Robert Louis BeardApril 11, 1930 ~ November 22, 2017 (age 87)
Robert Louis Beard, 87, of Alvin passed away on November 22, 2017. Robert was born in Galveston on April 11, 1930 to Francis James Beard and Mary Josephine (Schieppati) Beard. He was the third born of five siblings. They lived in Galveston until 1937 when they moved to Alvin. They lived on Old Galveston Road on Mary Schieppati Beard’s family property, where she had grown up. Robert lived there until he left for his Coast Guard duty. He attended Alvin schools and graduated in 1950. He married Elsie Courtright on November 26, 1952. From that day forward Robert took on the role of big brother to the six younger Courtright siblings. He was always there for Viola, Rita, Roy and the “little kids” Reva , Johnny and Franny. He was as loving and caring to Mildred Courtright, “Mom”, as he had always been to his own mother. As the Courtight kids grew up, married and had children, they were all close to “Uncle Robert”.
It was soon after that Robert was called to active duty where he served in the U.S. Coast Guard from 1952 to 1954. Elsie stayed behind living in a small house on the family property. Their oldest daughter, Lynda, spent her first fourteen months there. It was after Robert was discharged that their family moved to their new home on South Tovrea Road. Two years later Nancy was born. A bit later the family welcomed their last child Donna into the family and all three girls grew up on Tovrea Road. Robert’s three daughters knew that he could set firm rules, but he loved them unconditionally. He was very proud of each of them and all of their very different goals and accomplishments in life. They all knew that he would always respond immediately if they needed anything. They would always be his “little girls” even after they were grown with children of their own. Robert’s seven grandchildren were the joy of his life. He enjoyed spending time with each of them as often as he could.
Robert’s second greatest love, after his family, was the Alvin Volunteer Fire Department. He spent his entire adult life as a member of the department. The day after he retired from the Post Office he went to his office in the Fire Station at 6:30 in the morning. That was his routine from that day on. His fellow members have always been like a large loving family to him, especially Rex Klesel, Olan Dyson, Donald Eernisse, Bob Collins, Kenneth Dollery, and very special Dixie Hughes.
Robert was a volunteer at heart. He was with the Alvin Volunteer Fire Department as a Junior Fire Fighter in 1948, Assistant Secretary from 1969 – 1983, Public Relations Officer since 1979, “Fireman of the Year” in 1988 and 2005, Co-Founder of A.V.F.D. Share-A-Toy Program which began in 1979, and a recipient of many other awards from the Fire Department. He was a member of the Brazoria County Fireman’s Association and was “Brazoria County Fire Fighter of the Year” in 1994. He was a member of the American Legion Post #129 where he served as Post Commander and gave many volunteer hours. He was a member of the Brazoria County Chapter American Red Cross where he served as an Executive Board Member for many years. He helped with Disaster Relief through several hurricanes and the Flood of 1979. He was a Field Assessor for the Red Cross for damages due to weather or fires in the Alvin area. He was a First Aid/CPR Instructor and a Hurricane Preparedness Instructor and he received many awards and citations from the Red Cross during his years of service to them. Robert was also an Executive Board Member of the Alvin Historical Museum. He volunteered with the annual Garden Tour and he cared for the museum cottage grounds. He was also instrumental in preparing for the opening of the museum.
Other notable awards given to him were the “McCann Stokely Award” for Red Cross Volunteer of the Year in 1981, Jefferson Award Finalist in 1986, William D. Colgrove Award presented by the United way of Brazoria County in 1989, Brazoria County Citizens of the Year to Robert and Elsie Beard in 2000 and the Robert L. Beard Commemorative Scholarship that is presented by the Alvin Volunteer Fire Department to a graduating Senior at Alvin High School .
Robert was preceded in death by his parents: Francis James Beard and Mary Josephine Schieppati Beard; his paternal grandparents: Francis Johnston Beard and Mary Ann Elizabeth Brigham Beard; his maternal grandparents: Louis Schieppati and Louisa Salvioni Schieppati; and his sister Enes Beard Davenport.
Left to treasure many memories are his wife Elsie Beard; daughters: Lynda Beard Donnell, Nancy Beard Hailey and husband Michael, Donna Beard Bagwell and husband Tom; siblings: Mary Beard Rose, Jane Beard Beloney, and Eugene William Beard Meistrahan; grandchildren: Heather Jo “Jody” Donnell, Jessica Lynn “Jessie” Donnell, Shellby Elise Appleton, Ray Dale Clites, Robert Louis “Robbie” Clites, Colby Ralph Clites, and Susan Elaine Bagwell; and numerous other family members and friends.
Alvin Historical Museum
302 W. Sealy, Alvin TX 77511