Retired Educator/Youth and Community Leader LITHONIA, Ga. - Mrs. Rosa T. Beard, long time Augusta resident, transitioned to be with the Lord on Thursday, December 9th, 2010 at Dekalb Medical at Hillandale. Her life will be celebrated in a memorial service at Antioch Baptist Church, 1454 Florence Street, this evening from 6:00-8:00pm. Funeral services will be conducted at Paine College Chapel on Saturday, December 18, 2010 at 11:00a.m.with Rev. Dr. Kenneth B. Martin, officiating. Internment will follow at Walker Memorial Park. The remains will lie in state at the Chapel from 10:00a.m.until the hour of service. Mrs. Beard received her formal education at Steed Street School (now Collins Elementary), Paine High School, Paine College, and Columbia University. Her career as an educator spanned 41 years, beginning at Bettis Academy and Junior College in Trenton, SC, then in Augusta with C. T. Walker Elementary, A. R. Johnson Junior High School, and T. W. Josey High School. She also pioneered leadership of a summer program for high school students at the Medical College of Georgia in the early 1970s. In 1958, she organized The Rocket Club with male and female students interested in aeronautics and space study, which followed to T. W. Josey. She was the founder of the Rosa T. Beard Debutante Club sponsored by the Augusta Adult Society in 1963, where her legacy continues in grooming high school girls for adult society. Mrs. Beard poured herself into her students as a teacher and mentor who maintained lifetime relationships of love and friendship. She diligently served at Antioch Baptist Church for some 50 years, participating in several choirs, as a Sunday School teacher, missionary, and Trustee. Some of her community involvement over the years included lifetime membership in the Paine College Alumni Association, founding member of the Shiloh Comprehensive Community Center Board of Directors, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority - Augusta Alumnae Chapter, lifetime membership in the N.A.A.C.P., and supporting concerns to bless people. Mrs. Beard was preceeded in death by her parents, Gartrell and Ollie Tarver; her beloved husband, Ernest Beard; a half sister, Evie Lou Hamilton; adopted sister, Catherine Long; and her grandson Ernest Derrick, with whom she had a special bond. Left to cherish her memory are her four children: Rosa (Herman) Lind, Ellenwood, GA, Kathryn (Ashley) Willis, Lithonia, GA, Ernest Eric (Patricia) Beard, Cocoa, FL, and Cheryl J. Beard, Memphis, TN; sisters, Mrs. Louise Tarver Jackson, Raleigh, NC and Novella Wright, Cleveland, OH; five grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; an aunt and aunt-in-law; and a wealth of nieces, nephews, cousins, friends, students, and colleagues to treasurer her legacy. **The family requests that in lieu of flowers, Mrs. Beard's memory be honored by gifts to Paine College-Rosa T. Beard Scholarship Fund, 1235 15th Street, Augusta, GA 30901; and the Rosa T. Beard Debutante House, P. O. Box 1825, Augusta, GA 30903. Friends may contact the family at (706) 724-7219 or contact W. H. Mays Mortuary, 1221 James Brown Boulevard, Augusta, GA 30901, (706) 722-6401.
Published in The Augusta Chronicle from Dec. 15 to Dec. 17, 2010.