|Seneca, SC – Marlene Marie-Jeanne Martin Beard, wife of the late Gerald “Gerry”
Mancel Beard, of Seneca, SC passed away Friday, September 22, 2017,
unexpectedly at Oconee Memorial Hospital. Marlene and Gerry were also longtime
residents of Alden, IL and Stuart, FL.
Native of Chatellerault, France, Mrs. Beard was the daughter of the late Andre Emile
Martin and Raymonde Leday Martin. She was a retired French teacher of forty-two
Mrs. Beard is survived by her daughters: Happy Alene Hoffman (Lynn) of
Jacksonville, FL; and Linnea Anne Beard of Stuart, FL; grandson: Alexander Gerald
Hoffman (Kate) of Jacksonville, FL; brother: Daniel Martin (Brigitte) of Chattellerault,
Marlene was known as “Madame Beard” by her colleagues and students. She was
proud to have become an American Citizen in 1975 after receiving her Bachelor of
Science degree in education from the University of Wisconsin, Whitewater (1974).
Besides assisting her husband with his business Alden Skelly & Alden Café (1962-
1980), Marlene was the first woman teacher at Northwester Military & Naval
Academy in Lake Geneva, WI and later taught French in Burlington, WI, Genoa City,
WI and at Big Foot High School in Walworth, WI (1977-1980). After moving to
Florida in 1980 to semi-retire, Madame Beard resumed teaching French fulltime at
Martin County High School (1982-2007). Her teaching accolades included Martin
County Teacher of the Year and Florida French Teacher of the Year in 1991. Her
adventurous teaching style encompassed creating a French program that was state
and nationally ranked, serving on the Florida State Board of French Congrée
(speaking competitions) and leading numerous groups of students on full emersion
foreign exchange programs to France.
A memorial gathering will be 11:00 a.m. until the 11:30 a.m. memorial service,
Saturday, October 21, 2015, at Alden United Methodist Church, Alden, IL. Burial will
follow at Mount Auburn Cemetery in Harvard, IL. A reception to follow at The
Stratford Banquet Hall, Harvard, IL. A Celebration of Life will also be held on
December 9, 2017, in Stuart, FL.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to: Oconee Hospice of the Foothills, GHS
Cottingham Hospice House, Attn: Foundation Office, 298 Memorial Drive, Seneca,
SC 29672. The family will be establishing the Madame Marlene Beard Memorial
Scholarship Fund for Outstanding Foreign Language Students which shall be offered
within the Martin County School System in Stuart, FL.
Call Saunders & McFarlin Funeral Home for more info at 815-943-5400.