Good works from a hard life
August 28, 2013
Zabelle Howard Beard was one of those colorful Baltimore characters, a principled and occasionally litigious woman who tangled with the telephone company, her landlord, and anyone else who failed to measure up to her standards. She worked as an administrative assistant for the state of Maryland and outlived her only daughter and her second husband from her late-life marriage.
Her estate attorney, Stan Klinefelter, knew Beard for many years and, over time, assembled a nuanced impression of his client. “She had terrible go-rounds that alienated her from many people,” he admits. “But when you got through all of that, you understood that she basically was a nice, if lonely, person who wanted to do good things.”
That’s where her story takes a distinctly afﬁrmative turn. “She decided to help people,” Klinefelter says, “and I suggested the Baltimore Community Foundation, which is so good at leveraging money. She looked into it and felt it was a good choice.”
Thus, 70 percent of Beard’s estate came to BCF to establish two ﬁeld-of-interest funds: The E. Read and Zabelle
Howard Beard Fund, a bequest to assist homeless individuals in Baltimore City, and The Mary Patricia Howard Lang Fund, named for her daughter, to beneﬁt children’s programs. “Zabelle
was very positive about the gift to the Community Foundation,” Klinefelter says. “She knew it would do some good.”
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