Cover photo for Robert King "Bobby" Beathard Jr.'s Obituary
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1937 Robert King "Bobby" Beathard Jr. 2023

Robert King "Bobby" Beathard Jr.

January 24, 1937 — January 30, 2023


Robert King “Bobby” Beathard, Jr., age 86 of Franklin, TN, passed away January 30, 2023.  He was born in Zanesville, Ohio to the late Robert King and Dorothy Falconer Beathard.  His mother said he came out of her laughing;  and that attitude of laughter, of joy and happiness, was characteristic of him throughout his life.

 His professional life is well-documented:  37 years in the NFL as a scout and a general manager, seven conference championships, four Super Bowl rings, a Hall of Fame ring. He always remained endeared to his alma mater, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo.  

 Bobby became friendly with virtually everyone he met, and with his amazing memory, he always seemed to recall their names.  He dearly loved and stayed in constant contact with his  friends, using his famous “camo” flip phone—which he refused to ever give up for a newer version. His love of sports was legendary:  he played football, he surfed, swam, biked, ran over 40 marathons, and hiked so much that his friends called him Rand McNally.

But Bobby’s greatest love by far was his family—his kids,  grandkids, great grandkids, his brother Pete, nieces and nephews, his wife. Hardly a day ever passed when he didn’t call to see how they were doing and to tell them he loved them. He often said “love whatever you do, and you’ll always be successful”;  and he proved it to them.

The following is an excerpt from a text written by one of the children the evening he left us:  

“The greatest dad who every walked this earth just went to be with the Lord.  It was right on time;  God’s sovereign hands had it all orchestrated, not a second too early or late. We were all gathered at his house, to celebrate him, to pray, laugh and talk with him—the same way we’ve done every weekend for the past eight years.  We ate dinner, and then a few of us wandered into his room.  His physical status had suddenly changed dramatically, and we knew, “wow, this is it, Dad’s going home soon.”  The room began to fill up with all the loved ones who were there.  There’s no telling the loved ones we didn’t see, but that room was crowded, packed, I guarantee. I heard the “knowing” start to manifest into tears, and love, and hope.  And God was there,  making sure everyone was drawn to that room at that time.  Christine looked at me;  she couldn’t talk but I knew what she was asking.  I began praying out loud, “Our Father…” and then we were all saying it in unison. Dad’s eyes opened up immediately after “Amen”…and then he took his last breath;  it was surreal.  Oh, my Lord, the best man we ever knew on this earth is gone now, home, to the Father of all fathers. Dad is better than ever!  As he said in his last days, “…the best is yet to come.”

Bobby was preceded in death by his parents, his grandson Clay Beathard, and daughter-in-law Karen Beathard.  He is survived by this wife of 44 years, Christine Van Handel Beathard;  sons, Kurt Joseph Beathard, Jeffrey Robert (Karen) Beathard, Casey Michael (Susan) Beathard, daughter Jaime Colleen (Dave) Strang;   brother, Peter (Joann);  grandchildren Kylee Beathard, Bobo (Erica) Beathard, Jake Beathard, LaRae (Nick) Egli, Grace (Patrick) Price, Eva (John) Meghreblian, CJ Beathard, Tucker Beathard, Charly Beathard, Tatum Beathard, Brady Bender, Ellie Bender and Jack (Jolie) Bender; and ten great-grandchildren. 

Our family would like to express enormous gratitude to those people who filled Bobby’s final months—and ours  —with so much loving care and selfless service:  Touching Hearts at Home, especially Brittany, Jordan, Rhoda, and Katrina;  Accent Hospice, especially Nicole and Chanda; and Lori, his physical therapist. 

Memorial services may be scheduled at a later date.  In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the charity of your choice.



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