James Carrol Beard, 92, passed away on Friday, February 19, 2021 in Bedford, Texas from complications after suffering a heart attack.
Born on January 16, 1929 in Tuscola, Texas to Wesley Elijah Beard and Bertie Jordan Beard, James was named for his paternal grandfather who lived in Mississippi.
He grew up in the tiny town of Tuscola just south of Abilene. When he was only 13 he fell deeply in love with Kathryn Riddle at church camp. They were married November 26, 1949. Since her passing in 2018, James challenged himself to view every picture they had taken and to read every love letter he and Kathryn had written to each other during their long courtship. He encouraged everyone to do these same things before their loved ones pass so they can share and relive those memories together.
James worked more than thirty years as an aerospace engineer-- most of those years were at Bell Helicopter Textron in Hurst where he retired as Chief of Manufacturing Engineering Projects in 1989. He worked as the company’s liaison engineer in Israel and Japan. James and Kathryn travelled to the Holy Land and Switzerland during this time and returned with creche sets for each family member and also brought water from the Jordan River that was used to baptize their grandchildren and great grandchildren.
After retiring they lived on a private lake in Grand Saline and then were full-time RVers for five years before returning to Bedford.
His life revolved around family and the church. James was a leader at the First United Methodist in Hurst where he and Kathryn were active members for more than thirty years. They joined the congregation of the United Methodist Church in Grand Saline and enjoyed years of participating in the National United Methodist Campers.
James enjoyed photography, gardening, RVing, and most recently he loved making walking sticks from branches he collected on their travels. He gifted many of these “nature masterpieces” to his family and many friends.
He was raised by a share-cropper during the Great Depression. He remembered difficult times. But this last year was perhaps the most difficult of his life. Since the onset of COVID, James was isolated most of the time. While family and friends called, facetimed, visited through his window or zoomed often, he desperately missed the warm hugs, noogies and kisses he was used to giving and receiving.
James was predeceased by his wife of 69 years, Kathryn, his parents, his five brothers: Luther Lee, Russell Wilburn, Wesley Elton, Dearl Lee, and Bobby Ray. He is survived by three loving children, Jan Evans (J.C.), Judy Foreman (Norman), and Jim Beard, Jr. (Debbie), eight grandchildren: Angie Darden, Brad Yeager, Chris Yeager, Nathan Foreman, Nick Foreman, Brent Foreman, Katy Heine, and Jamie Carroll, their spouses, by 15 adoring great grandchildren, and by numerous nieces and nephews.
An open visitation will be held at Bluebonnet Hills Funeral Home at 5725 Colleyville Blvd. (Highway 26) in Colleyville from 4:30 -6:30 on Tuesday, March 9. Masks are required.
Dictated by Covid restrictions, a small private family Celebration of James’s life will begin at 1:00 on Wednesday, March 10, at the First United Methodist Church in Hurst. The celebration of life service will be live-streamed at https://livestream.comfumchurst
) so you may join the live service virtually or at your convenience.
Burial will be at 3:00 p.m. at the Bluebonnet Hills Cemetery.
Memorials: In lieu of flowers the family suggests donations may be made to the Foundation for Peripheral Neuropathy, to the ALS Association, or to the charity of your choice.