BERLIN — Tim Beaulac, born and brought up as a North Country boy, passed away last week after battling kidney cancer. A true loss for not only his family and friends but all of us here in the Berlin area. I didn't know him as personally as many of you, but I did know him through his wife, Mary Lou, who has been a friend since our days at Berlin High School (1967). He was always very friendly, polite and a pleasure to be around.
With Mary Lou's permission, I began to put together a short tribute to Tim's life until I started asking questions, first from my brother Keith, who informed me among other things that Tim was the manager of the Berlin High football team which Keith played on; was a weight lifter; an Eagle Scout and worked part-time with him at Bryant's Funeral Home.
"Tim was an easy going person and fun to work with,” Keith stated.
That led me to Walter Nadeau, quite the weightlifter in his day, eventually to his brother JoJo and then to his coach at the University of New Hampshire, George Elder.
This tribute could be a full-length feature, along with a history of the Spartan's Weightlifting Club. That may come later.
Walter Nadeau shared that “I worked with Tim throughout his career as an Olympic lifter (snatch, clean and jerk) and accompanied him to many Olympic lifting contests throughout New England in the 1970s." Walter recalled. "In January of 1974, Tim, who weighed 123 pounds, snatched 115 lbs. and cleaned and jerked 160 lbs. and then later, in 1975, had his best lifts and finish (third place) at the National Junior Olympics Championship at UNH when he snatched 137.9 lbs. and cleaned and jerked 187 lbs. — a phenomenal performance, considering he weighed 129 pounds!”
Walter added: “Tim was a guy who took the training very seriously, had a great work ethic and was extremely coachable. I started working with him when he was in high school, which was almost 50 years ago — hard to believe and hard to believe he is gone from us."
Without going into all of the very interesting history of weight lifting at the University of New Hampshire, I will say that UNH Lifting Coach George Elder was very influential in Tim's continual lifting career, and Tim was closely connected to Arthur "JoJo" Nadeau.
And George, who has a remarkable memory, shared these sentiments with me: “I coached Tim for a bit at UNH but he was already a well-trained lifter under Walter Nadeau in Berlin. He worked hard, pushed himself to the limit, never complained and accomplished a great deal there and in his life. It was easy to see he would be successful at whatever he did."
Coach Elder added: "Man, I loved that smile when he completed a big lift — that image is still frozen in my mind! Tim Beaulac was a good lifter, but an even greater person. It was guys like Tim who taught me what it takes to be a coach. I shall miss him but his life was well-lived."
Friends since the early days and classmates from K-12 (first graduating class from the new Berlin High School of 1973) Jo Jo Nadeau and Tim had lots in common, including lifting — Tim with the Olympic style (snatch, clean and jerk) and JoJo, powerlifting, (bench press, deadlift and squats).
"We spent many a day in the gym, starting at the Community Club working out under the watchful eyes of guys like Ron Roy, Walter Nadeau (JoJo's brother), Mutt Allain, Don Pouliot, Dick Downs and Steve Bouchard among many others,” JoJo said.
Some of the names I noticed in the meet results Walter sent me include Robert Nadeau, Bill Beaudry, Roger Hachez and, of course, Tim.
JoJo continued, "We both had George Elder as a coach at UNH and we liked 'moving steel' as it was not subjective. Add to that Tim and I enjoyed the training, competition and comradery that existed in the weight room, from the old community club and beyond."
Tim had a great work ethic as evidenced by the fact that in his first contest he snatched 90 pounds and jerked 125 pounds.
As mentioned earlier, the information Walter, George and JoJo furnished me could result in another story of the beginnings of the Spartan's Weightlifting Club and how weightlifting came to be at UNH but the important thing right now is to pay tribute to Tim Beaulac, a guy I always considered to be a mild-mannered individual, and he was, except I'm sure when he was training or competing in Olympic-style weightlifting!
My thoughts, prayers and condolences go out to his entire family and friends. RIP Tim Beaulac.