OBITUARY: Matilda Louise (Couch) Beaird


Matilda Louise (Couch) Beaird, beloved wife, devoted mother, cherished grandmother, and cherished sister, passed away peacefully on February 19, 2024, in Columbia, TN, with her loving husband by her side.

Matilda was born in Nashville on May 12, 1939, at St. Thomas Hospital, to Rebecca Louise (Wallace) Couch and James Cummins Couch, Sr.

She spent her formative years in Mt. Pleasant alongside her three siblings, James Cummins Couch Jr., Virginia Helen (Couch) Harlan, and Wallace Bell Couch, where she found joy in water skiing on the Tennessee River and working at Couch’s 5 & 10. Matilda’s dedication and work ethic were evident early on as she managed the store in her father’s absence, displaying a resilience and commitment that would characterize her entire life.

After graduating from Haylong High School in 1957, Matilda pursued higher education at Sullins College in Virginia before transferring closer to home at Peabody College (Vanderbilt), where she earned her bachelor’s in business in 1962. It was during this time that fate intervened, and she met her future husband, Sam Beaird, on a blind date arranged by her brother Jimmy Couch. Their love story blossomed, leading to a wedding on June 11, 1962.

Matilda and Sam pursued Sam’s industrial career, traversing the country living in 11 different states and 17 cities. Along the way, they welcomed four children into their lives: Samuel Decatur “Dee” Beaird Jr. (Joy), Elizabeth Miller (Beaird) Fitz (Tom), Mary Margaret “Meg” (Beaird) Van Patten (Greg), and Dr. David Anderson Beaird (Maria).

Matilda poured her heart and soul into raising their children, offering unwavering love, support, and guidance through life’s ups and downs. Their children were her greatest joy, and she celebrated their successes and stood by them during their challenges. The family particularly enjoyed their years living in Knollwood Country Club (Granger, IN) where she passed on her love of tennis to their children. Many summer nights were spent on and around the tennis courts as a family.

As her family expanded with the arrival of ten grandchildren and three great-grandchildren, Matilda’s love only grew stronger. She embraced her role as “Mimi” with boundless affection, showering each grandchild with warmth and devotion. Matilda’s legacy of love, kindness, and resilience will live on through her family, who adored her beyond measure.

Matilda is survived by her devoted husband of 61 years, Samuel Decatur Beaird, her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and her sister Ginger (Couch) Harlan.

She was preceded in death by her parents and her two brothers.

Matilda’s presence will be deeply missed by all who knew her, but her spirit will continue to shine brightly in the hearts of those she loved.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to First United Methodist Church of Mt Pleasant (202 S. Main St, Mt Pleasant TN 38474), in honor of Matilda’s memory.

A celebration of Matilda’s life will be held on February 25, 2024, at First United Methodist Church of Mt. Pleasant where friends and family will gather to remember and honor her remarkable life. Visitation will be at 1:30 PM with a service to follow at 2:30 PM. Burial will follow in Zion Presbyterian Church Cemetery. May she rest in eternal peace.


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