Elby Leighton Beard, 88, passed away August 29, 2012 at her home in Del Rio, Texas. She was born August 23, 1924 in Eagle Pass, Texas to Leonard B. Leighton and Elizabeth Adeline Terrell Leighton. She is survived by her son: Ralph E. (Bullet) Beard III and his wife Brenda; grandchildren: Ralph E. Beard IV of Hope Mills, N.C. and his sons: Blaire and Keegan; Tony Hale and his wife Amy of Temple, Texas and their children: Lauren, Garrett and Brooke Elby; Rachel Bracewell and her husband Bryan of Bastrop, Texas and their children: Nathan and Chase. Preceded in death by her husband Ralph Beard and daughter Donna Howell.
Elby met Ralph while he was stationed in Eagle Pass, Texas as a test pilot in the Army Air Corp; Elby and Ralph married in 1943. After his retirement from military service they returned to Eagle Pass where she opened Donna’s Jack & Jill Children’s apparel shop. Following their retirement they moved to Ft Clark Springs where they met Nat Mendelsohn, owner and developer of Ft. Clark Springs, whom they became close friends and assisted in the development and operation of the Ft. Clark Springs. Although the late Ralph Beard was the head of the Beard family, he was a very artistic individual with an outstanding personality, but, Elby being the love of his life, was his strength, his confidant and his compass. She quietly led the family with her strength and ever present optimism, a true lady. Graveside service to celebrate her life will be on Saturday, 10:00A.M, September 1, 2012 at the Masonic Cemetery in Del Rio, Texas. Officiating will be Reverend Ned Sitzes and David Nugent.