In Loving

Carolyn Elizabeth Toler Beard

Jun 04, 1940Jun 20, 2018

Celebration of Life


Springfield Christian Church


Sat, July 14, 2018


3 : 00 PM – 12 : 00 AM

Obituary message

BEARD, Carolyn Elizabeth Toler, 78, beloved mother, sister, aunt and friend, departed this life on June 20, 2018. She is survived by loving sons, Chris Beard and daughter-in-law, Jennifer, Dr. Scott Beard and partner, Alan Gibson; grandsons, Nathan Searfoss, Cole and Brady Beard; brother, John Toler; nieces, Melissa Toler Short, Jessica Huerta and Jillian Dabovich; and a host of other special relatives whose lives she touched. She was predeceased by her brothers, Frank and Robert “Sonny” Toler. She also leaves behind many friends and colleagues from her nearly 50 years as a healthcare professional. Carolyn was born on June 4, 1940 and grew up in Rockville, Va. As a child, she was challenged by rheumatic fever, requiring her to learn to walk again at the age of 11 at Crippled Children’s Hospital of Richmond, a feat that she would conquer again in later life. She was a fighter and always one to meet challenges! Her one-year stay at Children’s Hospital was filled with many books and visits by teachers, experiences that nurtured her lifelong love of reading and learning. It also inspired her future career as a nurse. She was valedictorian of her class at Rockville High School (1957), with additional studies at VCU. She later earned her nursing degree from St. Luke’s School of Nursing. Carolyn was the head nurse of the med-surg floor at St. Luke’s for many years before leaving in 1981 to work for Health Life of Virginia. There, she was the Chief Nursing Officer for several senior-care facilities. She ended her career by teaching others, helping to develop a certification course for LPNs. She was very proud to see her graduates out in the field, and they showed their fondness by their frequent visits. Carolyn was active in the PTA, both at the local and state level, and was honored with a lifetime membership. One of her proudest moments was arranging a visit by then gubernatorial candidate Charles Robb to speak to high school parents and students. She was also a member of Springfield Christian Church, where she taught Sunday school and served as an elder. A quote on her kitchen counter read, “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.” If so, Carolyn lived a thousand lives- she will be sorely missed by family and friends. A Celebration of Life will be held July 14, at Springfield Christian Church (18285 Vontay Rd. in Rockville), at 3 p.m. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made to Children’s Hospital Foundation, 2924 Brook Rd., Richmond, Va. 23220.