Mary Virginia Greeson Beard, 86, formerly of Paris, TN, died Saturday, December 11, 2021, at Norton Audubon Hospital in Louisville, KY.
Virginia was born August 21, 1935, in Henagar, AL – “down on the mountain” (Sand Mountain) – to her late parents, James A. Greeson and Lola Parmer Greeson.
She grew up in Chattanooga, TN, where her family moved when she was one year old. She graduated from Central High School in 1953 after choosing to transfer from Tyner High School, the neighborhood school all her friends attended, because Central was a larger school that offered a greater variety of classes. At Central she was a member of the Library Staff club, which “assisted librarians in handling books and beautifying the library with posters and displays.” These choices made when she was a teenager show her fondness for learning, libraries and reading that continued throughout her life.
After enrolling at the University of Tennessee – Memphis (now UTHSC) to pursue her nursing degree, Virginia met her late husband, Dr. Charley Beard, who was completing his dental degree before entering the U.S. Army. She paused her studies, and they were married in 1955, but she later graduated from the Alexandria Hospital School of Nursing in Alexandria, VA. Virginia was a nurse for more than 30 years. After Dr. Beard left the Army and the couple moved to his hometown of Paris, she worked at Henry County Medical Center in several departments. When she retired in the late 1990s, she was working in the Emergency Department, often choosing to work overnight shifts so she could be with her family during the day. After retiring from nursing, she turned her attention to helping with Dr. Beard’s dental practice.
In 2019 when her husband died, after living in Paris for nearly 60 years Virginia moved to Louisville, KY. She lived at Wesley Manor Health Care Center until her death, and her family is very appreciative of the staff there that not only took care of her physical needs, but also showed her love and compassion every day. The nursing home COVID lockdowns were only bearable because her family knew how well she was being cared for.
Virginia is survived by two sons, Chuck Beard of Cookeville, TN, and Robert (Loren) Beard of Louisville, KY; one sister, Manilla Singh of Chattanooga, TN; three nephews, Jimmy Singh (Lotte) of Naples, FL, Steve Penick (Amy Short) of Nixa, MO, and Mark Penick (Rebecca Allen) of Yelm, WA; and several grand nieces and nephews.
Arrangements are being handled by Ridgeway Funeral Home, 201 Dunlap St., Paris, TN, where visitation will be Tuesday, December 21, 2021, from 11 a.m. – 1 pm, with the funeral service beginning at 1 p.m. at Ridgeway Funeral Home, with Dr. Trent Bullock officiating. Burial will follow at Hillcrest Memorial Park.
Memorials may be made to: First Baptist Church, 313 N. Poplar St., Paris, TN 38242.