Lewis James Beilman Jr. passed away on Oct. 14, 2023, in Palm Coast, Fla. He was preceded in death by his mother, Marion Valentine, and his father, Lewis James Beilman. He is survived by his wife, Amy Beilman; his sons, Lewis James Beilman III, Kjell Beilman, and Neil Beilman; his stepson, Blair Wilhelm; his sister, Victoria Gunn, and brother-in-law, Winston “Buzz” Gunn; and his brother-in-law, Marc Lippitt, and sister-in-law, Suzanne Lippitt.
Lewis was born in Middletown, Conn., on Feb. 19, 1944. His family moved from Connecticut to Florida when he was a teenager. He graduated from Miami Jackson Senior High School in 1962.
After high school, Lewis served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War. He was part of the Navy’s Nuclear Power Program and later assisted with operating the nuclear reactors on the U.S.S. Enterprise. He also played trumpet in the Navy band.
Lewis put himself through college after his military service and graduated from Florida International University. Post-college, he spent most of his 30-year professional career as a financial controller at Combustion Engineering (CE) and Asea Brown Boveri (ABB). He and Amy retired to Palm Coast, Fla., in 2006.
Lewis was an active retiree. He loved playing tennis; walking his dog, Hero; and biking—but most of all, he loved Move to Music, an exercise class he and Amy started in 2008. He created awesome musical playlists for the class, many of which are still used today. He also spent several years as the Treasurer of the Flagler Humane Society.
After being diagnosed with head and neck cancer in 2011, Lewis had to curtail some of his activities, but he and Amy later started an oral, head, and neck cancer support group at Advent Health in Palm Coast. The support group, which was associated with SPOHNC (Support for People with Oral and Head and Neck Cancer), helped hundreds of patients and caregivers during the eight years it operated.
Lewis will always be remembered for his broad smile, his positive attitude, and his love of life. He was always up on the “news of the day” and remained interested in the fate of the Miami Dolphins through his last days.
Lewis eventually succumbed to head and neck cancer, but he remained an inspiration to so many during his more than 12-year journey. No matter what difficulties life showed to him, he made the best of each day and was grateful for whatever time he had with his family, friends, and animal companions.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to SPOHNC or the Flagler Humane Society.