NEBRASKA CITY – Visitation is scheduled at Marshall Funeral Chapel on March 19 for a true Nebraska City hometown man.
Ted Beilman only lived in Nebraska City until the age of 10. He spent the next 50 years working in Arizona and Alaska, but he remembered his boyhood and told friends in recent years that he felt drawn to someday return here.
The city’s finances became his cause when it was announced that the city’s share of the cost for a new Fourth Corso viaduct would be in the “seemingly unreachable” range of $4 million.
City Administrator Grayson Path was only days into his new job and tasked with finding some sort of solution.
“Maybe the Lord was with us,” Grayson said of an appointment he had with Beilman.
Path was not sure any such project existed, but, with Beilman’s encouragement, began looking into it.
Nebraska City was able to find enough federal “re-allocation” funds to lower its costs for the viaduct from $4 million to about $1 million.
Beilman also inspired thousands as the state began its 150th year celebration.
He thought it would be good to recognize 150 veterans with a display at the city’s Veterans Memorial Building. Beilman began piecing together tributes by hand, but actually had to ask for help, when the number of tributes grew to over 300.
Beilman joined the tour of the Veterans Memorial Building, where over 800 “local heroes” had been honored in 2017.
“I am humbled that these families have put their trust in me to help tell their stories,” Beilman said.
He said each story left its mark on him personally as he assembled photos, letters and remembrances of the veterans.
“There was an Otoe County man that commanded the US Sixth Army and a Nebraska City colonel that led the Harlem Hell Fighters in Europe during World War I. There are heroes here, in our home town,” Beilman said.
Path said Beilman’s zeal for the building and the spark of patriotism that had happened there was evident as he described the place to the state director. Soon, it was mentioned that there could be tourism funds available for the building, which had been closed and vacant for a decade.
Beilman spearheaded a grant application process that resulted in $425,000, that would be matched by a private corporation that Beilman founded. The funds are being used for an elevator, handicapped accessible restrooms. Roof repairs were completed this year.
Path described Beilman as an absolute team player.
Path: “It was community first for him. He was always trying to bring people together to get things done.”
Beilman was a member of the Nebraska City Eagles and the Wirth Foundation Board.
He started the Nebraska City Riverview Nature Park to focus on restoring the park, which had been closed. He also created the nonprofit Arbor Academy Childcare and Education Center as a future child care and family learning facility for his home town.
Private family graveside services will be held at Wyuka Cemetery in Nebraska City at a later date.