Rudolph H. Belcher
ABINGDON, Va. â€” Rudolph Harvey Belcher, 87, died Jan. 29, 2006, at Bristol Regional Medical Center, following a brief illness.
The third of four sons (Roy, Hassel, Rudy, and Kermit), he was the last remaining child of the late Louisa Ramey and Greely Belcher. In addition to his parents and siblings, Mr. Belcher was preceded in death by one grandchild, Sheila Dawn Morris.
Mr. Belcher was born July 3, 1918, at Big Rock, Va., and grew up in Pike County, Ky. He resided throughout his adult working life in Buchanan County, Va., employed primarily by Red Jacket and Island Creek Coal companies. He also was employed as a mine inspector for the Commonwealth of Virginia. Mr. and Mrs. Belcher moved to Washington County, Va. after he retired from Island Creek, where he had served many years as instructor of first aid and mine health and safety as well as mine foreman certification. He counted with pride members of his winning first aid and mine rescue competition teams, as well as the fine young men he prepared for mine foreman certification.
One of the greatest generation, Mr. Belcher served in the Army of the United States from 1941 to 1945; he was in the 328th Heavy Ordnance Company that followed the Allied troops across Europe from the beaches of Normandy to Paris. Upon his honorable discharge, he returned to employment with Red Jacket Coal Company as a skilled machinist.
Mr. Belcher was a well-known citizen of Buchanan County, where he was active in United Mine Workers and the Democratic Party. He was an involved Master Mason and Shriner, with recent memberships in Masonic Lodge No. 48 and Desert Sands Shrine Club, Abingdon. Always interested in education, he served on the Buchanan County School Electoral Board. He was a member of the Pleasant View United Methodist Church in Abingdon.
Mr. Belcher is survived by his wife of 63 years, Pearl Keene Belcher who resides at Broadmore Assisted Living, Bristol, Tenn. He is also survived by a daughter and son-in-law, Barbara-lyn and Thomas R. Morris, and by a son and daughter-in-law, James Russell and Melissa Belcher, all of Washington County, Va.; the following grandchildren: Courtney Brook Belcher Baker and husband Brian, Tabbitha Lyn Morris Barnes, Sharon Robbins Morris, Rosa-Lyn Vaughan Morris, Nicholas Russell Belcher, Kathelyn Paige Belcher, and James Zeren Belcher; one great-grandson, Anthony Tyler Barnes; four sisters-in-law: Jessie Fore, Hattie Keene, Ruth Mullins, and Lorraine Williams, as well as by many beloved nieces and nephews.
The family will receive friends at Pleasant View United Methodist Church, 18416 Lee Highway, Abingdon, from noonâ€“1:45 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 1. Following the visitation, a service will be held at the church at 2 p.m. with the Reverend Jim Goddard, Mrs. Joy Munsey, and The Reverend Ray Amos officiating. A mausoleum entombment service will be held in the Colonial Chapel Mausoleum of Forest Hills Memory Gardens and Mausoleum Chapel, 19415 Lee Highway in Abingdon. A Masonic Ritual will be held at the cryptside.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Shriners Childrenâ€™s Hospital, 950 West Faris Road, Greenville, SC 29605-4277, Pleasant View United Methodist Church, 18416 Lee Highway, Abingdon, VA, 24210, or a charity of your choice.
Nephews will serve as active pallbearers. Honorary pallbearers include Sam Altizer, Jess Curry, Harry Gunter, Dennis Hardy, Charlie Jessee, Walden Keene, J.E. King, Don Matney, Raymond Matney, Gerald McClanahan, Opie McKinney, and Raymond West.
The family would be pleased to receive e-mail messages at www.farrisfuneralservice.com
. Members of Mr. Belcherâ€™s safety and mine foreman certification classes at Island Creek Coal Company and for the Commonwealth of Virginia are invited to share their recollections of Mr. Belcher as an instructor and mentor.
The Main Street Chapel of Farris Funeral Service, 427 E. Main Street, Abingdon is serving the family of Mr. Rudolph Harvey Belcher.