More detail on this person: Funeral service for former state Sen. Ronald C. Bean, 66, will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, April 22, 2005, at Summer Grove Baptist Church, now in the former South Park Mall in Shreveport, with the Rev. Wayne Dubose, pastor of First Baptist Church of Minden, officiating. Burial at Forest Park West Cemetery. Full military honors will be accorded Sen. Bean by the Louisiana National Guard with his dear friend, Brig. Gen. Hunt Downer, assistant adjutant general of the Louisiana National Guard and secretary of the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs, serving as the general officer in charge. First Lt. David Byrd, his nephew, will serve as the officer in charge of the honor guard. Visitation will be Thursday, April 21, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Rose-Neath Southside. Sen. Bean, a decorated military veteran, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, April 19, 2005. Born in Shreveport on Nov. 4, 1938, he was a retired U.S. Army chief warrant officer. After his service, he went on to careers in banking and real estate. In 1976, he began his public service with his election to the Caddo Parish Police Jury, now known as the Caddo Parish Commission, and served four years. Then in 1991, he was elected to the state Senate from District 38, which encompasses Caddo and DeSoto parishes. He was re-elected to two additional four-year terms and retired in 2003. During his career in the U.S. Army, he served as a helicopter pilot of Army One for President Nixon and President Ford. He also served two tours of duty in Vietnam. During his distinguished career, he earned numerous decorations, including the Distinguished Flying Cross, Bronze Star with cluster and "V" device for valor, Presidential Service Medal, Soldier's Medal and Air Medal with 17 clusters. In 1973, the Presidential Service Medal was bestowed upon him for his heroism in rescuing six Secret Service agents and his crew trapped underwater when the helicopter he was piloting crashed due to an instrument failure. Typically modest, Ron was reluctant to discuss or take credit for his heroism. Upon returning home to Shreveport, he joined Christ United Methodist Church and supported many community initiatives. His community service included the LSUS Chancellor's Advisory Committee, the board of directors of the Feist-Weiller Cancer Center at LSU Health Sciences Center-Shreveport, the Shreveport Mayor's Commission on Education, the executive committee of the board of directors of the State Fair of Louisiana, the West Shreveport Association, the Lowe-McFarlane Post of the American Legion and the Shreveport Chamber of Commerce. During his 12 years in the Senate, he served as vice chairman of the Senate Insurance Committee and was a member of the Senate Finance, Revenue and Fiscal Affairs, Environmental and the Transportation committees, the Louisiana Health Care Commission and the Governor's Commission on Military Affairs. Combining his natural wit and love for people with his innate leadership ability and genius for consensus building, Ron always worked in the best interest of his district as well as the entire state. His peers paid tribute to his leadership by electing him as president pro tempore of the state Senate in 1998 and again in 2003. Among his greatest legislative accomplishments was the passage of the measure that assured that Louisiana residents who had undergone life-saving organ transplants have access to necessary anti-rejection medication. He also passed legislation that required insurance companies to cover the cost of clinical trials for cancer patients, in an effort to make the newest therapies in cancer treatment available to the largest number of Louisiana residents who could benefit. Sen. Bean was a champion for LSU Health Sciences Center in Shreveport and quality health care for all Louisiana residents. He was instrumental in gaining support of Gov. Mike Foster for state funds to help build the recently opened outpatient treatment facility of the Feist-Weiller Cancer Center at LSU Health Sciences Center in Shreveport. Although he had a tireless commitment to public service, Ron always placed his family first and was a devoted and loving husband, father, grandfather and friend. Sen. Bean was preceded in death by his parents, John Winters Bean and Juanita Huggins Bean; daughter, Elizabeth Bean Kershaw; son, John Edward Bean; and brother, Richard Allen Bean. Survivors include his wife of 25 years, Carol Grady Bean; daughter, Mary Elizabeth Bean; five grandchildren, Chris Bean, Megan Bean, Krystal Kershaw, Amber Kershaw and Tiffany Auld; three sisters, Helen Dodd, Emily Sanders and Martha Bean; two brothers, Adrian Bean and William Riddick; daughter-in-law, Jamee Bean Schilling; son-in-law, Rodney Kershaw; numerous nieces and nephews and a host of friends who will dearly miss Ron. Pallbearers will be Chris Bean, John Adrian Bean, Alan Byrd, Perry Pringle, Jim Smith, Sen. Greg Tarver, Sen. Don Hines and Beryl Young. Honorary pallbearers are Sen. Don Kelly, Sen. Armand Brinkhaus, Sen. Sammy Nunez, Rep. Billy Montgomery, Rep. Wayne Waddell, Adrian Bean, Bud Storer, Dr. John McDonald, Dr. Frederick J. "Jeff" White, J.W. Jones, Lemmie Walker and Nathaniel Pennywell. The family would like to extend special thanks to Fire Station 17, his doctors, nurses and other health-care professionals whose compassionate care made it possible for Ron to continue to work for his district and the state. He always gave credit where credit was due: the dedicated Senate staff that made his tenure such a success, and to his sister Helen Dodd and niece Mary Byrd for generously donating their kidneys and extending the quality of his life. He always lovingly and jokingly referred to them as "Kidney One" and "Kidney Two." The family requests memorial donations be made to the LSU Health Sciences Foundation, P.O. Box 105 AHB, 1501 Kings Highway, Shreveport, LA 71103 or to the charity of the donor's choice. "Well done, good and faithful servant."
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