YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (MyValleyTributes) – With loving memories, we honor and recognize the legacy of Bennie Newell Heard who was born on February 26, 1940, in Opelika, Alabama, to the union of James and Annie (Hicks) Heard.

Bennie N. Heard was a man of faith who lived a life centered around hard work, determination and love for his family. Therefore, it is with heavy hearts that the Heard family announces his passing on Monday, November 13, 2023, in Youngstown, Ohio, after a life well-lived.

Bennie was a proud African American man who overcame various challenges throughout his life. Although he did not obtain a formal education, he possessed an innate intelligence and a strong work ethic that allowed him to thrive. For many years, he dedicated himself to the labor industry, specifically in the primary metal manufacturing sector, working diligently for Valley Mold & Iron.

Despite the demands of his occupation, Bennie always made time for his loved ones. He enjoyed a beautiful marriage to the former Bernice Moore and they created an amazing family while sharing their love with the community. Together, they owned and operated Bea’s Day Care, nurturing several generations of children in the Youngstown area. They were honored as the “Foster Parents of the Year” by the Mahoning County Children’s Service Board. Together, Bernice and Bennie are now reunited for eternity.

Bennie was extremely witty and was known to be a comedian and jokester of the family. He possessed an uncanny ability to tell a joke or convey a story. Bennie’s cooking skills were always appreciated and was well known for his ribs and the special “secret” sauce. He enjoyed the passions was playing spades and entertaining family and friends both far and near. To say that he was an avid Cleveland Brown is greatly understated.

He cherished his relationships and will be deeply missed by his surviving family members, including his daughters, April Johnson, Brenetta Christian and Juanita Caldwell, as well as his sister, Gussie Finley. Their memories of him as a loving father, brother and friend will forever hold a special place in their hearts. Bennie also leaves an incalculable score of family and friends which includes his ten grandchildren and 15 great-grandchildren.

He was embraced at the Gates of Heaven by his parents; wife; son, Jason Heard; sisters, Mary Strickland, Katherine Bailey, Pauline Hill, Inez Hamilton, his twin Bernice McNeil and Alma Brooks and brothers, Carl, Edward, James and Clinton Heard.

Bennie loved the Lord and was an integral member of the Royal Missionary Baptist fellowship in North Charleston, South Carolina. A man of strong character and unwavering faith, Bennie’s influence extended beyond his immediate family. His kindness and compassion touched the lives of those who had the privilege of knowing him. He will be remembered for his warm smile, his words of wisdom and his ability to offer a helping hand to anyone in need.

The Heard family wishes to thank the community, especially the staff of the Assumption Care Center for the intentional acts of love and outpouring of kindness which has been extended during this time. The family has been sustained by the compassionate ministries of prayer, peace and presence during this time of great loss.

Words cannot express the depth of loss we feel but we take comfort in knowing that Bennie’s spirit lives on in our hearts forever. Hebrews 6:10 declares in part, “For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love, which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints.” May you be richly and exceedingly blessed!

We invite all friends, relatives and acquaintances to join us in paying our respects and sharing in the remembrance of a truly remarkable man. Yet we do not mourn as others do without hope, we shall gather to celebrate Bennie’s former and now new life. We find comforting solace in the cherished memories he leaves behind.

To honor and celebrate the remarkable life of Bennie Newell Heard, funeral services will be held at the Jaylex Event Center, 2110 Glenwood Avenue, on Monday, November 20, 2023. A public viewing will take place at 9:00 a.m., followed by the funeral service, officiated by Apostle Ricky Daniels of South Beach, Florida at 10:00 a.m.

In his final earthly resting place, Bennie will find eternal peace at Tod Homestead Cemetery, where he will be laid to rest in the presence of his beloved family.

The beloved daughters of Bennie Heard entrusted J.E. Washington Funeral Services, 2234 Glenwood Avenue, Youngstown, Ohio for the ministry of comfort and after-life care arrangements.

Send flowers to the service of Bennie N. Heard.

A television tribute will air Thursday, November 16 at the following approximate times: 5:17 a.m. on WKBN, 8:39 a.m. on FOX, 5:21 p.m. on WYTV and 6:35 p.m. on MyYTV. Video will be posted here the day of airing.