John Herschel Beard – Daily Ardmoreite


John Herschel Beard, 71, passed away peacefully in his garden on Saturday June 18, 2022. He was born to the late Norvell Ayres Beard and Mary Margaret Beard on August 6, 1950 in Madill, Oklahoma.

Herschel graduated from Madill High School in 1968 and moved to Stillwater to study at Oklahoma State University. He was a member of the Cowboy Marching Band and Phi Gamma Delta, where he made many lifelong friends. Herschel completed his Masters in Communications from OSU and returned to Madill to work with his father in the family title company in 1975. He married Sue Jennings of Sulfur on June 12, 1982 at McFarlin Memorial United Methodist Church in Norman. Wade Jennings Beard was born in 1983 and John Thomas Beard followed in 1986. Herschel worked at the Marshall County Abstract Company and Marshall County would not be the same without his dedication to business and community, and his knowledge of the county was unmatched. In 2020, he was thrilled to celebrate and honor his family’s legacy of being a family business for 100 years.

Pops has dedicated his life to serving his family and his community. He has been active with the Madill First United Methodist Church, Fran Drummond Madill Community Day Care Center, Madill Rotary Club, Madill Art Club, Bread of Life, Santa’s Elves, Oklahoma Land Title Association, American Land Title Association, Phi Gamma Delta, OSU Alumni Band and the Marshall County Chamber of Commerce. His activities brought him immense joy and energy. He loved to see his community prosper. Pops never missed his sons’ sporting events or band performances. He was in the stands for every OSU home game when Wade was drum major, and has continued his support of the Cowboys every year since. He served as President of the Fiji Parents Club at OU while JT was in school. His parents instilled in him an understanding of service to his family, community, church and country. He never wavered in his duty to this service.

Herschel has spent countless hours serving the title industry. He was president of OLTA in 1992 and a member of several committees in Oklahoma and nationally. In 2008, he was appointed by then-Governor Brad Henry to the new Oklahoma Board of Abstractors, on which he served for eight years. Herschel served on the Board of Governors of the American Land Title Association from 2009 to 2013.

Herschel was very artistic and creative. He loved his painting class every Wednesday and took Jack and Henry to the Art Club to do arts and crafts. Gardening and taking care of his plants gave him a lot of joy. He loved to cook and entertain his friends and family whenever he had the chance. His generosity and support were unmatched as he gave without question to serve God and others.

He is survived by his wife of 40 years, Sue Jennings; son, Wade and her husband, Bobby of Oklahoma City; son, JT and his fiancée, Jenny of Norman; grandchildren, Jack, Henry and Melody; faithful companion, Reese; sisters Mary Beth Scott, Jane Papke and Nancy Kerr; several nieces and nephews; and countless close friends and colleagues.

Visitation will be held Tuesday, June 21, 2022 at Watts Funeral Home, Madill, Oklahoma from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. with a family hour from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. The funeral service will be held at 2:00 p.m., Wednesday, June 22, 2022, at First United Methodist Church in Madill, Oklahoma. Steven and Wanda Littrell, Larry Bauman will officiate the service. Music by Dick Jennings, Patty Tickel and Elizabeth Scott. Interment will be in Oakland Cemetery, Oakland, Oklahoma. Services will be under the direction of Watts Funeral Home, Madill, Oklahoma. Condolences can be sent to

Pallbearers: Logan Beard IV, Martin Self, Dan Little, Robert Keating, Lynn Windel, Nelson Reid, Keith Long, Mark Bilbrey, Tray Collier and Steven Ortloff

Honorary Bearers: Bryan Thomason, Alan Ortloff, Floyd Miller, Gary Ayres, Steven Fooshee, Logan Beard III, Frank Crabtree and Madill Rotary Club

Memorials may be made at First United Methodist Church, Madill, Oklahoma or Fran Drummond Day Care Center, Madill, Oklahoma


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