Roberta Jean Beard

December 17, 2021

Roberta Jean (Busby) Beard, 92, of Frankfort, passed away at 10:30 p.m. on Friday, December 17, 2021, at Wesley Manor in Frankfort. Jean was born March 21, 1929 in Kokomo, the daughter of Paul Landon Busby and Sareta Corine (Thompson) Busby. On February 26, 1950, she married William J. Beard; he preceded her in death on December 18, 2016.

Jean graduated from Kokomo High School in 1946 and Purdue University in 1950 with a bachelor’s degree in Home Economics. She taught 7th-10th grades at Cutler for one year before starting her family.  Jean was Vice-President, Secretary-Treasurer, Co-Founder and Co-Owner of Beard Industries, Inc., where she and her husband, Bill, shared a long wooden desk from 1966-2003. She was a member of Frankfort First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Eastern Star, Alpha Xi Delta, and Zonta. Jean found great joy in serving her church and community, with leadership roles in Zonta, the Learning Network, and the Clinton County Community Foundation. Dedicated philanthropists, Bill and Jean Beard were instrumental in bringing a YMCA and an Ivy Tech Community College to Frankfort, and they heartily supported the On-Stage Foundation (Red Barn Theatre). Jean was the recipient of numerous awards, both independently and with Bill. In her leisure time, Jean loved singing, houseplants and flowers, hosting family occasions, attending local theater and events, and traveling the world.

The funeral service will be live-streamed at 2 p.m. Thursday, December 30, 2021.  Click the link below to participate.  This link will also be available for later playback.

Visitation and Services

Visitation for our beloved Jean will be held on December 29, 2021, 4:00 – 7:00 p.m. at First Christian Church, 58 S. Columbia Street, Frankfort, IN. Funeral service will be held on December 30, 2021, 2:00 p.m. (with 1:00 p.m. visitation) at Frankfort First Christian Church with Rev. Vernon (“VJ”) Stover and Rev. (retired) Pamela Ditson-McCall co-officiating. Burial will be in Hopewell Cemetery. Memorials in Jean’s name may be made to Clinton County Community Foundation, Alzheimer's Association, or a charity of your choice. The funeral service will be live-streamed at 2 p.m. Thursday, December 30, 2021.  Click the link above to participate. 

Survived by:

Jean is survived by two daughters, Diana Glendenning (husband: John) of Lebanon, and Pamela Beard El-Dinary (husband: Ashruf) of Clarksville, MD; brother, Lawrence Busby of Cincinnati, OH; twin sister, Joan Busby Frech of Cotati, CA; four grandchildren, Julie Glendenning Freid (husband: Mark), David Glendenning, Aaron El-Dinary, and Amira El-Dinary; and four great-grandchildren, Emma, Cierra, Alice, and Felix.

Preceded by:

Jean is preceded in death by her parents and husband; brother, Paul D. Busby; sister, Theresa Busby Stripling; and two sons, Steven W. Beard and Neal A. Beard.


Leave your Condolences

18 Condolences for “Roberta Jean Beard”

  1. Rosie Metcalfe December 20, 2021 at 6:39 pm

    I will remember my time with this sweet lady…the painting classes, singing, laughing, longs walks, or just enjoying pizza and coke while listening to music. I am so sorry for your loss. She will be missed by many. She was a great lady.

  2. Carol Reents December 20, 2021 at 8:08 pm

    What a life well lived. Jean was my high school Sunday school teacher in the early 1960’s while the Beard family attended the Kirklin Christian Church located in Kirklin. Jean never forgot who I was decades later. My thoughts as you celebrate her life during this season of the birth of our savior..

  3. Janet Carney December 20, 2021 at 9:52 pm

    Sending our love to you at the passing of your dear mother. Roger and Janet Carney

  4. Sherry Mckinney December 21, 2021 at 6:56 am

    Diana and Pam what a beautiful wife mother grandmother inside and out will be missed by all. What a wonderful reunion in heaven, your sister in Christ Sherry

  5. Glenn McLay December 21, 2021 at 11:44 am

    Diana and Pam, We’re very sorry for your loss. She was a wonderful woman and a great – Aunt. We loved her very much. Our thoughts and prayers are with all the family. Love Glenn

  6. Debbie Ferragamo December 21, 2021 at 3:03 pm

    Pam, I am sorry to hear of your Mum’s passing. You are in my prayers. May God comfort your hearts.

