An ability to stay cool under pressure served Eugene “Gene” Beran well during his 27 years as a World-Herald editor.
Beran, who came to the World-Herald in 1966 and retired in 1993, was the regional editor overseeing coverage of the Nebraska Legislature and state government. Beran was longtime World-Herald reporter Henry Cordes’ editor for seven years.
“Gene was simply the coolest, kindest editor I ever worked with,” Cordes said. “I could be on some big, breaking story, feverishly typing away 10 minutes past deadline, and the phone would ring. It would of course be Gene. Never raising his voice or showing any alarm, he’d calmly tell me to cut it loose. Nothing ever ruffled Gene.”
Beran, 88, died Sunday at the Brighton Gardens assisted living facility. A funeral service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday at St. Augustine of Canterbury Episcopal Church, 285 S. 208th St.
David Hendee, a longtime World-Herald reporter who retired last year, said Beran was a great mentor for the copy editors and reporters who had the privilege to work with him.
“He worked what seemed to be nearly two full shifts daily — and not only when the Legislature was in session,” Hendee said. “Under intense pressure from the front office and unforgiving deadlines for the afternoon and morning editions, he handled it all with grace.”
Beran attended Fairbury (Neb.) Junior College before serving in the U.S. Navy. He then returned to finish his degree at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, said his son Jim Beran. Gene Beran then went to work at the World-Herald after a short stint at the Custer County Chief. He reported some stories before becoming a full-time editor, Jim Beran said.
“I think he thoroughly enjoyed his work. He certainly never complained about it,” Jim Beran said. “I’m sure it wasn’t low-pressure stuff.”
Beran liked to fix things around the home and kept his yard in shape, Jim Beran said. Gene Beran and his wife Carole enjoyed traveling across the United States.
Beran was preceded in death by Carole, his wife of 61 years. In addition to Jim Beran, he is survived by son Michael of Omaha; brother Melvin of Diller, Nebraska; seven grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.
Following cremation, interment will be at the Prairie Home Cemetery in Beran’s hometown of Diller. Memorials are suggested to St. Augustine Episcopal Church or the American Cancer Society.