Evelyn Love "Lovie" Beard, loving wife and friend, passed away on the 14th of August in Houston, Texas. Lovie was born on the 19th of February 1922 in a rural area outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She was the youngest of two siblings - sister Ethyl, and brother Kenneth.
Lovie came from a prominent political family in Germany. Her mother was Katerina Wilhelmine von Papen. Under Kaiser Wilhelm's rule, her uncle, Franz von Papen, became Chancellor of Germany. Lovie's father was Edward Morris Love. He was an engineer and traveled frequently between Philadelphia and Chicago. The family moved closer to the city while Lovie was in grade school and that is when her classmates started calling her "Lovie." She attended Horsham Elementary School and Hathboro Middle School in Hackberry where she learned to play grass hockey.
In 1940, Lovie attended nursing school at Abington Memorial Hospital. After receiving her nursing license, she accepted a position at an Air Force hospital in Coral Gables, Florida. It was while at Coral Gables that Lovie started to play tennis.
In 1946, she was accepted at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois, where she pursued an advanced RN degree in nursing. Upon completion of her certification, she accepted a position at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, and in 1948 met Earl Beard, a postgraduate trainee at Northwestern pursuing his cardiology fellowship. Lovie and Earl were married in 1950.
Earl was drafted by the Air Force during the Korean War and stationed in San Antonio, Texas. They returned to the Mayo Clinic after the war to finish his fellowship in cardiology. During that time, Lovie worked for two Orthopedic doctors and later a blood bank. In the spring of 1954 Dr. Beard accepted a position at Texas Children's Hospital and St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital in Houston and soon after started his cardiology practice at Kelsey-Seybold Clinic. Lovie worked at MD Anderson until she retired in 2000.
During this time, Lovie resumed playing tennis and as she and Earl became more serious about the game, they joined the Houston Racquet Club when it was started in 1965. They have been members since then.
Lovie played and won her first tennis tournament in Louisiana and after that, there was no holding her back. As always, she was smiling, kind and gracious, but unrelenting on the tennis courts. Lovie has played in tournaments all over the US and internationally and was an undefeated champion in her age bracket until November 2012, when she was diagnosed with leukemia. Lovie never gave in to her illness, in spite of countless blood transfusions and chemo therapy. She drove herself and Earl to the club frequently to exercise and hit balls until her final hospitalization. Lovie exhibited remarkable determination and strength as the illness progressed.
Lovie was a long-time member of St. Mark's Episcopal Church in Houston. She is survived by her loving husband of 64 years, Dr. Earl Beard, and countless friends who will miss her dearly.
A memorial service is to be conducted from six until nine o'clock in the evening on the 24th of September at the Houston Racquet Club, 10709 Memorial Drive in Houston.
Published in Houston Chronicle from Aug. 28 to Aug. 31, 2014