1928 - 2021
Ila Jane Kennedy Beard, age 93, passed away on May 6, 2021. Jane was born on February 23, 1928 in Macune, TX to Donald and Gertie Bell Rushing Kennedy.
Fiery and devoted, loving and caring, whomever she loved and whatever she endeavored to do, Jane fully invested herself. The deep love that she had for her family not only endeared Jane to them, but they knew that she lived for them, believed in them and supported them. No matter what she did, or who she encountered, behind the softness of her smile, was a strength that stood on the foundation of her down-to-earth nature, a toughness that was not afraid to stand and speak her mind, to ensure that she stood up for herself and what she believed to be right. Jane would bear with those she loved to the utmost unless it ran contrary to truth. She did not abide any lies, and she did not mind letting you know that she could see right through them. Growing up in San Augustine County, her daddy owned the only store in Macune, TX. It was a small town, but in that small town started her faith in the Lord, when she began attending church in her teenage years. She would never stop her faithful attendance to worship and devote herself to her church families and her Savior. There also, when her school merged with another in her senior year, she caught the eye and captured the heart of a young man, then known as Wilton, though he later became her John. His heart was stolen straightway by Jane, and a love was born that would burn brightly for nearly 8 decades. After graduation, they moved from home to find careers and continued courting and in love, until marrying on April 23, 1951. She held a few different jobs, but her settled on her passion of antiquing; Jane was a collector, and this served her well in her partnership in an antique store, “The Apple Box”. They were blessed with a son, a legacy of their love., Mickey. He was the focus of their lives, and through his youthful career in sports, he had no bigger fan than his mother. John and Jane poured their heart into Mickey, and the only time he knew he was messing up was when he heard from Jane his alternate alias, “Mickey Lynn”. Later “MawMaw”, as her grandchildren called her, beckoned each grandchild into her home and daily life; her home was always open for a meal, most memorably her Sunday dinners. Not that John could not cook, but Jane made some downright immaculate and delicious Chicken n’ Dumplings. John’s early retirement in his 50s allowed them to spend many wonderful years side by side and falling deeper in love. Though many think love has its limits, John felt one way and his heart spoke the same thing it had since their youth that “She was everything I ever wanted”. Even as sickness beset her mind and body, he devotedly cared for her and stayed by her side, until the very end. Jane lived well on this Earth, she found true love, and she left a legacy of strength, endurance and faithfulness. She may be gone from this mortal life, but she lived it to the fullest while here and this remains the legacy of Jane Beard.
Left to honor her memory is her darling of 72 years, John Wilton Beard; son, Mickey Beard and spouse, Kathleen Lemon, of LaPorte, TX; sister, Wava Nickels and husband, Scotty, of Talmadge, OH; grandchildren, Christy Alkire of Lumberton, TX and John Adam Beard of Lumberton, TX; great-grandchildren, Jonahs Beard, London Alkire, Rowan Alkire, and Blake Beard; and numerous extended family, loved ones, and dear friends.
Jane is preceded in death by her parents and brother, Luke Kennedy.
Jane’s life honoring graveside service will be Saturday, March 8, 2021, at 2:00 p.m., at Broaddus Cemetery, Broaddus, TX, with Bro. William Barth officiating.
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