Evans Funeral Chapel - Anacortes
1105 32nd Street
Anacortes, WA 98221
(360) 293-3311
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Obituary Condolences

Gwendolyn Anderson Beard passed away peacefully on April 13, 2011. She was 97, and lived in Anacortes most of her life. Gwen will be remembered by her son, David; his wife, Marilyn; her sister, Lois Kaye; several nieces and nephews; and many friends and former students of Anacortes High School, where Gwen taught for over 35 years.

Gwen's roots run deep in Anacortes. Her father, Rev. Ralph Kirk Anderson, built the United Church of Christ at 28th and Commercial in 1926. He also built the parsonage across the street, where they lived during The Depression. That home is now an antique store.

Gwen graduated from Anacortes High School in 1933, and then completed a degree in music education at the University of Puget Sound. She married Robert ("Bob") Beard in 1938, who then returned with her to Anacortes to teach at the high school for a number of years.

Gwen taught English, Contemporary World Problems, and Chorus. She took students to New York City and Washington, D.C, and started the first model UN at Anacortes High. Between 1948 and 1952, her choirs numbered at least 100 singers--more than one-third of the entire student body. She also led after-school boys' quartets, community music performances, plays and musicals. After retirement, she continued choir directing at the First Methodist Church for many years.

As a teacher, Gwen was considered tough and demanding yet fair and compassionate. Many of her former students over the years have expressed their gratitude for the lasting impression Gwen's teaching has had upon their lives. She always had a hunger for life and learning, and she communicated this to everyone around her. She will be sorely missed.

David and Marilyn would like to express their deep appreciation for the loving care Gwen received during her residence at Fidalgo Care Center, especially Ed Robinson and caregivers Kelly, Colleen, and Dorothy.

A memorial service for Gwen will be held at the United Methodist Church, 2201 H Avenue, Anacortes, at 2:00 p.m., on Sunday, May 1, 2011. Donations in remembrance may be made to the church.

Arrangements are in the care of Evans Funeral Chapel and Crematory, Inc., Anacortes, WA and the San Juan Islands.

To share memories of Gwen, please sign the online guest register at www.evanschapel.com.
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