Cover photo for Claudie E. Beard, Sr.'s Obituary
Claudie E. Beard, Sr. Profile Photo
1938 "Billy" 2024

Claudie E. Beard, Sr.

May 18, 1938 — January 8, 2024



Claudie Edward Beard, Sr., the third oldest child of Daisy E. Grandy Beard and Claudie Beard was born by a midwife on Wednesday, May 18, 1938. He was a vigorous lad, full of energy with a selfless spirit. He was nick-named “Billy.” He accepted Christ as his personal Savior and was baptized at an early age. He grew up to love basketball and football. “Billy” inherited this love for sports and skills from his father who played professional baseball for an “All Negro” baseball team in the early 1930’s up until 1935.

In May of 1956, “Billy” graduated from Peake High School. “Billy” played the guard position in basketball and the quarterback position in football for the Peake High School Buffaloes. It was there at Peake where he learned the greatest values in life of good sportsmanship, fair play, and kindness for all humanity. He loved to talk and never met a stranger. On Sunday, June 3, 1956, he enlisted in the Marine Corps. After serving two years as active duty and 6 years as reserve he was honorably discharged with the rank of Private First Class (PFC). “Billy” met a young lady named Alberta Smith, and she captured his heart. Rev. J. S. Newburn, pastor of Mt. Morriah Missionary Baptist Church united them in marriage on Friday, August 9, 1968, at Alberta’s aunt's home. To this union, nine children were born. Their love was one of wonder, dedication, and commitment for 55 years.

At the age of seventeen, “Billy” worked his first job in construction. He later worked at Morse Automotive for nine years, then fourteen years with the Senior Companion Program. There he made numerous friends, ran household errands, and engaged in countless conversations. Not only was he a productive citizen of Arkadelphia, but also a loyal servant to God. “Billy” was a faithful member of the historic Greater Pleasant Hill Missionary Baptist Church under the leadership of Rev. Walter White in 1950, until his health began to fail. He served with the Usher ministry for 36 years. He was a former Trustee, Superintendent of Sunday School, President of Senior Ushers, and Male Chorus choir member. After the new sanctuary was built, “Billy” cleaned the building, parsonage, and yard for $70.00 per week. When faced with a challenge, he never admitted defeat.

Claudie Edward Beard, Sr., departed from this world on Monday, January 8, 2024 at his home. He was preceded in death by his parents, Daisy, and Claudie Beard; his sisters, Pauline, and Charlene Beard Nelson; and brother, Raymond Leon Beard.

“Billy” leaves lasting memories in the hearts of his dear wife, Alberta Smith Beard of Arkadelphia, AR; five sons, Claudie (Beatrice) Beard, Jr. of Arkadelphia, AR; Kelvin (Julianna) Beard of Germany; Melvin (Robin) Randle of Louisville, KY; Rafael (Tiffany) Beard of Bluff City, AR; Jason Beard of Arkadelphia, AR; four daughters, Jeanne Butler, Rovonda Smith, Koren (Darryl) Young, LaSandra Beard all of Arkadelphia, AR; twenty-four grandchildren, thirty  great-grandchildren, seven great-great grandchildren, special friends, Willard Reed, Levi Garland, and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.

A public visitation will be from 1:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. on Friday, January 19, 2024, and the family will receive friends from 6:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at the funeral home. A celebration of his life will be at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, January 20, 2024, at Greater Pleasant Hill Missionary Baptist Church, with Dr. Lewis A. Shepherd, Jr., eulogist. The interment will be at Pleasant Hill Cemetery. The Laymen Ministry of GPHMBC will serve as active pallbearers. 

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Claudie E. Beard, Sr., please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Public Visitation

Friday, January 19, 2024

1:00 - 6:00 pm (Central time)

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Family Hour

Friday, January 19, 2024

6:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

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Celebration of Life

Saturday, January 20, 2024

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

Greater Pleasant Hill Missionary Baptist Church

1600 Caddo St, Arkadelphia, AR 71923

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