1216. Barry William "Tyler" Beard was born on 1 Sep 1954 in Dallas, Dallas County, Texas. (418) He died on 20 Dec 2007 in Dallas, Dallas County, Texas.

Beard, Tyler - BEARD, TYLER, A Texas original, Tyler Beard passed away on December 20, 2007. Tyler was known, along with his wife Teresa, as the foremost experts on Western Style. Their homes and ranches appeared in more than 20 books and magazines. Their company, True West, supplied authentic cowboy artifacts to designers, architects and private collectors. Furthering their love of tradition, the Beards revived the Westward Ho/Rodeo Pattern dinnerware company which they later sold. Recognized as the leading authority on the cowboy boot, Tyler authored The Cowboy Boot Book, 100 Years of Western Wear, Art of the Boot, Cowboy Boots, and Lone Star Living. As well as being an influential force in western lifestyle Tyler was a musician, an artist, an animal lover, an adventurer and a world traveler. He lent his own brand of style and originality to anything he touched. Happy Trails Tyler, you will be sorely missed.

Published in the Dallas Morning News on 1/3/2008

Tyler Beard: Western designer, author, collector who 'swam upstream'

12:00 AM CST on Friday, January 4, 2008
By JOE SIMNACHER / The Dallas Morning News
Many know Tyler Beard as an internationally recognized authority on cowboy boots and Western heritage. After all, he wrote several books on the subjects and sold Western wear to customers around the world – most notably designer Ralph Lauren.

Still others know of the less-documented portions of his life that began after he graduated from Skyline High School in 1972.

First there was the English-antiques phase. Then came the Edward Scissorhands-phase as an avant-garde New England hairstylist and real-estate investor.

Most recently, he was considering writing and illustrating a children's book.

Mr. Beard, 53, died Dec. 20 in his sleep at his Dallas home. His health had been compromised by treatment for head-and-neck cancer a dozen years ago. He also had never seemed to fully recover from the 2005 death of his wife, Teresa Beard, said his sister, Debra Conkling of Granbury.

"He came out of the womb entirely original," Mrs. Conkling said. "He swam upstream his entire life. You could look at the same thing, and he would see it differently."

Born in Dallas – his given name was Barry William Beard – Mr. Beard was a born trader. As a child, he could spot random treasures in alley trash while riding his bicycle, his sister said. He would sell his finds.

"He had an unerring eye for that," Mrs. Conkling said. "Even at a young age he could do that. ... That really supported him his entire life."

Mr. Beard attended W.T. White High School and graduated from Skyline. As a teenager, mutual friends introduced him to the love of his life, Teresa Skelton.

Mr. Beard became a dedicated Anglophile, having spent his formative years under the influence of the British rock invasion.

"The day he graduated from high school he moved to England," where he bought and sold antiques, his sister said. "The music probably pulled him to England."

After about a year exploring and working in England, Mr. Beard returned to Dallas, where he studied to be a hairstylist. He set up shop in Portsmouth, N.H.

"He opened a salon there called 210," Mrs. Conkling said. "He was the Edward Scissorhands of Portsmouth, N.H. I got some calls from his old clients yesterday."

The young and stylish Mr. and Mrs. Beard brought tonsorial change to their new town.

"They were beautiful and glamorous and friendly and colorful, and they had wild hair," Mrs. Conkling said. "Pretty soon the entire town and people from as far away as Boston were coming to have their hair cut at 210."

Mr. Beard created cuts and used unusual colors, "like nothing anybody one had ever seen" in the town, his sister said.

"When I went to visit him there, I couldn't believe it; I felt like I was in a movie," Mrs. Conkling said.

Many of the conservatively dressed people of Portsmouth "had green and pink hair and asymmetrical haircuts with shaved-out places," Mrs. Conkling said. "It was phenomenal."

In Portsmouth, Mr. Beard bought and restored some old homes and buildings.

"He sold them for a good deal of money and retired – he thought – at the age of 35," his sister said.

Mr. Beard returned to Texas, where that more widely known period of his life began.

The Beards bought and restored a home in Comanche, Texas, that became the base of their True West company.

True West became an international name after Mr. Beard contacted designer Ralph Lauren.

"Tyler called him and said, 'I've been in your stores, and I've seen your props. I can provide you with better stuff at no doubt better prices,' " his sister said. "Ralph Lauren said, 'OK, let's try it.' And that launched really an empire."

