In Memorium: Summer Beard

Summer BeardOn Friday, April 29, 2022, Jacqueline Summer Burpee Beard, a Public Health Environmental Supervisor with the Northern Public Health District, died in a tragic incident which occurred while performing the basic duties of her job.

That evening, State Health Officer Dr. Scott Harris informed public health employees statewide of her passing in an e-mail stating: “Summer was known to her coworkers as an exceptional person. She was a tremendous team worker and was loved by those who knew her. Please join me in extending sympathy to her family and friends. It is a very sad day for ADPH.”

Summer was a well-respected, 17-year employee of the department who was known for her enthusiasm and dedication to Public Health. Coworkers were devastated to learn of her sudden loss and praised their colleague as outstanding, pleasant, smart, sweet, thoughtful and a good listener.

The obituary of her 58-year life journey included the following attributes:

A beautiful and faithful wife, friend, sister, sister-inlaw, daughter, and aunt. Summer, as she was known, was born in Athens, Ga., and raised in Riverdale, Ga. A school swimmer and basketball player, she graduated from North Clayton High School in 1981. Summer’s college education began at Georgia State, where she was a member of the school’s water ski team. As a young adult living in Georgia, she was an avid cyclist, scuba diver, accomplished bartender, aerobics instructor, and international flight attendant. Other talents included being an accomplished cook, award-winning baker, self-taught painter who had a flair for vivid colors, and creative interior designer. Even though she was a University of Georgia Bulldog at heart, she ultimately graduated cum laude from Mississippi State University, settling in Muscle Shoals after a short stint in Cullman. Her degree was in broadcast meteorology, but her calling was with the Alabama Department of Health. Summer never met a stranger. She was kind, loving and mastered the gift of gab, holding her own with the best of them. She would always lend a helping hand or give thoughtful advice, loved her work family, and wanted her counties to succeed.

Summer is survived by her father, Walter J. Burpee; sister, Stephanie Varnes (Robert); brother, Patrick Burpee (Tanya); and niece, Livija Burpee; aunt, Jennie Parham (Jimmy); cousins, Russ Parham and family, Andrea Frambrough (Chad), and Tonya Klopp (Steve); Richard Beard; and special fur babies, Greta and Cracker; William Beard; Wyatt and Allison, Will, Amalie and Catherine Beard.

A memorial service was held May 12.