Edgar Darald Beard, Sr May 30, 1924 – March 30, 2011
Edgar D Beard passed away last Wednesday evening at St Helena Hospital with his wife Janice and his daughter Linda at his side; both holding his hands.
Ed's family first came to Yountville in 1895. He was born to Ferdinand Beard and Gladys Mather Beard at the old Victory Memorial Hospital in Napa on May 30th, 1924. Ed grew up in Yountville on Humbolt Street and attended Yountville Elementary. He later attended Napa High where he played football all four years. Ed graduated from Napa High in 1942 with a football scholarship to St Mary's College in Moraga.
Ed's college education was interrupted by World War II with a tour of duty in the Merchant Marines. After the war he returned to the University of Southern California. He then met a young lady up at Humbolt State College in Eureka where he transferred in 1945. He was a member of the Theta XI fraternity and completed his college education at Humbolt State …. all while he successfully courted Janice Langer.
Janice Langer became his wife February 2, 1947 … for 64 years! Jan and Ed had a son, Ed Jr. (married to Anna Beard) and daughter Linda Beard. Ed Jr. lives on the old Mather family property in St Helena. Linda built a multi-generational home on the Yountville vineyard with her parents. Ed also leaves behind four granddaughters, Calli, Catie, Julianna and Adrienne.
Ed's first cousin Fulton Mather was also raised by Gladys Beard. Fulton was Ed's "little brother". Fulton is married to Erma Mather and has two children Richard and Jennifer.
Ed was not only a grape grower but, also started Beard Ranches and ran St Helena Insurance. Beard Ranches is a vineyard management company now operated by his son Ed Jr. St Helena Insurance Associates is an independent insurance agency run by his daughter Linda. The agency was originally founded by Ed's father Ferdinand in 1925.
Ed was an active Napa Valley community leader. He was a Board Member of the St Helena Hospital for more than 20 years. He was a Free Mason since 1948, a Rotarian since 1964 and an Eagle Scout since 1941.
Ed had an unending passion for flying; he logged almost 5,000 flight hours. First, in his Piper Tri-pacer, then the Cessna 172, a 182, a 210, another 182 and finally the 206. He and Jan enjoyed many trips throughout the Western US, Mexico and Canada. Ed stopped flying in 2004 after he lost his Medical Certification.
The family will be hosting an Ice Cream Social in honor of Ed on April 15th at the Masonic Lodge in St Helena from 2:00P to 4:00P. The Eagle Scouts, Free Masons, Merchant Marines, St Helena Rotarians, friends and family will all be in attendance honoring the life and memory of Ed.
Donations may be made in his memory to the St Helena Hospital Foundation.
Arrangements under the direction of Morrison Funeral Chapel, St. Helena, CA.