Kay Castle Beard, age 69, of Snellville, Georgia, passed away on March 4, 2014. She was born on January 5, 1945, in Meridian, Mississippi, to Robert Marvin (R. M.) Castle and Eva Johnson Castle. Kay grew up in a loving family, and enjoyed an idyllic childhood in her beloved Meridian. She attended the Meridian schools and Meridian Junior College, and was a stellar student. She and her family were active in Central United Methodist Church.

Kay married her high school sweetheart Thomas Derrell Beard, and worked at the University of Southern Mississippi while Tommy completed his chemistry degree. She was a devoted wife and source of strength as Tommy traveled widely during his successful career in pharmaceutical sales and management with Winthrop, Glaxo and Amgen. They were married 45 years until his death on March 23, 2010.

Kay was a loving mother, nurturing and encouraging her children Leigh Ann and Tom, fervently supporting their studies, activities and goals. She volunteered for their schools and sports teams, and championed their achievements and those of their friends.

A voracious reader, Kay enjoyed a wide variety of interests, following politics, music and dance, The Atlanta Braves, college football, ice skating and rodeo. She was also a generous and loyal friend.

Predeceased by her parents R. M. and Eva Castle and cherished husband Tommy, Kay is survived by her daughter Dr. Leigh Ann Beard, of Gonzales, Louisiana, son Dr. Thomas D. (Tom) Beard, Jr. and daughter-in-law Bethany Howard (Buffy) Beard, of Georgetown, Tennessee, sister Cille Castle Horner (Jerry) of Jackson, Mississippi, twin brother Robert Marvin (Bobby) Castle, Jr. (Anne) of Georgetown, Texas, six nieces and nephews, and 18 great nieces and nephews. She is also survived by her aunt Martha Ramsey Johnson and first cousin Beth Johnson McSweeney (Mike) of Meridian. She will be truly missed by Carolyn and Jerry Wynens, special friends for the past 38 years in Snellville.

A graveside service will be held on Saturday, March 8, at 2:00 pm at Magnolia Cemetery, Meridian, Mississippi, with Rev. George Pugh and Rev. Jimmy Harrison officiating. The family will receive friends on Friday, March 7, from 5:00 - 7:00 pm at Robert Barham Family Funeral Home, 6300 Highway 39 N, Meridian. Family and friends may sign the online guestbook at robertbarhamffh.com. Those wishing to make a memorial donation may contribute to the American Heart Association, P.O. Box 840692, Dallas, TX 75284-0692 (online at www.heart.org) or to the Wounded Warrior Project, P.O. Box 758517, Topeka, KS 66675.

Robert Barham Family Funeral Home
6300 Hwy 39 North
Meridian, MS 39305

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