Jeanette C. Beard, native of Fernandina Beach, FL, passed away Thursday, October 27, 2016, at Haven Hospice, Orange Park, FL, after a lengthy battle with cancer, surrounded by her family. Jeanette, born in Jacksonville Florida, October 27, 1942, is the daughter of the late James A. and Doris M. Beard.
After graduating from Fernandina Beach, FL, high school, Jeanette spent a year studying at the St Vincent’s school of nursing. She read that the Army needed women to train and work as nurses, it was 1961, she enlisted in the Army. During basic training a call was issued for anyone who had ever played an instrument to come forward to audition for the Women’s Army Corp Band. With her training of music playing the flute and piccolo, (under the tutorage of Bud Hill, Band Director, Fernandina Beach Junior and Senior High Schools), Jeanette had to show them what she could do. Suddenly, she was no longer a nurse in training, but a member of the(WAC) United States Women’s Army Corp Band.
Jeanette attended and graduated from the Little Creek School of Music located near Norfolk, Virginia.
The WAC Band marched and played for every graduation and special event taking place at Ft. McClellan, Alabama. The Band had the opportunity to March in JFK’s Inaugural Parade, the Rose Bowl Parade and traveled extensively throughout the Nation..
In 1973 Jeanette was assigned to the United States Armed Forces Ground Command Band, Ft. McPherson, Ga., where she remained until her retirement in 1985. She retired with the rank of Master Sergeant and was only 42.
Jeanette’s love and compassion for the abandon, hurt and neglected dogs sent her to school to train as a pet groomer. She eventually had a wonderful thriving business using that passion and skill in grooming, adopting and fostering hundreds of dogs over the years.
Jeanette was preceded in death by her parents, James and Doris Beard, a brother, Jim Beard, nephews, David Beard and Jim Brunner.
She survived by a brother, Jerry Beard (Joyce), White House, TN., two sisters, Marla Vondane, (James), Fernandina Beach, FL., Brenda Brunner, Orange Park, FL., nieces, Laura Brunner, Wendy McGaskey (Oscar), Bethany Tay (Jeff), nephews, Jason Douglas, Jeffrey Smith.
A Memorial Service will be held in the Burgess Chapel at the Oxley-Heard Funeral Home on Thursday, November 3, 2016, at 1:30p. Family visitation will be from 12:30p to 1:30p.
In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Haven Hospice, 745 Blanding Blvd., Orange Park, FL 32065, and Fawn’s Family Small Dog Rescue, Inc., P.O. Box 2067, Orange Park, FL 32067.