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Gerald “GB” Beard, 94, of Jacksonville, formerly of Arenzville, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, October 7, 2020, at his home, surrounded by family.

He was born August 28, 1926, in Arenzville, the son of the late Robert and Alma Williamson Beard. He married Maxine Schnitker on March 1, 1947, at Pleasant Plains Lutheran Church. She preceded him in death on June 12, 2020.

He is survived by four children, Tamara (Ed) Wolfenbarger of Sarasota, Florida, Jerris Jan (Steve) Foote of Osprey, Florida, Gerry (MaryAnn) Beard of Arenzville, and Bob (Harriet) Beard of Jacksonville; grandchildren Amy (husband, Gary) Easterling (great-grandchildren, Andi and Rachel); Therron (wife, Becky) Hess (great-grandchildren, Tylen, Taylor, Bailee, T.J., Braelyn and Trenton); Jeremy Beard, Lacy Beard (great-grandchildren, Ella, Sophia and Walker); Jerod Beard; Lindsay (husband, Brian) Butcher (great-grandchildren, Quinn and Anna); and Alex Beard. He is also survived by one sister, Karan Beard of Peoria, Arizona.

He was preceded in death by daughter-in-law Sue Beard, grandchildren Timothy Reining and Andrea Hess, and brother Myron Beard.

GB was part of “The Greatest Generation” having served in the Army Air Corps in WWII as a radio operator, stationed in Goose Bay, Labrador. On his return home from the war, he married his sweetheart, Maxine, and together they celebrated 73 years of marriage.

He was a second-generation owner of Beard Implement Company from 1964 to 1983, along with his brother Myron.

He owned and operated The Side Door Grocery & Antiques in Arenzville from 1983 to 1996. GB was a member of the Board of Directors for First National Bank of Arenzville until his passing. He was active in his community, emceeing the Arenzville Burgoo for 50 years, a member of the American Legion Post 604, Trinity Lutheran Church, and Arenzville Community Club.

He loved his family and thoroughly enjoyed watching his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren’s sports and activities. He loved dancing, promoting the Arenzville Burgoo, and he loved Allis-Chalmers; therefore, he loved the color orange. Most of all he loved people and the opportunity to visit. He was always upbeat, smiling, and until his death, “Silly Grandpa GB” was willing to dance and was “still kickin’, just not as high.”

GB was a consummate salesman. God didn’t know he needed a tractor until GB got to heaven.

A private service will be held at Trinity Lutheran Church in Arenzville, with burial at Arenzville North Cemetery. A Celebration of Life for both Gerald and Maxine will be announced at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital or Trinity Lutheran School. Williamson Funeral Home in Jacksonville is in charge of arrangements. Condolences may be left online at www.airsman-hires.com.

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