Cover photo for Billy "Bill" Ray Beard's Obituary
Billy "Bill" Ray Beard Profile Photo

Billy "Bill" Ray Beard

April 17, 1934 — July 14, 2023


Billy "Bill" Ray Beard


Billy “Bill” Ray Beard departed this world on July 14, 2023, with his beloved wife Joyce and daughter Barbara at his side. Bill will be missed beyond measure but the memory of this patient, kind and gentle man will remain in our hearts forever.

Gentleman, engineer, pilot, and fixer-of-all-things are the words that best describe the essence of Bill.  And, since his passing, the most common comment received is “He was the kindest man I’ve ever known”.   Bill was also a loving and devoted family man.  He adored his wife and best friend Joyce and cherished the time he spent with family and friends.

Bill was accomplished at anything he set out to achieve…golf, pool, poker, snow skiing or water skiing.   He was an early McGyver able to fix or build anything from auto repairs to home repairs and if he couldn’t find the right part, he made one from the many scraps and pieces he kept “just in case”.  

Bill was born in Chickasha, Oklahoma and moved with his parents to Southern California immediately upon graduating in 1954 from Central High School in Oklahoma City.  As would be expected from his 6’3” frame, he played basketball in high school and his early college years.  

 His engineering and surveying career started in the City of Inglewood, CA which was interrupted when he was drafted into the Navy in 1956.  Bill’s military service was spent at Whidby Island, Washington.  He was proud to serve his country and to be a Veteran.  His next career move was to the City of Santa Rosa where he worked as an Associate Civil Engineer and met and married the love of his life Joyce.  He was hired in 1977 by the City of Ukiah as the Assistant Director of Public Works and later promoted to City Engineer.  Bill retired in 1995 with over 40-years of service to City government.  His career didn’t end there, he continued to work part-time for Coastland Engineering with public works projects in neighboring counties and additional work for Lake County.  He has truly left his mark on northern California which will be memorialized forever.  To round out his licenses, he obtained his General Contractor’s license in 1987.  

Bill’s sense of community did not end with government, since 1990 Bill was a proud member and past officer of the Ukiah Host Lions Club and he also served on a variety of Boards and Commissions.  While he had his own activities, when Joyce volunteered for anything, he was also an active participant with every organization benefiting from the two for one team.

Besides his family, Bill’s number one love was flying.  He obtained his private pilot’s license in 1980 and took to the skies whenever and wherever he wanted.  In later years he served on the Ukiah Airport Commission and enjoyed visiting the airport and working to enhance its value to the community. 

Our family was fortunate to have a second home in Sunriver, Oregon for 34-years where he was able to ride his bike from the minute of arrival, hike, snow ski, play an occasional round of golf, explore central Oregon and visit with our wonderful neighbors, winding down with his favorite scotch, a glass of wine or beer.

A life well-lived and loved, Bill will forever be in our hearts remembering the incredible man he was while he is once again enjoying a scotch and shooting the breeze with his best friend Bernie. 

Bill is survived by his wife of 53-years Joyce Beard, his three daughters Susan Beard of Santa Rosa, CA; Stacey Roberts (Doug) of Healdsburg, CA, and Barbara Tustin (Mark) of Carmichael, CA. as well as two amazing grandsons Vincent Roberts of Healdsburg, CA, and Connor Tustin of Carmichael, CA who followed in his Papa’s footsteps and is now a licensed Civil Engineer.  While Bill did not have siblings, Joyce often joked that they had been married so long the family no longer knew which one was related and he lovingly shared Joyce’s five siblings Janice, Carla, Rick, Tom & Terri their spouses and nieces and nephews.  Bill was predeceased by his parents Lowell Otman Beard and Ilene Schurch Beard who have returned to their home in Oklahoma.

Donations are suggested to the Alzheimer’s Association ( or your favorite charity in Bill’s memory. 

Family and Friends are invited to join a Remembrance Gathering on Saturday, September 16, 2023, at 1:00 p.m. at the Beard Residence, 461 Vichy Hills Drive, Ukiah, CA 95482.  A light lunch will be provided.



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Past Services

Remembrance Gathering

Saturday, September 16, 2023

Starts at 1:00 pm (Pacific time)

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