671. Winifred Helen Beard was born on 3 Jul 1913 in San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas. (757) She died on 5 Nov 2000 in Fort Worth, Tarrant County, Texas. She was buried on 9 Nov 2000 in Austin Memorial Park, Travis County, Texas. (758)
From the Forst Worth Star Telegram, Tuesday, November 7, 2000:

Helen Winifred Beard

FORT WORTH -- Helen Winifred Beard, 87, a retired teacher, died Sunday, November 5, 2000 at a local hospital.

Graveside service: 2 p.m. Thursday in Austin Memorial Park in Austin. Visitation: Family will receive friends 2 to 4 p.m. Tuesday at Brown, Owens & Brumley Funeral Home.

Miss Beard was born July 3, 1913 in San Antonio. She lived most of her life in Fort Worth. She grew up in Fort Worth and Jacksonville, Fla. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin. She taught first grade for many years at Stephen F. Austin and Westcliff Elementary schools in Fort Worth. Her hobbies were travel, bridge, crafts, reading and cooking. She was a member of University United Methodist Church, United Methodist Women, American Association of University Women, Business and Professional Women, Delta Kappa Gamma, Woman's Club of Fort Worth, Serendipity Crafters and several bridge clubs. She was preceded in death by her brother, Dick W. Beard Jr. who was killed in World War II.

Survivors: Brother, James Blanton Beard of Bryan; sister, Elizabeth Beard Sullivan of Fort Worth; nephews, James L. Beard of Bryan and Glen R. Sullivan of Portland, Texas; nieces, Elsie Beard Hunt of Paris, France, Nancy Beard Cochran of Austin and Carol Sullivan Taylor of East Wenatchee, Wash.; eight great-nephews; four great-nieces; and seven great-great-nieces and nephews.

Brown, Owens & Brumley Funeral Directors
425 S. Henderson, (817) 335-4557

A celebration of the life of Helen Beard July 3, 1913 to November 5, 2000,
The Commendation and Committal (The Book of Common Prayer) Austin, Texas

Comments By the Very Rev. Ernest E Hunt, Dean of the American Cathedral, Paris, France, at the graveside service, November 9, 2000:

Memories are the means that God gives us to root our present selves in the goodness of those who have died and are now with God. Good memories keep us focussed in life so that we can emulate those who influenced us. Helen obviously had such an influence on many. She was a unique and independent person, who expressed a deep love of the children whom she taught, of the nieces and nephews, and their children who formed her family, and of her sister and the brother she wrote each week.

In fact, the last letter she wrote to Jim and Louise included a "'Gem of the Day", as she called it, which she thought captured a truth about people. She wrote: '" a gossip is someone who talks to you about others. A bore is someone who talks about himself. A brilliant conversationalist is one who keeps quiet and lets you do all the talking."

Aunt Helen never talked much about herself, as I knew her. She did describe with joy her classic video movie collection or her nieces and nephews, but I could never make her brag about her absolute dedication to her family, to her teaching, to her church, or to the "Rangers" who delighted her whenever they won. I never found her "boring" when Elsie and I made visits either when we lived here or when we, more often, lived somewhere else. Nor was she a gossip in a real sense because she seemed too busy keeping her mind busy with her reading, instead chuckling under breath at the peccadilloes of humanity in general, using her humor to lighten her burdens as well as ours. She must have been a brilliant conversationalist also because whenever we paid our respects in her home, I found myself talking more than I should because she knew how to ask cogent questions, which helped us to express ourselves.

Recently P. D. James, the English mystery book writer who has been compared to Agatha Christie, whom Helen loved to read, wrote that she tried to describe her good characters as people who led "quiet and stoical lives" in the face of everyday good and evil. St. Paul wrote that all Christians are called to be saints, that each of us is in the process of being sanctified, that is, of growing in our relationship to God. John Wesley would be proud of this Episcopalian by my agreeing with his own theology, but I believe that Helen personified the saintly characteristics expressed in "quiet and stoical lives." P.D. James is a practicing English Christian, and Helen was a practicing Texas Christian, and like P.D. James she knew, I believe, that in spite of what she probably considered to be her own failings, she, too, was called to be a saint. Therefore we pray today:

"'We Thank you, O God, for all the goodness and courage which have passed from the life of this your servant into the life of others, and have left the world richer for her presence-for a life's task faithfully and honorably discharged' for good humor and gracious affection, and kindly generosity: of sadness met without surrender, and weakness endured without defeat, through Jesus Christ our Lord." Amen