Mary Josephine Walker Beard, age 88, formally of Rutherford, Tennessee, passed away peacefully from this life on Sunday, February 20, 2022, at Tennessee State Veterans’ Home-Humboldt, of renal failure. Funeral services for Mrs. Beard will be conducted on Friday, February 25, 2022, at 1:00pm in the Rutherford chapel of Karnes & Son Funeral Home with Bro. Marlon Stephens and Bro. Andy Mayfield officiating. Interment will follow in Rutherford Cemetery.
She was born January 20, 1934, in Rutherford, TN; the daughter of the late Sam & Mamie Walker. Josephine was the youngest of eight children. She graduated from Rutherford High School in 1952, where she played basketball. On June 7, 1952, she married William Adolph Beard, and was married 60 years, at the time of his death on July 3, 2012. She worked at Kellwood in the Payroll Department from 1952 to 1996, with the exception of having her girls. As a devoted wife and mother, Mrs. Josephine enjoyed her family and church gatherings. She was a member of First Baptist Church and Ladies III Sunday School Class, and former Sunday School Class Secretary. Mrs. Beard also is a former First Lady of Rutherford, as her husband, William Adolph Beard, was Mayor of Rutherford.
She is survived by her youngest daughter, Lisa O’Neal and husband Doug of Jackson, TN; one grandson, John David Cowan and wife Tabitha of Yorkville, TN; one great grandson, John Drake Cowan of Yorkville, TN; son-in-law, Johnny Cowan of Yorkville, TN; and a host of nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her loving husband, William Adolph Beard; her eldest daughter, Sandra Cowan of Yorkville, who passed July 16, 2017; and seven siblings, Daisy Lee Mays, Dallas Walker, Hazel Taylor, Hubert Walker, J.W. Walker, Paul Walker, and Marion Walker.
The family has requested that masks be worn due to the spread of Covid, and that Memorials be made to the charity of your choice, or First Baptist Church in Rutherford.
The family will receive friends from 11:30am – 1:00pm on Friday, February 25, 2022, at the Rutherford chapel of Karnes & Son Funeral Home. Karnes & Son Funeral Home is honored to serve the family of Mrs. Mary Josephine Walker Beard.