John Charles Beard, 94, passed away Sunday, February 2, 2020, at his home in Paris, TX. He was born to Hubert Elbert Beard and Elsie Groves Beard November 8, 1925, in Canton, TX.
John held multiple titles as a competitive swimmer and diver. An avid naturalist, he expressed his love of living creatures as a gifted woodcarver. Above all, he was a singer, musician, and showman. He shared his love of music by directing church choirs in Hugo, OK, Harlingen, TX and Uvalde, TX.
Being too young to enlist in military service on his own during World War II, he persuaded his mother to sign papers that allowed him to join the navy and serve in the Pacific Theater from 1943 to 1946.
He attended East Texas State University, earning his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees. John joined the United States Department of Agriculture with the Soil Conservation Service and retired as an Area Conservationist in Southeast Oklahoma.
Good citizenship was a source of pride to John and he contributed to the communities where he lived by participating in many leadership positions including serving as president of The National Association of Retired Federal Employees, The San Benito Quarterback Club and Chairman of the Board of First Christian Church, Paris.
John was preceded in death by his parents, his first wife, Billie Cox Beard, and siblings, Cleo, Jolly Boy (an infant), Lilly Faye, Kelly Olaf and Hubert Elbert, Jr.
Survivors include his wife, Mary Anne Beard, two daughters, Susan Holmes & husband Rhett Gideon of South Padre Island, TX; and Laura Hutchings of Paris; grandchildren, David Holmes & wife Grace, Jeremy Purvis & wife Stacy, Raleigh Rhodes, III & wife Deborah, and John Charles Rhodes & wife Victoria; great grandchildren, Miles Holmes, Evelyn Holmes, Grayson Purvis, Ainsley Purvis, Kasey Rhodes, Raleigh Rhodes, IV, Sydney Rhodes and Danaye Rhodes; a sister, Jean Sanders & husband Robert along with numerous nieces & nephews and countless friends.
Bright-Holland Funeral Home has scheduled services for 11:00 AM, Friday, February 7, 2020 at First Christian Church, 780 20th St. N. E., Paris, TX with Rev. Barry Loving officiating. Casket bearers will be: David Holmes, Jeremy Purvis, Raleigh Rhodes, III and John Charles Rhodes.
Burial, with military honors, will follow at 3:00 PM at Haven of Memories Memorial Park in Canton, TX. The family will receive friends from 6:00 to 7:30 PM on Thursday, February 6, 2020 at Bright Holland Funeral Home, 2601 Lamar Avenue, Paris Texas.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to “The Choir Fund,” c/o First Christian Church, 780 20th St. N. E., Paris, TX 75460.To leave a message or tribute for the family please visit www.brighthollandfuneralhome.com