February 10, 1936 – June 22, 2018
David Beard was a self-made man, who was proud of family, friends and employees who helped him achieve his success. He was the President and Leader of Great American Foods that always stayed true to the lessons he learned as a child about pride and hard work, which helped him become the successful entrepreneur many came to respect and love. David led the company and his employees through over 40 years of a successful business and provided careers for many employees an opportunity of a first job for so many more. He opened his first restaurant, David Beard’s Catfish Village, in 1969 on Highway 155 near Ore City, and the rest was history. He oversaw multiple restaurant concepts, food manufacturing, warehouse and logistical endeavours over the years. David learned his skills, not from school, but from hard work, determination and putting quality above all else. He was a builder and cattleman for many years and owned thoroughbred racehorses. He was a faithful and passionate Christian man that would share his beliefs with you as well as his opinion. David’s integrity in his business and personal life was an example to anyone who knew him.
A member of the Louisiana Thoroughbred Breeders Association, he raced many successful Louisiana breds. His most successful Louisiana bred runner was Witt Ante who was selected Champion Accredited Louisiana Bred 2-Year-Old Colt or Gelding as a juvenile in 2002 and 2004 Champion Accredited Louisiana Bred Older Male. While running from ages 2 to 8, Witt Ante had a lifetime record of 59-10-9-5 with lifetime earnings of $619,420, including 6 stakes victories and placing in another 8 stakes contests.
David was preceded in death by his parents, Dayton and Pauline Beard; his sisters, Margrey Sullivan, Kathleen Hall, and Bonnie Wood; his brother, Bruce Beard; and sisters-in-law, Mary Lou Berry and Ann Morgan. He is survived by his wife, Margie Durham-Beard; his daughters, Kathy Weeks and husband Jason, Dana Hitchcock, De-Ann “Mikki” Parrish and husband Fred, and Denise Beard; grandchildren, Tonya Spencer, Colt Spencer and wife Victoria, Fredi Parrish, Tanner Gibson, Taylor Gibson, Lane Hitchcock, Gavin Weeks and Madison Weeks; great-grandchildren, Lukas Enloe, Haven Benge, Logan Benge, Haley Benge, Colt Spencer Cohen Spencer; brother, Jerry Beard; sister, Lynda Beard-Davis and husband Billy Paul Davis; sister-in-law, Martha Sue Martin and her husband Ken; brothers-in-law, Jerry Berry and Wayne Morgan; numerous nieces, nephews, other relatives and friends.
Funeral services will be conducted 2:00 p.m. Monday, June 25, 2018 at the Ore City Church of Christ. Burial will follow at Coffeeville Cemetery, under the direction of Reeder-Davis Funeral Home. There will be a time of visitation from Noon until 1:30 p.m. Monday at the church.
The family wishes to thank everyone for all of your loving support and prayers during our time of sorrow. We also respectfully request, in lieu of flowers, please make donations to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.