Roland Kenneth Beard, Jr.

August 19, 1924October 8, 2019

Roland Kenneth Beard Jr. “Rolie”, age 95, formerly of Tall Timbers, MD passed away peacefully at his Catonsville residence on Tuesday, October 8, 2019. Roland is survived by his four children: Roland K. Beard III (Faylene), Jeffrey L. Beard (June), Leslie C. Roper (Jim) and Jon P. Beard. He is also survived by four grandchildren: Raphaelle Rodzik (Jason), Valerie Beard, Megan Roper and Christian Roper.

Roland was born on August 19, 1924 to Roland K. Beard and Emma Udine Beard (née Rowland) of Buffalo, NY. He graduated from high school at age 16 and enlisted in the US Army in 1943. He later volunteered for a special duty with the OSS and served in the Pacific (CBI) in southern China. His primary mission was to transmit intelligence related to Japanese troop movement in his assigned areas. Following his honorable discharge in 1946, Roland returned to Clarence NY where he met and married Nancy Kelchlin, a marriage that lasted 58 years. His education included a diploma from the Spartan School of Aeronautics and a BS from the University of Maryland. Roland was first employed by Emerson Electric Manufacturing Company in MO and MD, then enjoyed a long and distinguished career working for the Navy at Patuxent River Naval Air Station. After retiring, they moved to a historic schoolhouse in Castleton, VT to enjoy winter sports, especially skiing. After Nancy’s passing in 2005, Roland returned to MD and resided at the Charlestown retirement community.

A memorial gathering will be held on Saturday, October 19 from 2-4 p.m. at the Gary L. Kaufman Funeral Home at Meadowridge Memorial Park, 7250 Washington Boulevard, Elkridge, MD 21075. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the American Red Cross PO Box 37839 Boone, IA 50037-0839/; or to the American Legion


  • Memorial Gathering Saturday, October 19, 2019


Roland Kenneth Beard, Jr.

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Joseph Spelz

October 16, 2019

Rolland (and Nancy) were extraordinary people. They befriended me when I was a young engineer new to the area. Rollie, Leslie, and I carpooled for a year or two where he shared many humorous stories. One that stands out was his recollection of the end of WWII when he was stationed in China. For some reason, several thousands of the Chinese citizenry wanted to surrender to him and his fellow OSS companion.

Rollie and Nancy attended several of the dances we played for at the Chief's Club at Patuxent River NAS -- they were great dancers and clapped after each song (not always deserved). Rollie was also my excellent supervisor at work and always upbeat and gentle. I picked my honeymoon destination based on all the fun Rollie and Nancy had skiing in VT. I knew all of Rollie and Nancy's children in varying degrees -- a beautiful family. Rollie was an outstanding example of the well- rounded man -- compassionate, competent, gentle, fun to be around, and a wonderful family man. God bless you, Rollie, in your new adventure in paradise.

Rolland Campbell

October 16, 2019

I had lost all track of Rollie after he retired. I wish I had known where he was. I still-often think of him and his gentle-professional ways. I worked for him at a Navy helicopter test unit where he was liked by all. I still relay, to others, what I knew of his WWII experiences in China - "after he war, and the communists had taken over I did not say much; but those people had nothing". I wish I could have remained in touch. His loss is significant to me and I only hope he has some great R&R time after his retirement. And condolences to all in the Beard family.