  7. Linda Benge December 22, 2021 at 6:42 pm

    Such a classy, wonderful example of servanthood. Heaven’s gain is this community’s and family’s great loss. Thank You FATHER GOD for sending Your Comforter. Amen

  8. Paul Schutte December 23, 2021 at 5:04 pm

    So sorry for the loss of Jean, she was with Bill a true inspiration for what service to community looks like when you know our Lord. We know where she is and hope we can leave a similar example for our loved ones. God Bless You all. and comfort you on her loss.

  9. Doug Bachtold December 23, 2021 at 6:31 pm

    Diana, I am so sorry for your loss. I am keeping you and your family lifted in prayer.

  10. Deanna Morris December 24, 2021 at 4:36 pm

    So very sorry for the loss of this lovely Lady! She has earned her wings and now flies home to meet Bill! I had the pleasure of working for this wonderful couple! You will be missed by many! Rip Mrs. Jean Beard

  11. Jack Barrett December 24, 2021 at 7:11 pm

    I will always remember and cherish the overnight stays in your home when Neal and I were such close friends during childhood when you lived in the country. You were all like a second family to me. So sorry for your loss.

  12. Ron Evans December 26, 2021 at 12:19 pm

    Diana, I hope you are doing ok and coping after an awful loss.

  13. Al & Audi Arndt December 26, 2021 at 5:07 pm

    Diana & Pam & Families; you have Audi and my deepest sympathy in hearing of the loss of your Mom! I know how special our Mom’s are to us and she was very special to your families! My career with Beard Industries, Inc., was the most successful in my life due to working for Beard Industries with your Mom & Dad as the Vice President of Sales for the Western Region in United States. Working with Rex Hughes (who passed recently as well) along with your Dad & Mom made lots of enjoyment in promoting the success of “Super-B, Superb “Energy Miser” and Meyer Grain Dryers across the nation. That successful spirit has never left me and will always be cherished the rest of my life. We have you and your family in our thoughts and prayers.
    Love & Hugs to you from Al & Audi Arndt at Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

  14. Lee Foster December 27, 2021 at 5:27 pm

    Dear Diana & Pam, so sorry to hear of your mother’s passing. We first became acquainted with Jean and Bill in the mid 70’s thru Beard Industries. We sold (& still sell) Super B, Superb, & Meyer dryers and met many times with Jean & Bill at the famed “double desk”. We consider them, and others in their employment, teammates in the success we have achieved, since we went into business in 1981 thru the present. We always felt “special” as a dealer for them. They were trustworthy and somehow thru the darkest times of the dryer market ebb & flow, were always there, with a steady hand on the wheel. And treated us to some extremely nice sales trip venues and experiences. Kenny Rogers & Cirque Du Solei are two that come to mind, and Cancun in the early 90’s when getting off the plane, walking thru what felt like one of our own construction sites, then ultimately to a plush and well attended resort. I’ll never forget the (25 unit) “Segway” caravan on the beach and on the tropical paths at Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. We all worked hard and the dealers developed such great comradery, bonding over the products & company that Jean & Bill built. What a great legacy to leave behind, certainly a life well lived and deserving of fond memories and heavenly rest. God Bless, Dawn, Tyler, & Lee Foster

  15. Gregory P. Aaron December 28, 2021 at 9:38 am

    The Clinton County Community Foundation was blessed to have Jean as a supporter, and I would like to express our sympathy and condolences on the passing of Jean. She had a giving spirit and wanted everyone to succeed. Jean’s generosity and foresight will have a positive impact for generations to come. We are able to help others because of Jean. She will be missed.

    Greg Aaron, President, Clinton County Community Foundation

  16. Mark Jacobs December 28, 2021 at 7:27 pm

    Diana and Pam, I’m so sorry for the loss of your mother and my Aunt Jean. I will remember her as a kind and generous businessman who cared deeply for her family and her community. What she has done will carry on.

  17. Michael J Frey December 30, 2021 at 9:36 am

    Diana and family
    My heartfelt sympathy for your loss and my prayers for God to comfort your family. I know a loss at this time of year is sometimes even more difficult.
    God Bless

  18. Erilda & Ron Coleman January 15, 2022 at 7:43 am

    Dearest Diana,
    So very sorry to hear of your Mother’s passing. She was such a sweet & gentle spirit. Now she will be singing in the heavenly choir. Know you & your family will miss her. She was one of a kind & a great worker beside your Dad. Prayers for continued comfort & strength. God Bless – Ron & Erilda Coleman – Foley, AL

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