Jerry Beard, 83, passed away Friday, Jan. 22, 2021, at Hospice Ministries in Ridgeland. He was born on March 11, 1937 in McComb, the twin son of the late Davis Maxwell Beard and the late Lola J. Nunnery Beard. He proudly called Vicksburg his home for the past 61 years.
Before moving to Vicksburg, the Mississippi Delta was the background of his childhood. He grew up playing sports, riding horseback and hunting. He attended Rolling Fork High School, where he was a star athlete, lettering in football and baseball. He graduated from Cary Consolidated High School in 1956. His football talent was recognized by Sunflower Junior College (now MDCC) in Moorehead, where he played end on the football team. Not only were his skills as an athlete celebrated, he was voted Freshman Favorite in 1957, before transferring to the University of Southern Mississippi.
Handsome and industrious, Jerry was the quintessential salesman. He worked for a car dealership while attending college, and then made the decision to move to Vicksburg to make a home for his young family. After a few years in Vicksburg, he formed Jerry Beard Real Estate. Much of his career centered around being a Realtor, property owner and developer. Jerry was active in these professional capacities until his death. He was a pioneer in the mobile home industry and affordable housing, developing Beechwood Apartments, Beechwood Mobile Home Park, Park Place Cottages in Vicksburg and Greenfield Mobile Home Park in Brandon. A notable accomplishment was his brokering the sale of the property that would become the site for River Region Medical Center and Sherman Avenue School. For most of his career, he was active in the Mississippi Association of Realtors and the Mississippi Home Builders Association.
Jerry had a great sense of humor and a generous spirit. He thoroughly enjoyed entertaining his friends and family and was always eager to fire up his grill. Anyone who knew Jerry can attest that his signature trademark was his stylish wardrobe. He was always the best-dressed man at any social gathering and his grandchildren delighted in his fancy apparel. Dancing was another of Jerry’s talents. He was known to cut a rug and enjoyed dancing at any and every opportunity. He was a beloved father, grandfather, brother, uncle and friend. Jerry was a lifelong member of Holy Trinity Episcopal Church.
Jerry is preceded in death by his wife, Mallory Wilkerson Beard; his parents; his brother, Murray Davis Beard; and sister-in-law, Julia Beard; sister, Barbara Ann Beard Miller; and sister-in-law, Nancy Beard.
He is survived by his two sons, Clayton Maxwell Beard (Ann) of Madison, Rory Pond Beard (Christy) of Vicksburg; and daughter, Laura Reisinger (Hassan Houmani) of Sealy, Texas; stepdaughter, Kara Sanders Doiron (Phillip) of Vicksburg; stepson, Rev. Patrick Sanders (Jennifer) of Gulfport; grandchildren that he is survived by include, Thierry Beard Ramsey (Chaz) of Madison, France Phillips Beard of Charlotte, N.C., Tory Tremaine Galvin (Carmen) of Long Beach, Patton Maxwell Beard of Madison, Mallory Raye Beard of Vicksburg; great-grandchildren, Kason Patrick Galvin of Long Beach, and Pryor Jane Ramsey of Madison, as well as Anna Kate Doiron, Ally Doiron, Brieanna Jeffers, Tommy Jeffers, Maddox Billiot, all of Vicksburg and Skye Sanders of Long Beach. He is also survived by his twin brother, Jack Beard(Carolyn) of Birmingham, Ala.; his brothers, Bill Beard of Fairhope, Ala., and James Beard Moore (Margaret) of Exmore, Va.; and a host of nieces and nephews and numerous friends.
The family would like to recognize and convey their appreciation to Rose Mary Woods, his sweetheart and dance partner, his dear friend, Ms. Betty Gibson, and his coffee buddy, Raymond Joyner. He will be missed by all who knew and loved him.
A celebration of his life will be held on Saturday, Jan. 30, 2021, at Fisher-Riles Funeral Home, 5000 Indiana Ave., in Vicksburg. Visitation begins at 2 p.m. followed by a service at 3 p.m. in the afternoon.