William J. Beard

December 18, 2016

William J. Beard, 90, of Frankfort, passed away at 10:25 a.m. on Sunday, December 18, 2016, at St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis.  He was born December l0, l926 in Clinton County, the son of Clarence Ralph Beard and Ruby LaVerne Smith Beard. On February 26, 1950, he married the former R. Jean Busby; she survives.

Bill graduated from Rossville High School in 1944 and Purdue University in 1949 with a bachelor’s degree in Ag-Econ.  While at Purdue, he was inducted to the Alpha Gamma Rho fraternity.  Bill was a lifelong Clinton County resident. He served in the United States Navy as an Aviation Electronic Technician’s Mate 2nd Class from 1945-1946 during World War II. William was President, Co-Founder and Co-Owner of Beard Industries, Inc. (with his wife, Jean) from 1966-2003. He served for nine years as Clinton County Commissioner. Bill was a member of Frankfort First Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Beard Masonic Lodge 641, Eastern Star, Frankfort Country Club, Clinton County Chamber of Commerce, and Kiwanis. William served as former President of the Clinton County YMCA board–bringing a YMCA to Frankfort was a project that was near and dear to his heart. He also served as President of Frankfort Kiwanis, and former Chairman, Elder, and Deacon of First Christian Church. Bill served continuously on the board of directors of On Stage Foundation (Red Barn Summer Theatre) since it started in l968—attending nearly every production and looking forward to the upcoming season. He served on the 
Clinton County Economic Advancement Foundation (CCEAF) and was a past board member of the Clinton County Community Foundation. He was a lead contributor in bringing an Ivy Tech Community College to Frankfort. William was the recipient of numerous community service awards, including the Frankfort Times 1989 Citizens of the Year, Purdue Alumni Association Citizenship Award 1996, Frankfort Key to the City presented by former Mayor Roy Scott, “Clinton County Gems” Award 2008, Purdue Agricultural Alumni Association Certificate of Distinction 2011, Kiwanis International Foundation Heritage Society and Tablet of Honor, Kiwanis International White House Champion of Change 2012, and The Frankfort Legend Award 2015.

Visitation and Services

Visitation for William will be held on Thursday, December 22, 2016, from 4:00 – 8:00 p.m. at Frankfort First Christian Church, 58 S. Columbia Street, Frankfort, IN. Funeral service will be held on Friday, December 23, 2016, 1:30 p.m. at Frankfort First Christian Church with Pastor Pamela Ditson-McCall officiating. Burial will be in Hopewell Cemetery. Memorials in William’s name may be made to Clinton County YMCA, 950 S. Maish Road, Frankfort, IN 46041 or a charity of your choice.

Survived by:

In addition to his wife, William is survived by two daughters, Diana Glendenning (husband: John) of Lebanon, and Pamela Beard El-Dinary (husband: Ashruf) of Clarksville, MD; brother, James E. Beard (wife: Joan) of Tampa, FL; two sisters-in-law, Barbara Beard and Marilyn Beard, both of Frankfort; 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:

William is preceded in death by his parents; step-mother, Ruth Branstetter Beard; sister Bonnie Jean Beard Geib; two brothers, Arthur A. Beard and Robert W. Beard; and two sons, Steven W. Beard and Neal A. Beard.


Leave your Condolences

16 Condolences for “William J. Beard”

  1. Carol and Kevin Hamilton December 19, 2016 at 8:17 pm

    Dianna and family,
    My best to all of you. Your dad was quite the citizen along with your mom at his side. Please give your mom my love. He will be missed.

  2. Erilda & Ron Coleman December 19, 2016 at 9:40 pm

    Dearest Jean & Family,
    Our hearts are saddened to hear of Bill’s passing but know he has been well received in the arms of Jesus. Please accept our deepest sympathies in the loss of Bill. So many fond memories of the many Beard Christmas parties held about this time of year. God bless – Ron & Erilda

  3. Richard L. Beard III (Rick) December 20, 2016 at 10:45 am

    My condolences to the Beard family at their time of loss. I’m a distant cousin descended from Adam and Mary Beard, through Ira, Asa, Richard. Prayers for God’s Blessings and Peace. Rick Beard (57), Columbia, SC

  4. Thelma Schlotman & Family December 20, 2016 at 12:29 pm

    To Jean and all the Beard family…

    We hope your hearts are comforted by all the wonderful memories of Bill that you must have. He (and Jean) touched the lives of our family in such wonderful ways (quite a lot of years ago) and we will always treasure both the work and personal relationships that we enjoyed with them!

