Remembering Pastor Ted Beiderwieden

By Chip May

Pastor Ted, a lifelong Arcadia cottager and pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in Arcadia for almost 19 years, passed away on Apr 9, 2024. 

We give thanks to God for Pastor Ted’s ministry at Trinity and his lifelong support for Camp Arcadia’s ministry. 

From left to right: Ted, Judy Neff, Kathleen Parsons, Janine McKenna. Image: Camp Arcadia Archives

Pastor Ted was born in New Jersey in 1936 and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1958. He had a 30-year career with the American Lung Association, before moving to Arcadia in 1993. Starting over, he spent that winter living in his cottage, which was not meant for winter use. He eventually moved to the church’s parsonage and began to serve with Pastor Ken Breimeier. Following coursework at Concordia University Ann Arbor and the Deacon Training Program of the Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod, he was ordained and served there until he retired in 2015. 

Pastor Ryan Tinetti, current pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church (TLC) in Arcadia commented, “Pastor Ted provided stability to TLC over many years, and he was a great source of encouragement for me personally. Whether discussing hymns or Arcadia history, he was a wonderful conversation partner. He’ll be dearly missed.”

Ted was also a faithful volunteer at Interlochen Public Radio, he was awarded volunteer of the year three years in a row for his work organizing and making sure IPR’s music library of over 10,000 albums were labeled correctly and each movement was appropriately entered. IPR’s music director, Amanda Sewell, wrote a remembrance of Ted in a local paper. She claimed, “If you see a playlist displayed on Classical IPR, either on your FM radio or on our website or in the mobile app, you’re likely seeing Ted’s work. He was meticulous, he was thorough, he was relentless. For the record, I have a Ph.D. in musicology, and Ted could match me in a classical music know-it-all competition.”

In front of the lakefront cottages, 1943. Left to right: Bonnie Beiderwieden, Ted Beiderwieden, John Steben, Evelyn Beiderwieden, Velma Steben, Roy Steben, Lois Steben. Image: Camp Arcadia Archives, 01-05-0098 RM

Having grown up spending his summers in Arcadia at his cottage, Ted developed lifelong friendships with many other cottagers. Here are some remembrances from his friends and fellow cottagers:

Ted is a beloved Arcadia cottager who enjoyed playing many rounds of Bridge and was always there to teach you different methods of play to advance your (his) Bridge game skills. 

We loved to visit local restaurants with him and enjoyed the exhilarating joyrides along the windy curves of M-22 in his “Mafia” car. 

Countless happy hours at neighboring cottages always made for an enjoyable time with Pastor Ted who often shared stories about his mother who we affectionately referred to as “Mother Superior.”  Happy hours that led to so much laughter.  Pastor Ted Laughter…The most joyful and healing kind of laughter.

The McKenna Family 
From left to right: Ryan McKenna, Marilyn Brickler, Ted Beiderwieden, Janine McKenna, John Brickler and Molly (Gallagher) Rohrbaugh. Image: Camp Arcadia Archives

Ted was a very private person. He did not like having his picture taken (although I have one of him on Weiherman Beach). Exercise was a 4-letter word to him. Amazing Grace was his least favorite Hymn.  

On the flip side–he looked forward to phone calls from and visits with his family. He enjoyed cooking (he even catered for a short period). He enjoyed and knew classical music. Interlochen Public Radio was always playing in his car or condo. He enjoyed red wine and a good game of Bridge. Above all he loved his Lord! He was a good friend and I will miss him and our weekly calls!

Marilyn Brickler

With Ted’s passing, Arcadia & Trinity have lost a faithful and devoted spiritual shepherd. And, for many of us, we have lost a wonderful, close friend. Behind Ted’s austere German façade, he was a kind, caring, witty and great friend.

Mark Kuhlmann

Pastor Ted impacted the lives of so many people. Having known him in the second half of his life as he grew into his role as Trinity’s pastor, I am thankful for the patience and generosity of spirit he granted to me, especially as a young camp director. I appreciated his directness and his firm opinions, mostly because it was backed up by a sincere desire to serve God’s people. 

Ted, who always wanted to be a pastor, got his wish later in life, and I give thanks to God for how He was able to use Ted’s gifts to be a blessing to so many people in his life. 
Click here to read Pastor Ted’s obituary.

One Response

  1. Ted was a treasured friend who mentored sons Andy and Jim as they accompanied him with their trumpets at both the Episcopal church in Lansing and at Trinity Arcadia. He was always there for us as a friend and later as our pastor who grieved with us and then buried both of my parents Justus and Norma Kretzmann. Years later he baptized two of our great grandchildren, Cora and Miles Chapin. He will be sorely missed for his gentle spirit and wonderful sense of humor.

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