Gary B. Beard, 63, of Hendersonville passed away Monday, November 26, 2018 at the Elizabeth House. Born October 31, 1955, a native of Austin, TX, he was the son of the late Eugene Oconnor and Marion “Randi” Rendelle Beard. He had lived in Colorado for many years prior to moving to Western North Carolina 10 years ago.
An accomplished pilot, he learned to fly when he was 10 years old and received his pilot’s license at 17. His mother volunteered to be his first passenger. He retired as a corporate jet pilot with the knowledge and experience to fly 30 different aircraft, his favorite a Piaggio Avanti twin engine turboprop pusher. He also had a passion for cars, especially those by German manufacturers. He was an avid slalom water skier and enjoyed hiking in the Rocky and Adirondack mountains. He attended Mile Hi Church in Lakewood, CO.
Gary is survived by his partner, Jeremy Gorss and many wonderful friends across the country. A memorial service will be held at a later date. Memorial contributions may be made to Elizabeth House or a charity of your choice.
Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth,
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I’ve climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds, –and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of –Wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov’ring there
I’ve chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air…
Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I’ve topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace
Where never lark or even eagle flew —
And, while with silent lifting mind I’ve trod
The high untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand, and touched the face of God.