Rita Pedersen Beard, age 88, passed away on July 30, 2023. She was born on January 1st, 1935 in Saint Paul, MN to Emmy and Knud Pedersen and graduated from Murray High School. She went on to get a degree in elementary education from the University of Minnesota. On August 4, 1956, Rita married her high school sweetheart Robert (Bob) Beard. They were married for 66 wonderful years.
Rita was a teacher in the St. Paul Public Schools for thirty years. She primarily taught fourth grade and loved teaching Minnesota history. In 1978, she was one of the original teachers selected to teach in the new NOVA program for gifted and talented students.
Rita and Bob retired to Lake Washburn in Outing, MN in 1990. They spent 23 years there. They were both very involved in their local Lions/Lioness clubs. As a Type 1 diabetic, Rita was passionate about diabetes education and awareness. Together, Rita and Bob traveled throughout their regional district (5M9) educating Lions Clubs about diabetes. They worked to ensure there was a diabetic educator at every hospital in the district and they established the diabetes education center at Cuyuna Regional Medical Center in Crosby. Rita also served as president of the Emily, Outing, 50 Lakes Lioness Club.
Rita is preceded in death by her parents, her brother Kent and husband Bob. She is survived by daughter Brenda (Richard) Conley of Duluth. A celebration of Rita’s life will be held on Saturday, August 19th at Immanuel Lutheran Church, 600 4th St. SW, Crosby, MN. Visitation will be held from 10:00 AM until the service at 11:00 AM.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to the Minnesota Lions Diabetes Foundation for diabetes research and education. Checks are preferred and can be made out to Minnesota Lions Diabetes Foundation and sent to: Lakers Lions Secretary K. Harvet, 849 Shafer Lake Rd. NE, Outing, MN 56662. Donations will be credited to Rita and Bob’s local Lions Club.