Biography of

Julian "Ralph" Beard

 

Born 04 Jun 1923, East Beckley, Raleigh, WV
Died 04 May 1981, Dallas, Luzerne, PA
Married Shirley Elaine Place, 24 Dec 1949
 

Julian Ralph Beard grew up in "the home he built with his father" in West Virginia.  He went to Berea college when World War II interrupted, and enlisted as a marine.  He was honorably discharged after serving as an MP on a troop transport ship, going around the world to pick up soldiers after WW2 and bring them home.   He then returned and went to Penn State University on the GI Bill, where he met Shirley Elaine Place.   He became an Associate County Agent in Luzerne County, PA, and ran the 4-H Clubs for that County.  He was instrumental in developing the 4-H Geology project for Pennsylvania.

He was always known as Ralph Beard.   His grandson, Andrew Ralph Beard is named in his honor.

 

Children Born
Brian Warren Beard 26 Apr 1951
Sheryl Annette Beard 27 Apr 1952
Paul Kellison Beard 31 Oct 1953
Alan Lindley Beard 22 Nov 1954
Mary Jennifer Beard 25 Sep 1956

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Ralph Beard (Center) with brothers Guy and Ray Beard.  Unknown Year (about 1942).

Thanksgiving, 1975.  Front : Alan Beard, Julian Ralph Beard, Shirley Beard, Brian Beard, Linda Beard.  Back:  Christopher Robbins, Sheryl (Beard) Robbins, Paul Beard, Mary (Beard) Kuniski.

Last get-together, Pine Bluff, AR 1976.  Guy, Ralph, and Ray Beard

 

Ralph, Guy, Ray Beard about 1941

Ralph Beard - Age 19            Teaching - 1953

 

 

 

 

 

Paul Franklin Beard and Julian Ralph Beard

Circa 1945, Private First Class Marine Corps.

 

Circa 1942

(L-R) Jerry, Barbara, Brian, Sheryl, John, and seated Paul Beard (Courtesy Barbara Kerchner)

 

 

References

We little knew that morning that God would call your name.   In life we loved you dearly; In death we do the same.
It broke our hearts to lose you, But you did not go alone,   For part of us went with you the day God called you home.
You left us many memories, Your love is still our guide,   And though we cannot see you, You are always by our side.
Our family chain is broken and nothing seems the same,  But as God calls us one by one, The chain will link again.

Author Unknown

Julian Ralph Beard grew up in "the home he built with his father" in West Virginia.  He went to Berea college when World War II interrupted, and enlisted as a marine.  He was honorably discharged after serving as an MP on a troop transport ship, going around the world to pick up soldiers after WW2 and bring them home.   He then returned and went to Penn State University (as did many others in the Beard and extended families) on the GI Bill, where he met my mother, Shirley Elaine Place Beard Fairchild.  The picture below was taken in 1943 in State College, PA.

Julian Ralph always went by the name of J. Ralph Beard (or Ralph to everyone..).  He was called "Sonny" by those who knew him in West Virginia.  He moved to Pennsylvania, originally in Springfield PA the home of Shirley Place parents and started farming.   He subsequently took a job as Assistant County Agent in Luzerne County, PA and subsequently Associate County Agent; where he spent the rest of his life working with dairy farmers, and also running the 4-H clubs for Luzerne County.

When I was small, my father needed emergency brain surgery and had this done at Geisinger Medical Center.  My memories of visiting him after the surgery and he was wearing a football helmet to protect his head.   The surgery was successful, and during a two year recuperation following the surgery we lived in State College, PA around 1963 and he earned his Master's degree (along with my mother) while working part time.   We returned to Wilkes-Barre around 1966, and then moved to Dallas, PA in 1968.  

I have many memories of my father talking about his life in West Virginia.. always complaining he moved up north with the "d..n Yankees".  He cared for his mother, Beulah Weiford Beard, dearly, and sent her money every month for her sustenance.   She came to live with us in the winter at times to escape the harsh winters in West Virginia, later she stayed with her son Ray Beard's family in Virginia Beach.   He was soft spoken due to his southern roots, and his goal was to build a log cabin in West Virginia and retire there; but unfortunately his life ended at 58 before he retired, when he passed away suddenly with a heart attack.  

My Dad's project for his Master's degree was the Pennsylvania 4-H Geology project book.  My brother Brian did many of the illustrations for this book while he was in 8th grade, and posed for the cover of the book along with my brothers Brian Warren Beard and Paul Kellison Beard and sister Sheryl Annette Beard (this project  book has subsequently been updated and no longer carries these pictures).  Brian Beard became very interested in geology as a result and became a successful geologist around the Maryland and Washington, DC areas.

J. Ralph Beard was a caring son, a devoted father and brother, a faithful husband, a hard working person, who supported himself through college and who raised five children who all graduated from college and went on to good things in their lives.  He instilled a strong work ethic and also the need for education in those that he came in contact with.