William Wheeler Beard

Beard, William Wheeler

William Wheeler Beard, 90, recently of Melbourne, FL died suddenly January 10, 2013. He was the son of Captain James H. Beard and Gladys Wheeler Beard. Like his uncle, scouting pioneer Daniel Carter Beard, Bill was an independent thinker that enthusiastically tackled the political, social and scientific changes of his times. He was an Army Air Corps veteran of WWII, when his training as a P-47 pilot, ignited a life-long passion for aviation. A long-time resident of Rockland County, he owned and operated the Ramapo Valley Airport from 1960-1972 where his enthusiasm for flight was conveyed to his students (many of whom ultimately sought careers in flying) and to the many aviators who called the airport their home. For nearly a century a disciplined and inquisitive nature propelled Bill's many diverse business ventures and hobbies. That entrepreneurial spirit, love of flight and infatuation with Labrador Retrievers, remained with him to the end.

Bill is survived by his loving wife, Mary Margaret (Marge) Beard; son, William W. Beard II (Jennifer Sargent); daughters, Wendy Beard (Mort Shulman) and Bonnie Beard (Dennis Holzman); stepchildren, Edward (Deona) Haas, Patrick (Alison) Haas, Mark (Patricia) Haas, James Haas, Suzanne (Santo) Equale, Theodore (Karen) Neumann, Rodman Neumann (Elise Van Oss), Barclay (Chris) Neumann, Katherine Neumann (deceased); niece, Joan (Arthur/Terry) Wing and nephew, James Beard, as well as many grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

A memorial service and interment will take place at the Brick Church, Spring Valley, NY on Saturday, April 20th at 11:30AM. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to Labrador Retriever Rescue of Florida, Inc. or Habitat for Humanity.

Published in the The Journal News from Apr. 12 to Apr. 14, 2013