Ret. Col. James Norton “Jim” Beil, 91, passed away Monday, May 3, 2021, at Providence Medical Center, Kansas City, Kansas.
Jim was born the oldest of three children on July 25, 1929, on Tulsa, Oklahoma, to Frank D. and Beulah A. (Norton) Beil. Jim attended Tulsa public schools through the ninth grade. The family moved from Tulsa, Oklahoma, to Hotchkiss, Colorado, in 1944. He graduated from Hotchkiss High School in 1947. Jim met Lola Lenore (Norrie) Linman while they both worked in the cafeteria at Colorado A&M (now Colorado State University). They were married on Sept. 14, 1950, on her family’s ranch in Crawford, Colorado. She preceded him in death on May 19, 2002. Jim graduated from CSU in June 1951 with a bachelor’s degree. He also graduated from the CSU Army ROTC program as a distinguished military graduate, commissioned as a second lieutenant of field artillery on Jan. 31, 1952.
Jim saw combat during the Vietnam War as a battalion commander. His Army career included duties overseas in Germany (twice), Iran and Taiwan along with several postings in the U.S. Jim retired from active duty on Feb. 29, 1980.
Jim had a short-lived foray into the retail Christmas tree business on the Beil family farm. During this period, he split his time between Hotchkiss and Leavenworth. In February 1985, Jim returned to the work as a U.S. Army Civil Service employee at Fort Leavenworth. He retired from civil service on Jan. 31, 1999, having served our country proudly and honorably for 42 years.
Jim was a longtime member of the Leavenworth Lions Club, receiving the Claude DeVorss Fellow Award; chairman of the Leavenworth Lions Club Scholarship Committee; a 60-year member of Mt. Lamborn Lodge; AF & AM of Hotchkiss, Colorado; Scottish Rite Bodies of Fort Leavenworth, Kansas; Order of the Eastern Star and the VFW Post 56 chapter.
James and Norrie were volunteer drivers for the American Cancer Society “Road to Recovery” program and several Leavenworth County Historical Society/Carroll Mansion Museum activities. They also worshiped at the Fort Leavenworth Main Post Chapel for more than 40 years. He later became a member of the First United Methodist Church in Leavenworth.
James favorite hobbies were playing the piano, organ or accordion, golf, photography, stain glass art, bowling and beer brewing. He also enjoyed cheering for the Chiefs, Jayhawks and the Royals.
He is survived by his four children: Steven J. (Susan) Beil, Forest Grove, Oregon, Betty J. Beil, Leavenworth, Michael L. (Betsy) Beil, Tecumseh, Michigan, and Beverly (Jeff) Wright, Aurora, Colorado, brother, Ret. Col. Glenn N. (Patricia) Beil, Grand Junction, Colorado, Jim’s sister- and brother-in-law Sharon (Linman) and Don Frey, Montrose, Colorado, and sister-in-law, Lila Linman, Crawford, Colorado, seven grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren, numerous nephews and nieces.
He was preceded in death by his parents, beloved spouse Lola Lenore (Norrie) Beil, sister Nancy Martin and cherished companion Charlotte Bayer.
In lieu of flowers, memorials in his name may be directed to the LAWS (Leavenworth Animal Welfare Society), Leavenworth County Historical Society, Leavenworth Lions Club or First United Methodist Church.
Visitation will be Wednesday, May 12, 2021, at Belden-Larkin Funeral Home, 707 S. 6th St., from 4-7 p.m. A funeral service will be at 11 a.m. Thursday, May 13, 2021, at the First United Methodist Church, 5th and Chestnut streets, with Rev. Dr. David York officiating. Burial will follow at Fort Leavenworth National Cemetery with full military honors.
Belden-Larkin Funeral Home has been entrusted with arrangements.
Posted online on May 10, 2021