George M. Bard, a member of the USGA’s Executive Committee during the 1980s who also served as president of the Western Golf Association, died in Naples, Fla., on March 4 at the age of 86.
Bard had many interests, but golf was at the top. He was a trustee of the Evans Scholars Foundation and he served as president of the Western Golf Association in 1972-73. From 1981 to 1985, Bard served on the USGA Executive Committee out of Barrington Hills Country Club in Barrington, Ill. He also served as the chairman of the Green Section Award Committee during his stint on the Executive Committee.
“He was always helpful, always friendly and always alert to the USGA’s interests and problems,” said William Campbell, who served as USGA president in 1982-83. “He made friends very easily and was good-natured.”
“He was a happy-go-lucky guy,” said Jim Hand, president in 1984-85.
Bard was an accomplished golfer, carrying a 3 handicap for several years. From 1957 until 1996, Bard would play his personal favorite course – Pine Valley Golf Club in Clementon, N.J. – twice a year, once in the spring and once in the fall.
Bard was an avid fisherman and pursued the sport around the world. He also served as president of the Executives’ Club of Chicago and the Chicago area council of the Boy Scouts of America.
Born in Chicago on June 11, 1924, Bard graduated from the United States Naval Academy in 1945. As an ensign, Bard assisted in decommissioning the USS Pittsburgh and served aboard the USS Los Angeles. When he resigned his commission he settled temporarily in Bryan, Ohio. His father, Ralph A. Bard, was Undersecretary of the Navy during World War II and achieved notoriety by advising President Truman not to drop the atomic bomb on Japan.
Bard married Roma Prentice in 1947 and they had four children: Deborah Dewing, Mary Candace Bard, Jennifer Bard and George M. Bard Jr., all of whom survive him except Mary Candace, with seven grandchildren and nine great grandchildren. In 1974, Bard married Jean Eldridge Klein, who survives him with three stepchildren, Penelope Smith, Jeffrey Klein and Jennifer Weber; and two stepgrandchildren. The couple resided in Barrington Hills, Ill., in the summer and in Naples, Fla., during the winter.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Evans Scholars Foundation, the United States Golf Association or the David Lawrence Foundation.
Material from the Naples (Fla.) News was used in this story.