Obituary of Wilfred Robert Beilman
As a gentle morning rain fell on May 25, Wilfred Robert Beilman passed peacefully from this earth at the age of 98. Born March 1, 1920, in Hays, Kansas, he was the 6th of 12 children in the family of Joseph and Elizabeth Beilman. When he was 16, he made the decision to interrupt his education in order to help his family survive the “Great Depression.” He went to work for the neighborhood grocery store as a delivery person and general helper. Weekly, he received half of his salary while the other half was returned to the store to help pay down the family’s growing debt. He continued this effort through 1941. Weeks after Pearl Harbor, he was drafted into the US Army.
Life changed. Wilfred married Alice Combs, also from Kansas. Shortly thereafter, private Beilman was shipped out to Alaska to defend America through the remainder of WWII. Under severe conditions, he served with honor in the Aleutian Islands and was discharged in 1945. After readjusting to civilian life in Denver, it was off to California in search of the good life! He and Alice raised 4 children (Roger, Sandra, Gary, and Roberta). Wilfred found work as a civilian employee of the Alameda Naval Air Station and continued there for 30 years in addition to running a television repair business on the side. In 1980, he retired. He and Alice moved to a newly developing community called Lake Wildwood in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains.
Life changed again.
In his early years in LWW, Wilfred, now known increasingly as Hess, was able to pursue a number of his interests including fishing/camping, music in general—country, bluegrass, and the study of the guitar in particular. He was always a working man and this trait would endure. For at least 25 years it seemed like he had a significant daily encounter with wood, stones, dirt, or leaves. It kept him happy and healthy. Some years after Alice passed away in 1994, he had remarried and became more socially active.
He was loved by many for the incredible candy he made and gave as Christmas holiday gifts. Surprisingly, at the age of 83, life led him to GOLF. He became known at the course as Will and he embraced the game with passion! He had some unique adventures on the fairways including an episode which ended with his golf cart in the middle of the pond on the 10th hole and his near drowning experience in the creek which crosses hole #8. He fell head-first into the water. Thankfully, two of his companions raced to his rescue, each grabbing a leg by which they were able to drag him out! For almost 15 years, golf was a life motivating factor for him and he usually played 9 holes twice a week—often, more.
Recognizing him as an elder and a WWII veteran, he was shown remarkable respect, appreciation, and affection by all who encountered him at the golf course. He so loved it!
As he approached his 98th birthday in March, it was becoming clear that he was in decline. He passed away with comfort and dignity at the home of daughter Sandra and her husband Larry. Wilfred is survived by his beloved sister: Mary Ann (Jim); his children: Roger, Sandra (Larry) Gary, and Roberta (Jim); grandchildren: Steven, Aaron, Kelly, Cory, Jason, Brooke, Sam, Devin, Jessie, and Tyler; and 17 great-grandchildren.
A Memorial Mass will be celebrated at St. Patrick’s Church, 235 Chapel Street in Grass Valley, Ca. 95945 at noon on Friday, June 29, 2018 with a reception to follow in the church hall.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that donations may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association or Hospice of the Foothills.
L i f e o f Wi l f r e d R o b e r t B e i l m a n
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