Ruth Whittier Beard



DOVER, N.H. — Ruth Whittier Beard died on April 20, 2017, in Dover, N.H. She was born on March 31, 1925, to Ruth E. Dennett and Carleton McIntyre Stearns in Melrose, Mass.

Following high school in Danvers, Mass., Ruth earned a secretarial degree from Dean College and worked professionally in Boston before her marriage to Elton Elmer Beard on Oct. 2, 1948, in Danvers. The couple spent their honeymoon on Mount Desert Island.

Following the birth of her sons, Ruth worked as a secretary at Towle High School in Newport, and at Monadnock Regional High School in Swanzey, both in New Hampshire, where her daughter was born.

The couple returned to Maine in 1968, where Elton headed the industrial arts department of the new Mount Desert Island High School, and Ruth was secretary at Pemetic School in Southwest Harbor.

Following retirement, Ruth and Elton traveled in a Volkswagen Camper on many trips, following “blue highways” to explore the continent, eventually settling back at the cottage they had built in the 1960s at Sand Pond in Lempster. Ruth nursed Elton as cancer overtook him, and he died there on Oct. 30, 2002.

Ruth was a member of the United Church of Christ in Keene, following longstanding family affiliation as Congregationalists. She later moved to Dover, N.H., at Bellamy Fields, where she leaves friends among residents and caring staff.

Ruth leaves three children — Ronald Elton Beard of Bar Harbor, James Stearns Beard of Lempster, N.H., and Elizabeth Beard Holderbaum of Dover, N.H.; six grandchildren — Alana Ruth Hurst, Christopher Allen Beard, Ashley Lauren Bacus, Patrick Alexander Beard, Alyssa and Jessica Holderbaum and one great-grandson — Jack Steiger Hurst. Ruth leaves her sisters, Marjorie Wood of Exeter, N.H., and Rosalie Wright of Buffalo Grove, Ill., along with nieces and nephews.

A memorial service is planned for Lempster, N.H., in early July, with burial in the Marlow Cemetery next to Elton.

Know when to pay your respects.