Louis R. “Skip” Bearden

Louis R. “Skip” Bearden

MADISON-Louis Roland “Skip” Bearden, of Madison, passed away on Monday, April 3, 2017, at Agrace HospiceCare after an extended illness.

Known as “Skip” to all, he was born on June 1, 1947, in Atco Village, Ga., the oldest of four children to Margaret and the late Edward “Red” Bearden of Madison. Skip graduated from La Follette High School in 1966, its first class of seniors, and attended UW-Oshkosh. There he earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in 1970. He was also a member of Sigma Pi fraternity. Skip later graduated from UW-Madison School of Business with a degree in accounting. After graduation from Oshkosh, Skip returned to Madison, began his career in accounting at Oscar Mayer, and finally retired from the State of Wisconsin Motor Vehicle Department in 2014.

Skip’s passion for cars was a hallmark of his life. He constantly tinkered with the family’s 1956 Dodge and always had a say on family car purchases casting a vote on performance over practicality. While in college, Skip bought a used Ford Anglia panel truck. Over summer break, he would drag race it at Rockford Speedway just so he could be around all the fast cars and be caught up in the dream of owning one himself. His love of cars led to a long line of restoration projects such as bringing a 1929 Model A Ford back to life and proudly displaying it at Memorial Day parades. His last project was a 1966 Plymouth Barracuda. His hours spent in the garage helped keep his mind off the acute physical pain that he constantly and quietly endured. An unabashed NASCAR fan, Skip attended races in Atlanta, Bristol, Charlotte and Chicago. However, his crowning stock car achievement was setting the fastest lap time at the Richard Petty Driving School at Atlanta Motor Speedway, beating 40 other enthusiasts that day. He also drove in the annual Hot Rod Power Tour. Skip’s final road trip took him along Route 66 to California, a dream come true.

Skip was a generous and loyal friend, softball coach, hockey coach and loving son, brother, father and grandfather. His wit and well-timed wry sense of humor are unforgettable, as well as the dignity with which he faced Crohn’s disease.

Skip is survived by his mother, Margaret; daughter, Amy (John) Van Dyke; and grandsons, Calvin and Wallace of Albuquerque, N.M.; and son, Michael (Ali); and grandchildren, Talula, Archibald and Pearl of Los Angeles, Calif. He is further survived by brothers, Robert (Svitlana) Bearden and Reed (Barbara) Bearden of Marietta, Ga.; sister, Melanie (Greg) Luft of Madison; much loved nephews, Jake and Casey Luft; nieces, Lauren Bearden of Marietta, and little Margaret of Ukraine.

A Celebration of Life will be held at MAPLE TREE SUPPER CLUB, 6010 US-51, McFarland, from 1 p.m. until 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 22, 2017.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to Agrace HospiceCare, 5395 East Cheryl Parkway, Fitchburg, WI 53711, to whom the family is grateful for their compassionate care and kindness.

A special thank you to all his friends, too numerous to mention by name, your devotion and support meant more to him than we can express in words.