Joseph Charles Bellone went on to be with his Lord and Savior and his loving wife Julia at 7:04 am on Friday morning, December 4th, 2014. Services were held in Bridgeport, Texas on Saturday, December 6th . Mr. Bellone was recently ill for a few days but passed peacefully surrounded by his family. Among those family members present were two cherished caregivers, Judith Stufflebeam and Cristy Booker. Mr. Bellone was a loving man, a Christian man, a strong and solid father and a devoted and loving husband. He and the effect that he had on his world and those around him will be ever greatly missed. But we know that as sure as we live and breathe here today that he is reunited once again with his family and his beloved wife who preceded him in passing. Mr. Bellone is once again walking, once again working with his hands, able to speak, sing and praise his Savior. He is, we are certain, not only dancing once more with his wife but also with Mrs. Christina Parsons and her husband Charles; all doing the “chicken dance”. Mr. Bellone is probably tinkering with the workings of heaven’s residences as we speak. All the while surely smiling; rejoicing and praising our Lord for his life everlasting.
Mr. Bellone was born in Long Branch, New Jersey in 1926. He attended Lenna Conrow Elementary School in Long Branch and then went on to graduate from Long Branch High School where has was known as “Joey”. In high school, Mr. Bellone enjoyed soccer, basketball, track, and being a lifeguard at the shore. At the time of graduation, World War 2 was still being fought and Mr. Bellone enlisted in the Civil Air Patrol. Mr. Bellone attained the rank of sergeant and often told stories of flights from training and staffing bases here in the US (including Fort Myers, Florida and Salina, Kansas) to a base in Cuba. He told stories of training with new pilots just able to keep the huge B-29s from bouncing on and off the runways. He always said, “You could tell whether the young pilots were hung over that morning by the roughness of the takeoffs and the abrupt dropping onto the tarmac and residual bouncing of the landings.” The Civil Air Patrol became part of the Air Force after the war ended.
After his stint in the CAP, Mr. Bellone went on to attend Monmouth College in West Long Branch, New Jersey for 2 years and then finished his BA in Business Administration at New York University in New York, New York. Mr. Bellone then put this degree to good use as an administrator in the Eatontown, New Jersey school system.
During this time, Mr. Bellone met his future bride-to-be at the Jersey shore. He met Miss Julia Buckshaw while enjoying one of his favorite activities, roller skating. After a courtship, the couple went on to marry in 1952 and had one son, Michael, currently of Decatur, Texas. The Bellone family settled in Long Branch, New Jersey. They moved to West Long Branch, New Jersey in the early 1970’s. After retiring from a successful career in sales, for corporations such as PPG (wholesale paint division and wholesale glass division), Mr. and Mrs. Bellone moved to Palmyra, Virginia. There they spent the next twenty or so years enjoying retirement, gardening, working around the house, and going on road trips to Texas to see their grandson Ryan. In the later years, they also enjoyed their entire bounty of six great-grandchildren.
Throughout his life some of the hobbies and activities Mr. Bellone enjoyed included but were not limited to, wood working, ice boat racing, singing in his church choir, gardening, road trips, and, while in New Jersey, cultivating the perfect lawn. Some of his neighbors used to comment that Mr. Bellone worked on his lawn so much that the grass blades all grew in the same direction and that even snow melted evenly on his lawn. He might have even known some of the local Scott’s representatives on a first name basis.
Mr. Bellone also enjoyed watching the St. Louis Cardinals baseball team, win or lose, enjoyed a good bowl of Neapolitan ice cream from time to time, tinkering around the house, and anything and everything automotive. Mr. Bellone was also known to enjoy country music (a rarity in the late 1970’s New Jersey), waltz music, and a good dinner at Howard Johnson’s- which usually included fried clams and one, and only one, beer.
Mr. Bellone is survived by his son Michael, Michael’s wife Karin, Michael’s son Ryan (of Melbourne, Florida), Karin’s daughter Jenni, son Jeff, and great-grandchildren Colin, Josh, Daisy, Justin, Teagan and Quinn.
Mr. Bellone’s heart was big and so was his strength. In the twilight of his life, he battled the ravages of Parkinson’s disease for many years never losing the will to keep on fighting; to keep on adapting and keep on trying…as well as he could and sometimes even beyond that. He cared for his fellow man, as well. For example, in his early years he and his conscripted-in-this-particular-adventure son would often go door to door when it snowed offering to shovel his neighbors out for just a “thank you”. Later, he would continuously and fiercely look after and look out for Mrs. Bellone when she no longer could look out for herself. And in the last few months, Mr. Bellone even adopted his daughter-in-law’s mom into his “cared for” circle; making sure that when “Oma” was not feeling well he would turn on the German music she liked to listen to-and turn it up loud for her to hear.
Mr. Bellone is in heaven, now, with all that are special to him. And for us that are left here to wait until we can see him again, we are comforted by the fact that “Joe” is once again with “Julie”, roller skating, dancing, gardening, and laughing-just as our now surely-smiling God had planned all along