    Sincere sympathy,
    Thelma Schlotman (Mrs. John) and family (Mary, Steve, Bill, Bob and spouses)
    Kentland, Indiana

  5. Sue Achors December 20, 2016 at 2:55 pm

    I wish to send my deepest sympathy to Jean and family of William Beard. May God Bless You.
    Sue (Gladys) Achors
    Orlando, Florida

  6. Denise Avery December 20, 2016 at 7:12 pm

    I met Bill and Jean, and many other relatives, through the many Beard Family Reunions they helped organize in Frankfort over the past 15 years. I have been doing research on the Beard family for many years and am very sad to learn that another member of our extended family has passed on. My condolences to Bill’s family – I have fond memories of joining your family the day after a reunion and being welcomed with open arms. I was usually the only person from my branch of the Beard family to attend the reunions, but was always welcomed like you had just seen me yesterday! My Dad and I came to visit his Avery and Beard cousins on numerous occasions, having breakfast with the Avery cousins one morning, and with the Beard cousins either the day before or day after! My Dad was William Meredith “Bill” Avery; my grandmother, Mary Essie (Beard) Avery; my great-grandfather, Lewis Albert Beard — then Adam Beard, John Beard, Martin Beard, and Zachariah Beard. I knew Bill was very popular in Frankfort (when I mentioned the Beard’s people always would ask me if I was related to Bill), so I know he will be greatly missed by his family and friends.

  7. Charna Virtue December 20, 2016 at 7:47 pm

    My dear Jean. You are in my thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. Bill and you had a profound impact on my life and for that I feel truly blessed. I will pray for your comfort and for you to be embraced by our higher power. Please reach out to those closest to you in your time of need.

  8. Lynn Congleton Williams December 20, 2016 at 9:40 pm

    I send my condolences to the Beard family. I have many fond memories growing up in the First Christian Church with Diana. May God give you comfort in this time.

  9. Thomas Padgett December 21, 2016 at 2:52 am

    Goodbye, Uncle Bill, you were a generous and loving man. I have great memories of visiting Neal on the farm in Kirklin and playing in your huge yard and the barn. You were always very industrious and worked hard for your family and community. Your contributions were very great and will long outlive you. I was glad I got to see you one last time when you we visited Muir Woods last year. May you rest in peace.
    Your nephew, Tom Padgett

  10. Ronald T. Noyes, PhD, PE December 21, 2016 at 10:23 am

    Dear Jean and Family;

    Zona and I are very sad to learn of Bill’s illness and death from my close friend and fellow Beard Industries work associate, Marshall Smith [Plant Manager during my 17 years – I worked with/for Bill as Chief Engineer at Beard Industries from 1968-1985].

    I was fortunate to be working with Bill at the founding of Beard Industries, as we changed from ‘Beard Equipment Company’, a regional grain bin and grain dryer distributor to ‘Beard Industries, Inc.’ – a national grain dryer manufacturing company on October 1, 1968. You and Bill were “family” as we built a leading grain dryer manufacturing program. We especially appreciated you and Bill hosting our 25th wedding anniversary reception in your home in April, 1985.

    Bill was a great boss. I thoroughly enjoyed working closely with Bill – a dynamic visionary in developing farm equipment and advance farming technology in central Indiana. One of my favorite stories of Bill was as a ‘progressive young farmer’. As I understand, Bill was the first Clinton County farmer to develop ‘tandem tractors’ – which allowed him to pull very large field equipment to till, plant and fertilize fields in ‘one pass’ – a major improvement in field production efficiency and great a Ag Econ and Agr. Extension demonstration. Bill was a natural leader.

    Our family’s lives have been greatly enriched through our association with you and Bill. Our prayers are with you and your family at this time of bereavement.


    Ron and Zona Noyes
    Village of Deaton Creek
    Hoschton, GA

  11. Glenn L McLay December 21, 2016 at 4:29 pm

    Aunt Jean, I was so sorry to hear about Uncle Bill’s passing. But he graduated to his heavenly home. I know you will miss him, but you have the assurance that he is in a better place. You will find comfort in that. You have been in our prayers and will continue to be. Our Love Glenn & Rose

  12. Larry Busby December 21, 2016 at 11:56 pm

    Dear sister Jean,

    Bill will be long remembered for all his amazing accomplishments. You can be proud of the support the two of you gave to your community as well as numerous worthwhile causes. I know your wonderful family and friends will help you through the days ahead.

  13. Beth Hardebeck December 22, 2016 at 8:16 am

    I’m so sorry to hear of Mr. Beard’s passing. My sympathies to Mrs. Beard and all the family. I am also very grateful for the many ways he selflessly served this community–the YMCA in particular, as it is close to my heart and serves me so well personally. He has touched countless lives in such a positive way and he will be remembered fondly.

  14. Jenni Glendenning December 22, 2016 at 10:06 am

    Bill will be missed by all those who had the privilege to know him. His kind and gentle nature, along with his generosity, compassion, and determination set him into a class all of his own. Bill was genuinely interested in others and cared for his family in a very noble, yet humble way. Bill was a lifelong learner, and this was evident simply by speaking with him. We can all learn a lot from Bill Beard’s life…one continually filled with faith, compassion, and charitable work. He will be greatly missed, and never forgotten.

  15. Elaine Dorrel December 23, 2016 at 9:17 am

    My dear, sweet, Uncle Bill, I don’t know a kinder, more generous man anywhere! You will be sorely missed! We love you and thank you for being part of our lives!

  16. Cindy McDonald December 27, 2016 at 10:41 am

    We always liked watching Mr. Beard in church with his family. He was a humble and quiet person with great vision and servitude to the community and all people.

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