Mary Beard

Published 7:06 pm Tuesday, September 21, 2021

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JACKSONVILLE, AL– Mary G. Montgomery Owens Beard, PhD. (79) of Jacksonville, AL passed away on September 8, 2021.
Mary Beard was born in Hattiesburg, MS on July 12, 1942 to Mary Edith (née Gill) and James Beard. Mary obtained her undergraduate degree from Brenau University in Gainesville, GA and her PhD. in Educational Management from Georgia State University in Atlanta, GA.
After obtaining her PhD, Mary worked for RESA in Griffin, GA teaching certification classes to teachers and administrators across nine different school systems. Mary then went to work for Lamar County School systems with a focus on curriculum development and later became superintendent, one of the first female school superintendents in the state of Georgia. She finished her career as an Associate Professor in Educational Resources at Jacksonville State University, where she used her real-world experience to mentor school administrators during their doctoral studies.
Mary was a brilliant, vibrant woman with a love of travel. She was fluent in Spanish and loved Spanish-speaking cultures. She traveled extensively in Europe and believed in the power of travel to build connections and expand world views.       
Mary is survived by her daughter Elizabeth Rountree, son-in-law Robert Williams, grandchildren Nicola and Isabel Rountree-Williams, husband Alford Martin, brother James Beard, and a large and much-loved group of close friends and cousins, nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents and her sister, Patricia Sprouse.
Memorial services followed by a reception will be held on Sunday September 26 at 3 pm CT at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church at 400 Chinabee Ave in Jacksonville, AL and on Saturday, October 23 at 11 am ET at Historic Christ Church at 420 Christ Church Road, Weems, VA.
Mary left us much too soon and the family would love to hear your stories about Mary – please share any tributes, photos, stories and videos of Mary online at:
In lieu of flowers, the family invites contributions to a scholarship being set up in Mary’s name at Brenau University to support the development of strong women leaders who have international perspectives and global experiences. Donations can be made to the Mary Garland Beard Endowed Scholarship for International Studies at (apply donation to “other” and write “In memory of Mary Beard”).   

Submitted by Elizabeth Roundtree

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