Dr. James B Beard passed away on May 14, 2018 in Bryan, Texas at the age of 82.
Dr. Beard was born on September 24, 1935 in Piqua, Ohio to James Hart and Margaret Bashore
Beard and grew up on the family farm near Bradford, Ohio. He graduated from The Ohio State
University in 1957 with a Bachelor of Science in Agronomy. He married the love of his life, Harriet
Jean Coon, in 1955. James and wife Harriet, then decided to continue his education with a Master of
Science in Crop Ecology and Ph.D. in Turfgrass Physiology from Purdue University.
Dr. Beard spent most of his career in the field of Soil and Crop Sciences where he was known as a
legend. He blazed trails of critical research that would later develop into new fields of study. From the
start of his career as a professor, first at Michigan State University and later at Texas A&M University,
he touched the lives of every student that passed through his classes. His love of crop sciences can
still be seen in his students today. From the start of his career in 1953, his research set new
standards in the world of Soil and Crop Sciences where he received numerous distinguished awards
including the Veitch Honour Medal of the Royal Horticultural Society, Honorary Doctorate of
Agriculture honoris causa from Purdue University, James B Beard Turfgrass Collection dedicated at
Michigan State University Library, Distinguished Alumni Award from The Ohio State University,
American Library Association Oberly Award which he received twice, plus numerous other industry
Dr. Beard authored 9 published books, dozens of manuals, and hundreds of technical articles and
research papers. Dr. Beard also sat on the Board of Directors of The Scotts Company and many
other National Committees.
Jim, as his friends and family knew him, loved to travel the world with his family. But his favorite place
was the lakehouse on Lake Leelanau, Michigan. His favorite part of summers on the lake were
fishing and exploring Michigan with his family.
Jim is survived by his wife, Harriet; sons, James C Beard of College Station, Texas and John Beard of
Dallas, Texas; granddaughter, Amanda and husband Rusty Harrison of Waco, Texas; sister, Shirley
Crotcher of Versailles, Ohio; nieces, Kim and husband Milian Pozderac of Mt. Vernon, Ohio, Kelly and
husband Travis Fliehman of Greenville, Ohio, Kristi and husband John Kaiser of Versailles, Ohio.
Jim is preceded in death by his parents, and his sister, Peggy Beard.
A grave side service is scheduled for 2pm on May 21, 2018 at Greenville Creek United Church of
Christ Cemetery near Bradford, Ohio. All are welcome to attend and celebrate James's life. In lieu of
flowers, please send donations to The American Heart Association.