Bernice <I>Griffith</I> Beard

Bernice Griffith Beard

Lochiel, Benton County, Indiana, USA
Death 1 Apr 1955 (aged 64)
St. Joseph County, Indiana, USA
Burial Mishawaka, St. Joseph County, Indiana, USA
Plot 4-A; lot 7; 9 & 10
Memorial ID 14457247 View Source

Teacher, wife, mother, grandmother:
Mom of 3 WW II servicemen

Bernice was the wife of George Irvin Beard, and the mother of Miles, Max, and Bruce, three WW II veterans. She graduated from college with a B.S. before teaching school in Indiana and Saskatchewan.

She was every bit the Hoosier schoolmarm.

Her twin brother died before she was two years old. Her mother died when she was three. Her father died when she was nine. Her grandparents had died before she was born. Completely orphaned, Bernice went to live with her paternal aunt, Sarah Jane Griffith, and, before her 22nd birthday, Bernice managed to complete a bachelor's degree at Marion Normal School and Business University (Marion, Grant County, Indiana). Bernice was awarded a B.S., having majored in classical languages, and she had earned her teaching certificate. (The school is now known as Indiana Wesleyan University.)

She birthed her first child when she was 27 and became a grandmother when she was 53. Bernice had four granddaughters. For each, she made sure they had sterling silver flatware. Her firstborn granddaughter was given Bernice's own set: International Sterling's "Spring Glory." For her other three granddaughters, she selected a pattern and began their sets of sterling on each granddaughter's first birthday. After she died, her husband continued with gifts of sterling flatware to their granddaughters.

Yet despite that extravagance, Bernice was so frugal that she would pick through the ashes from her coal furnace to find any pieces of coal that had not completely burned. She would wrap a rag 'round her head, go into the basement, and shovel coal into her furnace to heat her house. During the Great Depression of the 1930s, her boys would shoot crows with a slingshot to add to the family's supply of food.

Like any school teacher of her era, Bernice could play the piano passably. She was a good cook and enjoyed cooking Sunday dinners for her sons and grandchildren. She was so devoted to her sons that she would butter their toast on both sides and would iron their undershorts. When her boys were young, she often made their clothes herself. And many of the clothes that Bernice did not make, her childless sisters made for their young nephews.

On the day her body was laid to rest, a little girl held the hand of Bernice's first-born son and asked, "Is she in heaven yet?" And Bernice's son answered, "Yes, she's in heaven now."

NOTE 1: Indiana death certificate 12886.
NOTE 2: Bernice ultimately had ten grandchildren -- a granddaughter and three grandsons from her 1st son (Miles), a granddaughter and a grandson from her 2nd son (Max), and two granddaughters and two grandsons from her 3rd son (Bruce).
NOTE 3: grandmother of page creator.


In Loving Memory
1891 - 1955

Gravesite Details

Excellent condition. Well-maintained grave site in exceptionally well-maintained cemetery. Grave is on north side of cemetery, across from northside office, near the "tower" at north gate.

Family Members


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  • Created by: AMB Relative · Grandchild
  • Added: 30 May 2006
  • Find a Grave Memorial 14457247
  • AMB
  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Bernice Griffith Beard (13 Jan 1891–1 Apr 1955), Find a Grave Memorial ID 14457247, citing Saint Joseph Valley Memorial Park, Mishawaka, St. Joseph County, Indiana, USA ; Maintained by AMB (contributor 46844067) .