Mary Beard (Davis)
Mary Jane Beard, 101, Independence, MO passed away Saturday, May 26, 2018. Visitation will be from 10-11 am Thursday, May 31, 2018 at Carson-Speaks Chapel. Funeral services will follow at 11 am at the chapel. Burial will take place in Mt. Washington Cemetery. . The family requests contributions to the Grace United Community Ministries, 801 Benton Blvd., Kansas City, MO 64124. Mary Jane (Davis) Beard was born on March 19, 1917 in Taborville, Missouri on a farm situated along the banks of the Osage River. The daughter of Payton Davis and Stella (Raybourn) Davis, she was one of six sisters along with Alice, Helen, Eunice, Vivian, and Betty. She also had two brothers, Tom and Reeves. Growing up, her family was the most important thing in her life. After graduating from high school in Appleton City, Mo in 1935, she moved to Kansas City in 1937 where she worked as an assistant buyer for Montgomery Ward for 10 years.
On June 1, 1947 Mary Jane married Dean I Beard. Together they raised two sons, Byron and Roger. She was a lifelong member of Grace Presbyterian Church. Taking care of her family and her home was her passion. She was a great cook and had a fondness for chocolate. She served as a Cub Scout den mother, a Sunday school teacher, an active PTA member, and a collector for the March of Dimes. She loved taking Sunday drives with her family, although she never learned to drive a car herself and relied upon her husband, the bus, and eventually her sons to get around.
She was a calm and quiet woman; she never raised her voice in anger. She loved flowers and birds and enjoyed watching golf on TV just to see the beautiful greens and grounds of the courses. She was a perpetual note writer, jotting down interesting things she would read or see on the news so that she could share that information with her family later in conversation or in a letter.
Mary Jane and Dean enjoyed 44 years together before he passed away in the fall of 1991. She continued to live in the family home, eventually spending a total of 60 years on 14th Street in east Kansas City. She died peacefully on May 26th, 2018 just months after celebrating her 101st birthday. She is remembered lovingly by her remaining family including son Byron Dean and daughter-in-law Susan Lee (Mefford) Beard; son Roger Alan and Jerry Bray, who was like a third son; grandchildren Tacey Lynn (Beard) Mullen and husband Curtis Mullen and Richard Dean Beard; great-granddaughter Moira Kathleen Mullen; sister Betty (Davis) Steiner and a multitude of nieces and nephews and their families.