout this process. They would also like to thank Dr. Paul Bergfelder for his care and guidance, the loving care of the staff of oncology and hospice care at Reid Hospital, and the loving support from friends.
Memorial contributions may be made in memory of William R. Beard to First English Lutheran Church, 2727 East Main Street, Richmond Indiana, 47374.
Services for Bill were at 10:00 A.M. on Thursday (January 16, 2020) at First English Lutheran Church. Pastors John Walker and Chip Belanga officiated. Burial immediately followed in Earlham Cemetery with military rights being conducted by the Wayne County Honor Guard. Friends and family called on Wednesday (January 15, 2020) from 4:00 P.M. until 7:00 P.M. at Riggle – Waltermann Mortuary.