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Elbern H. Beard

Obituary

 

Elbern H. Beard, of Spokane, died Sept. 15 from complications from a heart attack. He was 73.

Known by everyone as "Sunny," he was born April 3, 1943, in Lincoln, Nebraska, the son of Noal and Irene Beard. He moved to the Tri-Cities at an early age and was raised by Herman and Eva Davis, attending Pasco schools.

He left this world less than three weeks after his sister, Bonnie Cameron, the former Bonnie Jean Beard. Perhaps that was fitting. They were never far from each other throughout their lives, and were there for each other through good times and bad.

Sunny was a Navy veteran, serving in the 1960s aboard the USS Stark County, a tank landing ship, and the USS Maury, a geographical survey ship.

He was a jack-of-all-trades and a restless soul who moved frequently and worked a number of different jobs. He was the ultimate handyman, able to take anything apart and put it back together again. There would sometimes be a few pieces left over, but it would work.

He worked for several years as a police officer in Grand Coulee, a time when the family affectionately called him "Uncle Fuzz."

He really enjoyed country music, playing the drums in a band with Bonnie that toured the U.S. and Canada. He was also arguably the biggest John Wayne fan ever. His home was a shrine to the Duke.

He could be a cantankerous old grouch, as anyone who knew him would attest. But he was also generous, loving and sentimental, taking great pleasure in coming up with creative gifts for birthdays and family occasions. He was OUR cantankerous old grouch, and he will be missed.

He is survived by his nephew, James Van Nostrand, of Kennewick, an editor at the Tri-City Herald; nieces: Catherine Allen and Debra Werre, both of Spokane; grand-nephews: Jacob Martin of Seattle and Joshua Allen of Tucson, Ariz.; and grand-niece, Lyra Bloom, of Eugene, Ore.

A celebration of life for Sunny and Bonnie is planned for 2 p.m. Saturday, October 15, at the Spokane Valley Eagles Lodge, 16801 E. Sprague Ave. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Humane Society.

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