Cover photo for Maye Beard's Obituary
Maye Beard Profile Photo

Maye Beard

July 1, 1930 — May 23, 2022

Maye Beard July 1, 1930–May 23, 2022. Maye was born in Crossroads, Arkansas. Her first home didn’t have running water, but it did have a sweet spring nearby. The family later moved to Calico Rock, Arkansas, so she could attend high school. When she was 19, she moved to Kansas City with her mother, Nola Copeland, in search of better opportunites. She married Thomas Beard, also of Arkansas, in 1950. She worked at Hallmark Cards for 37 years, becoming one of their first female plant managers, and traveled to Ireland on their behalf in the 1980s.

Maye was a fan of country music and looked forward to dancing to her favorite bands and sipping a whiskey sour on Saturday night. She always had tomato plants in the yard for making fried green tomatoes and made sure there was kraut juice in the refrigerator.

Biscuits and gravy was her favorite dish. She and her daughters shared weekly meals, often searching for the best version. They also spent many an evening sitting on the front porch, watching the people go by, and reminiscing about past times. When her grandchildren were small, the three of them went adventuring in the woods near her home, carrying supplies in a hobo bag on a stick.

Maye is survived by her daughters, Susan Summerlin and Cynthia Beard, her son-in-law A.L. Summerlin, her grandchildren Caitlin and Jake Summerlin, their spouses Eric and Felicia, and her great-grandchildren, Sofia and Mila Maye.

“Unable are the Loved to die / For Love is Immortality” —Emily Dickinson

There will be a celebration of life at a later time. In her memory, please consider a donation to the Humane Society of Greater Kansas City (

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Maye Beard, please visit our flower store.


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