Mr. Beard began to sell items of Western heritage and clothing to customers in Europe, Japan and across the U.S.

"Ralph Lauren and Euro Disney were his biggest clients," Mrs. Conkling said. "He had people flying into the ranch from Japan and Germany."

Mr. Beard became known as an authority on Western wear and heritage, and he wrote several books on cowboy boots and one on life in Texas.

"He sort of did it all," Mrs. Conkling said.

In addition to being creative and original, Mr. Beard was obsessively neat and orderly.

"We used to tease him that he was very Monk-ish," his sister said, referring to the compulsive television detective Adrian Monk. "He was like that; he would straighten pictures and things like that. He was totally organized."

Mr. Beard was constantly reinventing himself, his sister said.

He had retired from the Western business about five years ago.

"He would change his appearance, he would legally change his name, he would create a whole new persona and launch into that," Mrs. Conkling said.

He had been a musician, a painter and loved to travel.

Mr. Beard also had an amazing capacity to compile a huge collection – the best of the best of something – then wake up one morning and divest himself of the items, his sister said.

Mr. Beard lived in Santa Fe, N.M., after his wife's death and returned to Dallas in June to be near his family, especially his cousin and best friend, David Slack.

In addition to his sister, Mr. Beard is survived by his mother, Betty Beard of Granbury.

Mr. Beard requested no funeral service. Family and friends will gather for a celebration of his life at a future date.

He was married to Teresa Lynn Skelton (daughter of Tommie Joe Skelton and Patsy Ruth Nation) on 3 Nov 1983 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Teresa Lynn Skelton was born on 24 Mar 1952 in Camp Roberts, Monterey County, California. (292) She died on 14 Jul 2005 in Lampasas, Lampasas County, Texas. Teresa Lynn Skelton Beard

BEARD,, TERESA LYNN SKELTON 53, died July 14, 2005, at her home in Lampasas, TX. Born March 24, 1952 at Camp Roberts, CA to Tommie Joe & Patti Nation Skelton. A fantastic, creative, loving, free-spirited lady, Teresa was partner to husband, Tyler, in numerous ventures throughout their 30 years together, writing Western-oriented books, restoring & building homes of interest, manufacturing & marketing Western dinnerware, collecting & selling antiques, & traveling throughout the world. Cooking for family & friends was one of her biggest joys, creating each dish from scratch. An avid reader & connoisseur of old movies, Teresa was cheerful, always willing to help others, having a fantastic sense of humor & wit. She loved nature, gardening, growing herbs, & feeding the deer & birds that came to expect her kindness every day at her country home. She would crawl over or under a fence; whatever it took to gather a colorful bunch of wild flowers to grace her home with beauty. Her wildest dream was to meet James Brown, the "godfather of soul." Teresa was a talented ballet & tap dancer beginning lessons age three & continuing to adulthood. An accomplished swimmer, she once saved the life of a drowning child & taught her sister & step-brother to swim. She is dearly loved & will be missed forever by family & wonderful friends, too many to mention. Teresa's sister, Rene, was her best friend whom she significantly influenced. Teresa deeply enjoyed her Lampasas ladies' group & spoke of them often as well as her many friends.

Survived by husband, Tyler Beard, Lampasas; father & step-mother, Tommie & Fay Skelton, DeSoto; mother, Patti Skelton, Carrollton; sister, Rene Louis & husband, Francois; nieces, Isabella & Madeleine Louis, Carrollton; step-brother, Preston Cox & wife, Nancy, & nephew, Billy, Rowlett; mother-in-law, Betty Beard, Ft. Worth. Others: sister-in-law & husband, Deb & Skip Conkling, Folsom, CA; uncle, Gary Nation, Dallas; uncle & aunt, Bobby & Judy Skelton, Dallas, as well as cousins & other relatives. Teresa leaves Babydoll, a constant companion & full-figured "Jane Russell" terrier, her sweet little dog. Pre-deceased by grandparents Walter & Cora Smiley & Elmer & Bonnie Nation & brother, Roland Skelton.

Teresa's remains were cremated. A family memorial service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions to Town Lake Animal Shelter, 1156 W. Cesar Chavez St.., Austin, TX 78703, 512-972-4738.

OB6 Obituaries, Notices
Published in the Dallas Morning News on 7/21/2005.