On Wednesday, July 17, 2013, Mr. James Ray Beard departed this life in the comforts of his home in Lansing, Michigan. James Ray was the fifth of six children born to Louis and Amy Beard on March 29, 1944 in Brookhaven, Mississippi.
James Ray accepted Christ at an early age, attending New Hope Baptist Church. He graduated from Eva Harris High School in Brookhaven, Mississippi class of 1961. He was an exceptional student, voted both class president and valedictorian. After graduation James Ray enlisted in the United States Navy where he served eight years. During which time he was awarded with “Good Conduct” and “Defense” medals. After receiving an honorable discharge, James Ray joined the Navy Reserves and served his country another two years. Following the Navy Reserves he traveled from state to state. He was employed at Dart Transit in Dallas, Texas for 10 years, before retiring and settling in Lansing, Michigan. James Ray was a quiet man, who enjoyed a simple life. He was an avid sports fan, who enjoyed watching sports on television, listening to music, and spending time with his friends. To know him, was to love him.
He leaves to cherish his memory his sons, Jefferey (Veronica) Arnold of Lansing, Michigan, James Ray Beard, Jr., and John Beard both of Norfolk, Virginia; daughters, Katrice (Daral) Dennis of Norfolk, Virginia, Amy Elizabeth-Nicole Beard of Columbus, Ohio; grandchildren, Jerron (Torena) Arnold, Jeremi (Deneara) Arnold of Lansing, Michigan; sisters, Latrell Sanders and Eddie Jean Beard of Brookhaven, Mississippi, Anita Collins of Chicago, Illinois; and many other grandchildren, great-grandchildren, relatives, and friends.
James Ray was preceded in death by his parents, Louis and Amy Beard, brother, Louis Beard, Jr.