Then: Oline Marvel played an influential role in furthering the cause for the state’s official song. She helped introduce the song to residents of Hastings in 1968 by accompanying vocalist Marlene Mullen on piano during the annual Memorial Day services at Highland Park.
Now: Marvel, who died Feb. 7 in Georgia, was eulogized May 20 at a memorial service at First Presbyterian Church.
Both Oline Marvel and her husband, Richard, lobbied for the song, “Beautiful Nebraska,” to become the Nebraska state song. As state senator, Richard adopted a bill to designate it as such. Less than a year later, Oline performed the song on her portable piano in Hastings in Highland Park on Memorial Day the year after it was adopted and signed into legislation by Gov. Norbert Tiemann in 1967.
Written in 1960 by Jim Fras and Guy Gage Miller, “Beautiful Nebraska” was one of several songs considered carefully by the Legislature and debate was said to be plentiful.