September 21, 1932—July 22, 2020
Dad was the middle child of 10 children born to Charles Bedford Beaird and Willie Inez Walker. He was preceded in death by both of his parents and ALL of his siblings.
He grew up on the family farm in Oklahoma but relocated to Washington when he was a teenager. He was a lover of animals and as a child had many unusual pets including a pig and a squirrel. Dad’s nickname as a child was “Pistol Pete” and his squirrel’s name was “RePete.” He was a funny guy and would make sure you knew it. He often would sing an old Mac Davis song while shaving – “Oh, Lord it’s hard to be humble, when you’re perfect in every way. I can’t wait to look in the mirror, ‘cause I get better looking each day…”
Dad graduated from Fort Vancouver High School in Vancouver, Washington in 1951. During high school he met our Mom, his wife of 65 years, Molly Lorraine Bradley. The two married on November 20, 1954, in Vancouver, Washington.
He served in the US Air Force 18th Maintenance Squadron as a mechanic from September 10, 1951, until September 9, 1955. He was stationed in Colorado Springs, Colorado, Seoul, South Korea and Great Falls, Montana, earning 4 service medals.
Dad worked a variety of jobs as a youth but made his career and livelihood working for the State of Washington Department of Highways (now known as the DOT) as the lead mechanic for the southwest Washington region. He actually received an award from the State of Washington for being one of the top two mechanics in the state. He retired after 30 years of service.
Dad had many friends and was very active in the Kelso Elks Club where he served as an Exalted Ruler from 1983 to 1984. He also served a year as a President of the Elks RV club. He and Mom traveled many miles in the RV including a cross-country trip to his childhood home in Oklahoma. An amateur inventor, avid fisherman and golfer, he and Mom spent their retirement until recently as snowbirds living six months out of the year at their home in Thousand Palms, California. When in Longview he repaired golf carts as a hobby business.
Dad is survived by his four children, Diane Lorraine Hodgkinson (Michael), Joyce Colleen Schauble (Gary), Gail Lynne Goetz (Gregory) and William Earl Beaird (Maureen). He also had
9 grandchildren and 8 great grandchildren. He can now fish and golf to his hearts’ delight, but Dad, you can’t cheat on your score card anymore. There is a hole in our hearts and he will be greatly missed by all of us.
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