Mary Kay BeardApril 19th, 2016
Mary Kay Beard, age 71, of Jefferson City, Missouri, formerly of Birmingham, Alabama, passed from this life into the presence of the Lord on Sunday, April 17, 2016, at the Jefferson City Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. She was born January 22, 1945, in Springfield, Missouri, to her parents, Cleveland Francis Petet and Mamie Grace Crawford Petet. She was married to Joe Donald Beard on January 28, 1984, in the chapel at the Julia Tutwiler State Prison for Women in Wetumpka, Alabama. Mary Kay graduated from Eldon High School in Eldon, Missouri. She later received a Bachelor of Arts degree in elementary education and counseling and a Master of Arts degree in counseling from Auburn University in Auburn, Alabama. Mary Kay spent her life in Christian ministry. She ministered for many years with Gideons International. She was employed by Prison Fellowship as Alabama State Director. She and her husband Don founded Encourager Ministries and opened halfway houses and counseling centers for ex-offenders in Alabama and Texas. Together they founded and operated Shepherd's Fold halfway house in Birmingham, Alabama, in the mid 1980's, which would eventually expand to eleven homes throughout the State of Alabama. She worked for many years with the Alabama court system in youth and family counseling. She participated in faith-based programs with the Federal government. She traveled nationwide sharing her testimony of transformation through Jesus Christ. Her life and ministry are the subjects of Rogue Angel, written by Jodi Werhanowicz. Mary Kay was a member of First Assembly of God in Jefferson City. Prior to her return to Missouri in 2014, she was a long-time member of Altadena Valley Presbyterian Church in Birmingham, Alabama, where she served as a staff missionary. She enjoyed reading, gardening, corresponding with friends, and spending time with family. She is survived by two sons, Charlie Ray Marshall and his wife Connie, of Kahoka, Missouri, and Sean Paul Petet and his wife Kelly, of Eldon, Missouri; by one daughter, Brenda Kay Haff and her husband Bill, of Geneseo, Illinois; by one brother, Donald Petet and his wife Billie, of Meridian, Idaho; by three sisters, Jean Sisul of Osage Beach, Missouri, Connie Humphrey of Jefferson City, Missouri, and Ilene Clark of Springfield, Missouri; by 10 grandchildren; by 14 great-grandchildren; and by numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. She was preceded in death by her parents, by her husband, by three brothers, Bill Petet, Tom Petet, and Ron Petet, and by one sister, Joyce Curtis. A memorial service will take place on Thursday, April 21, at 11:00 at First Assembly of God in Jefferson City. Memorials are suggested to Gideons International for Bible placement.