Some knew her as the Sandwich Lady, others for her tireless efforts to bring support to the military, but most people remember O'Neill resident Beth Tielke as someone who brought joy to others.
A "ray of sunshine" is a sentiment expressed by the many people fortunate enough to know the longtime O'Neill stalwart, who founded the successful Tielke Sandwich Company with husband Vernon in 1983. After growing the small business into an enterprise that now sells her famous hoagies across the Midwest, Tielke undertook another venture: Founding Nebraska Troop Support, a group of businesses, individuals, and organizations that donate time, items, and money to send Care Packages and moral support to the military.
Granddaughter Ashley Renee chronicled her grandmother's busy life in a series of four interviews based on the seasons on her memoir-styled blog, "Sunshine Into the Lives of Others: The Inspiring Life Story of Beth L. Tielke." The intimate interviews conducted with her granddaughter provide a fascinating first-person account of her life--from raising seven children to starting a sandwich business--intermingled with a wealth of common sense wisdom, including, "It's better to be nice than to be pretty."
Ashley described her grandmother perfectly, quoting Walt Whitman: "Some people are so much sunshine per square inch."
As the word of her passing spreads, no doubt the sentiments she expressed to Nebraska Life magazine in 2013 will resonate even deeper with the surrounding community:
Funeral services for Beth Tielke, age 84, of O’Neill, will be 10:30 A.M., Tuesday, June 2, 2015, at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in O’Neill with burial in the O’Neill Calvary Cemetery. Visitation will be Monday, June 1, 2015 from 3 P.M. to 5 P.M. at Biglin’s Mortuary in O’Neill and from 6 P.M. to 8 P.M. at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in O’Neill with a 7 P.M. Rosary. She passed away Thursday afternoon May 28, 2015 at the Golden Living Center in O’Neill.