Robert Davis Beard, age 95, died on October 29, 2012. He was born in Milford, May 3, 1917, third child of Harold and Grace Dolbec Beard.
Mr. Beard was predeceased by his sister Florence Jane Beard Zendt and his brother Earl Merritt Beard. He was a graduate of Milford High School, Class of 1934. In 1938, he married Harriet Trubee Garlick of Stratford who died in October of 1989.
He was past President of the Beard Sand & Gravel Company, the Beard Concrete Company, and the Beard Concrete Company of Derby. Mr. Beard’s father, Harold founded the business in the early 1940s.
The concrete business was started in 1946 together with Mr. Beard's brother Earl, followed by the Oronoque Road operation in 1949 and the Derby concrete company in 1958. Until shortly before his death, Mr. Beard went to the office daily.
A Milford citizen all his life, he was proud of his city and made major contributions to its development. He felt strongly about serving his community and church and often commented the rewards were greater than the giving. He was elected as a Director of The Milford Trust Company in 1956 and later became its Chairman.
Although The Milford Trust Company merged with several other banks, Mr. Beard continued to serve as Director of its Advisory Board and later became its Chairman.
In 1966 he became a Trustee of the Milford Savings Bank and served on its executive committee and later as Chairman. Mr. Beard’s leadership and guidance helped insure that Milford would continue to have its own strong, healthy locally-operated and controlled bank.
He was elected to the board of the Milford Hospital in 1957 and served as President from 1964 - 1973, Chairman of the Board, Secretary, Chairman of the Planning Committee, the Building Committee, and the Finance Committee. He had a vision of the future health care needs and the services, activities, and equipment the hospital would need to provide to meet its mission.
The present hospital building was planned, designed, and executed by the hospital planning committee under his Chairmanship. He has been credited, more than any other individual, with bringing Milford Hospital to its place as a outstanding community hospital.
He was elected as a Director of the Milford Cemetery Association in 1947 and served as President until 2009. He proposed and carried to completion numerous expansion projects, including the acquisition of the Aldo Farm for Milford Cemetery’s future. He was proud to be a part of the historic, well-kept, maintained and managed cemetery, an essential dimension of our community.
He was a member of the CT Labor Relations Board, the New England Road Builders Association and was one of the organizers of the Connecticut Ready-Mixed Concrete Association (CRMCA), which later became a Division of the Connecticut Construction Industries Association (CCIA), and was a former member of Racebrook Country Club.
He was a descendant of the widow Martha Beard who came to Milford in 1639 as a result of granted land from King Charles I. The Beard family was, therefore, in Milford 150 years before Connecticut became a state. It is interesting to note that the “house lott” originally owned by Widow Beard has never been deeded out of the family, but has passed down in the line of direct descent from generation to generation.
He was a lifelong member of The First United Church of Christ (Congregational) and a past Trustee. He served on the Republican Town Committee and was President of that organization.
He leaves three children and their spouses: Harriet Jordan (“Jerry”) Beard Ackerman and son-in-law James F. Ackerman, Jr. of Litchfield, CT, Martha Elizabeth Beard Merk of Milford CT, and James Robert Beard and daughter-in-law June Cynthia Martinitis of Milford, CT, 8 grandchildren, 12 great-grandchildren and was predeceased by his grandson Robert Drew Ackerman.