Gentle James Beard, Jr Affectionately known by most everyone as just “Beard,” departed this life after a long illness on September 10, 2020. Gentle was born on February 9, 1953 as the seventh child of Gracie Freeman Buchanan-Beard and the only child of Gentle Beard, Sr. Both preceded him in death as did three of his older siblings, Theodore William Buchanan, Rose Buchanan Williams, and Alfred Joseph Buchanan. Beard was born in Kansas City Kansas and attended school in school district 500.
He accepted Christ at an early age and was baptized into the faith at Greater Jerusalem Baptist Church by Rev. H R Nero. He remained a member throughout his life. He sang as a soloist with the Citywide Inter-Denominational Youth Choir when in High school. He was a lettered athlete in three sports, basketball, Football and track. He graduated from Sumner High School in one of the last classes to do so at the historic Black high school before it was repurposed as Sumner Academy a magnet school, building on its past of academic excellence. After graduation he enlisted in the United States Army. He mustered out after his initial enlistment and joined the Kansas National Guard as a Non-Commissioned Officer and remained with the Guard earning many distinguished awards until he was incapacitated by an untimely debilitating illness.
He subsequently took retirement with the rank of Master Sergeant. Beard was by profession a registered nurse, specializing in pediatric psychiatry. He had a long tenure with Kansas SRS at Rainbow Mental Health Center under the direction of a dear friend and colleague, Joan Brown.
Beard leaves to mourn him two sons, Anthony Bright, Sr of San Diego, Ca; Sgt LoganGabrielson, Kansas City, Mo; four grandchildren, Anthony Bright, Jr., Keeyanda Bright-Brown,Jasmine Bright, and Allyshia Bright, all of San Diego, Ca.; three siblings, Lillian Buchanan-Baines, of the home; Jacqueline Buchanan-Patterson, Kansas city Kansas; Robert Buchanan(Delores) San Pablo Ca.; along with 4 four generations of nieces, nephews, and cousins aroundthe country and a host of friends including Dr. Diane Buckingham, Overland Pak, KS; and Michael Jackson of Kansas City KS.Lastly, Beard loved to dance, something he had not been able to enjoy for over 10 years, so nowhe is able to sing to the angels and dance all over God’s Heaven.
Graveside Services will be held at 10:00 A.M. on Wednesday, September 16th at Leavenworth National Cemetery.
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