Irene S. Ingham Beard, 86, a former teacher and an importer of rare books, prints and antiques, died of cardiorespiratory failure Nov. 18 at the Manor Care nursing home in Adelphi.

Mrs. Beard was born in Yorkshire, England, and came to this country as a young woman. She settled in Minneapolis and attended the University of Minnesota. She moved to the Washington area in 1916 and lived in Chevy Chase.

In the late 1920s, she taught in the D.C. public schools and later was a private tutor. From 1930 until about 1955, she was in the importing business. In the 1930s, she also sold baked goods through various Washington stores. She contributed articles on nature and travel to magazines and other publications.

About 1963, she moved to London. She lived there until 1977, when she returned here following an illness.

Mrs. Beard was a member of St. John's Episcopal Church in Bethesda, the Daughters of the King, a church group, the Daughters of the British Empire and the 20th Century Club.

Her husband, Rutland Duckett Beard, died in 1948.

Survivors include two children, Renee Ingham Beard Gunkel and retired Army Col. Rutland D. Jr., both of Potomac; a sister, Emily Ingham Elliott of Minneapolis; four grandchildren, and four great-grandchildren.