Being Funny Is Serious Business – Resident Cartoonist Shares His Talents

FORT MYERS, FL (July 1, 2000) – Most everyone at Shell Point has seen one of Ned Beard’s cartoons on a flyer or in a newspaper. His black-and-white vignettes, personally drawn for the occasions, give residents that little chuckle that their day needs. Their joyous and giving spirit make Ned and Dot Beard a special couple.

Ned served in the Navy during World War II. On the GI Bill, he then studied at the Philadelphia Museum School of Art, where a blind date led him to Dorothy Janda, a junior at the University of Pennsylvania. They soon married and raised a family.

After graduation from art school, Ned freelanced for a time, then went to work for the DuPont Company as an artist; he eventually became art director for the engineering department. He originated a cartoon strip for the company paper that ran for 23 years. Off the job, Ned drew a political cartoon for a local paper that ran even longer. The hundreds of caricatures drawn for retirements, promotions, and other occasions were a welcome relief from the deadlines and pressures of an art shop.

Volunteering was always a way of life for the Beards, and after moving to Shell Point in 1997, they continued to serve. One of Dot’s main interests is singing – with the church choir, the Shell Point Singers, in programs and chapel services for The Pavilion and King’s Crown. Her principal concern is working with residents who have Alzheimer’s disease. Ned also volunteers in several aspects, most noticeably sharing his art talent numerous times with cartoons for the residents’ newspaper, the Courier, and several other publications.

Both Ned and Dot think Shell Point is a remarkable place for its people, with their variety of backgrounds, beliefs, and interests. It is also a community that welcomes its citizens to play a part in its day-to-day operation. They want their own voices to blend with others of the community to make it an ideal place to live.

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