HAZARD — A local religious leader who also served his country in the military was honored this past weekend during a bridge dedication ceremony at Consolidated Baptist Church.
The bridge carrying traffic over North Main Street on Highway 15 was recently named after the late Rev. Richard A. Beatty. Beatty was a father of four, husband, veteran and reverend of a local church. He was well-known and respected in the community, and was active in the schools and philanthropy.
Consolidated Baptist was filled to the brim with friends and family, including several people who sang songs in Beatty’s honor. The Perry County central color guard presented the nation’s flag.
The invocation was given by Perry County resident Mike Turner, a member of the military himself who has been instrumental in working to have several bridges in Perry County renamed after veterans from the area. Turner has hosted several dedications and helped in getting many more bridges renamed.
During the dedication, not only was Beatty honored, but his widow, Anita, was also awarded with a special presentation. Anita has worked at the post office in Hazard for many years, and Turner, who works for her, nominated her for an award that honors those who work with veterans returning from war.
“You can put your immediate supervisor up for this award if you feel that she supports what you do. and Anita does,” said Turner.
Turner said that she has always worked with him and his own military schedule and been able to hold his job for him. She was honored as a patriotic employer.
The dedication continued with Rev. Lowell Parker as the keynote speaker. Parker took over for Beatty as the pastor of Consolidated Baptist in Hazard after Beatty’s death.
The Disabled American Veterans Chapter 64 fired a 21-gun salute and played “Taps.” Anita Beatty was presented with a folded flag in honor her late husband.
The dedication ended when the master of ceremonies, Estill Neace, told the story of how Rev. Beatty once found a bag full of money. This common “what if” scenario used to judge a person’s character actually happened in real life to Rev. Beatty. According to Neace, he actually tracked down the owner of the money and gave it back to him.
Neace revealed that the money was his father’s he had dropped from the car while taking a deposit to the bank. Neace noted that Rev. Beatty did not just talk about doing good works, but acted them out every day.