Frances Reding Beard, a retired librarian, lover of the arts and longtime Santa Monica resident, died Thursday, March 8, in Glendale after a long illness. She was 96.
Mrs. Beard was born April 4, 1910, in Wallace, Idaho. After her father, Francis J. Reding, died in 1923, Fran and her mother, Margaret C. Reding, moved to Santa Monica.
Fran graduated from Santa Monica High School, attended UCLA and graduated with a degree in History from UC Berkeley. She was a member of Alpha Chi Omega at UCLA and Berkeley. She received a second bachelor’s degree in Library Science from Columbia University. In her later years she studied at the Emeritus University in Santa Monica.
It was at Columbia that she met her husband, Paul Beard, an aeronautical engineer. They were married in 1936. Mr. Beard died in 1958.
During Mrs. Beard’s long career as a librarian, she worked at UCLA, at the RAND Corporation and at Los Angeles and Santa Monica Public Libraries.
She was a great lover of the arts, attending countless plays, musical performances, operas and other stage art forms. She enjoyed these entertainments well into her 90s.