Wesley Martin Beard, born in Kokomo on December 24, 1933 to Wesley and Naomi (Woods) Beard, departed this earthly realm on Saturday, April 28, 2012. Martin attended the Kokomo school system and later enlisted in the armed forces in January 1952 and went on to serve in the Korean War, retiring in 1960. While serving his country, Martin was awarded the Bronze Star Medal on December 16, 1954, specializing in demolition and construction. Martin was awarded the Legionnaire Award for Bravery by the American Legion Post 177 in August 1980.
On June 25, 1955, Martin was united in holy matrimony to Dorris L. Gaines, who survives. Other surviving family members are, Nerissa Gibson, Kokomo; Kenneth (Susie) Gaines, Kokomo; Renee (Morris) Akins, Westchester, Ohio; Patrice Kimani; Anthony Beard; Marcus Beard; and Tinnie Cleaver, Kokomo; grandchildren, Carlos Gaines, Kyle Beard, Alexis Barbary, Bobby Freeman, Tinea Beard, Ohseona Barbary, Mikayla Beard, and Reis Beard, all of Kokomo, Julian Akins, San Bruno, California, Jarrett Akins, Breona Akins, Westchester, Ohio, Lisha Brown, Cleveland, Ohio, and Darshania Strait, San Antonio, Texas; nine great-grandchildren; and a host of nieces, nephews, and cousins.
He was preceded in death by his parents; one son, Kevin W. Beard; sons-in-law, Peter Kimani, and Bud Gibson; brother-in-law, Clarence Gaines; and sister-in-law, Emma Gaines.
Martin never met a stranger and truly enjoyed talking to people. He loved spending time with his family, taking pictures, taking care of his automobile and lawn work. His trademark was handing out crisp two dollar bills to his grandchildren and friends. Martin will be deeply missed but never forgotten.
The service will be at 1 p.m. Friday at Mt. Pisgah Missionary Baptist Church, 1599 E. Sycamore, Kokomo, with Pastor Lonnie Anderson presiding. Entombment will follow in Sunset Memory Garden Cemetery. Visitation will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Friday at the church. Online messages of condolence may be made at www.sunsetmemorygarden.com.
Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Sunset Memory Garden Funeral Home.