Captain Percy M. (Pat) Beard, Jr. USN (Ret) of Atlanta, Georgia passed away peacefully on December 23, 2018 surrounded by his loving family. He was 82 years old.
Pat was born in Opelika, Alabama on March 31st, 1936, the son of Percy and Sara Beard. He graduated from Gainesville High School, Gainesville, FL in June 1954 and entered the Naval Academy that same month. While at the Academy he participated on the track team and graduated with distinction in 1958 as a member of The 9th Company.
He was selected for post graduate education under The Burke Program and received a PhD in nuclear physics from Duke University in 1964. He then entered the Navy's nuclear power program and served on five nuclear submarines and was the commanding officer of The Gold Crew of The Frances Scott Key. His final assignment was Commanding Officer of The Simon Lake before retirement in October 1981. The Simon Lake was the first submarine tender to serve at the newly established Kings Bay, Georgia Naval Base in 1979. His many awards included The Legion of Merit.
Following retirement Pat joined The Institute of Nuclear Power Operations (INPO) in Atlanta, Georgia serving as a Vice President before leaving in 1990 to become a Senior Vice President and Chief Nuclear Officer at Florida Power Corporation in St. Petersburg, Florida. He retired from Florida Power in 1997 and started a consulting business in nuclear power operations. During his civilian career, he served on The Accrediting Board of The National Academy of Training and various executive oversight boards of nuclear power plants. He was a member of The National Academy of Science Committee that published a report of The Fukushima Japan nuclear accident in 2014. He also served as Chairman of The University of Florida Nuclear Engineering Science Advisory Board, graduated from The Harvard Business School and was a member of Tau Beta Pi National Engineering Society.
Pat loved the outdoors! He could almost always be found fly fishing, hunting, skeet shooting or playing tennis. He did not just participate in these sports but excelled in them. He always strived to be the best he could be in all aspects of his life!
Pat also enjoyed traveling especially if it involved the outdoors and his hobbies of shooting and fly fishing. He traveled to Scotland, Yellowstone, Alaska and various other places in the US and around the world to enjoy these sports. The place he loved the most for these passions was Highlands, NC. Pat and his wife, Barbara, owned a home for 20 years in Highlands, NC and enjoyed many wonderful years in the mountains with their family and friends!
Pat was preceded in death by his parents, Percy Morris Beard, Sr. and Sarah Ratcliffe Beard, and his brother, David Ratcliffe Beard all of Gainesville, Florida.
Pat married his wife, Barbara, in Monroeville, Alabama in 1959 and enjoyed a happy life together for 59 years. In addition to Barbara he is survived by their two daughters, Carolyn (Rick) Moore of Simpsonville, SC and Leslie (Glenn) Dyke of Atlanta, GA, two granddaughters, Haley Harrell and Hunter Harrell and brother, Thomas Gordon Beard of Orlando, Florida. Pat will be remembered most for his love of family, friends and his faithful dogs (most recently Lexie).
A memorial service in celebration of Pat's life will be held on January 11, 2019 at 2:00 pm in the sanctuary of Peachtree Presbyterian Church located at 3434 Roswell Rd NW, Atlanta, Georgia with a reception to follow at The Williams Center of Peachtree Presbyterian immediately after the service.
Memorial donations may be made to the Wounded Warrior Project (www.woundedwarriorproject.org
) or Cashiers Highlands Humane Society (www.chhumanesociety.org