The Rev. Dr. Robert Q. Beard of Blowing Rock and Mooresville, N.C., died March 8, 2021, at Gordon Hospice in Statesville, N.C. Born in Statesville on December 7, 1929, he was the only child of Robert E. Beard and Nola Jane Hoover Beard, both deceased. He grew up in the Mount Hermon community of Iredell County and was baptized and confirmed at Mount Hermon Lutheran Church.
Rev. Beard is survived by his wife of more than 70 years, Carrie Stewart Beard, of Blowing Rock and Mooresville; daughters, Kathryn Ann Hornberger and husband Keith, Janet Leinbach-Poust and husband Wade, and Mary Faith Flannigan and husband Chris; grandsons Robert Stewart Little and wife Emily, Patrick Quincy Flannigan, Thomas Wayne Flannigan, and Matthew Graham Flannigan; adopted grandson Kevin Hornberger and wife Julie; and adopted great-grandchildren Ella and Jackson Hornberger.
An honor graduate of Statesville High School, Rev. Beard served four years in the U.S. Marine Corps where he was a staff sergeant. He then received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Lenoir-Rhyne University in 1955. He graduated cum laude and was a member of the Mu Sigma Epsilon Scholastic Society. In 1958, he graduated from Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary with a Master of Divinity and was ordained into the Evangelical Lutheran Church, NC Synod.
He served parishes at Grace Lutheran Church in Liberty, N.C.; Faith Lutheran Church, Conover, N.C.; and St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Startown, in the area of Newton, N.C. During his ministry at St. Paul’s, he additionally served three terms in the N.C. General Assembly as a representative for Catawba County.
In July 1973, he resigned from the State Legislature and St. Paul’s in order to head up the N.C. Office for the Aging in Raleigh, serving there from 1973 to 1976. He retained his status as an ordained minister of the ELCA, NC Synod, and served as guest minister throughout the state on numerous Sundays. In 1976, he returned to active ministry at Alamance Lutheran Church for two years.
In 1978 he became President and CEO of Lutheran Services for the Aging Inc. in Salisbury, N.C., where he served until his retirement in 1992. During his tenure there, he was inducted into the Joe Keppler Hall of Fame in Washington State and received a Distinguished Citizen’s Award from Lenoir-Rhyne University.
From 1992 to 2007, he served as Interim Pastor for Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Troutman; St. John’s Lutheran Church, Lenoir; and St. Mark’s Lutheran Church, just outside of Blowing Rock. In 2010, he was granted a Doctor of Divinity from Lenoir-Rhyne University.
Throughout the long marriage of Rev. and Mrs. Beard, he continually asserted that they worked together as a team and that he would never have been able to pursue all his career opportunities without her assistance and support.
Rev. Beard continued to be active in the Lutheran Church, speaking, preaching, and participating in church affairs as he was able, spanning the years of 1958 through 2021 – more than 62 years. Now he rests with his Savior whose gospel he so diligently taught, bringing the message of God’s love and salvation everywhere he could.
Rev. Beard will lie in state at Troutman Funeral Home on Thursday, March 11, 2021, from 1 to 5 p.m. with visitation from 5 to 7 p.m. Officiants will be Rev. Dieter Punt, the Rev. Dr. Leonard Bolick, Dr. Ted Goins Jr., and Rev. Jonathan Weant. The funeral service will be Friday, March 12, at 2 p.m. at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Troutman, N.C., with burial to follow at St. Martin’s Cemetery with full military honors. Family is asking that all attending please follow COVID-19 protocols.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Gordon Hospice House, 2341 Simonton Road, Statesville, NC 28625; or to Lutheran Services Carolinas, 1416 Martin Luther King Jr. Ave. S, Salisbury, NC 28144.
Online condolences can be made to the family at www.troutmanfuneralhome.com.
Troutman Funeral Home is serving the family.