OBITUARIES

Mary Ellen Belden
February 2, 2018

Mary Ellen A. Belden –
Mary Ellen Alden (nee Hundley) Belden passed away peacefully on February 2, 2018 at the age of 95. She was born on December 31, 1922 in Carbondale, IL. Her mother was a school teacher and her father worked for the Illinois Central Railroad as an engineer. As a young child, she moved to Racine, WI. It was there that she grew up, made many friends, and met her future husband. After graduating high school Mary Ellen attended college at the University of Iowa for a short time until WWII interrupted her studies. She returned to Racine and began working in the factory for J. I. Case Company, formerly making tractors and farm equipment, now making aircraft parts. She became a riveter and bucker. Being small she was often working inside the engine cowling or wings to buck (flatten) the end of the rivets being driven in to hold those pieces together.

On October 30, 1943 she married her high school sweetheart, William E. Belden. They were married for forty-four years and had four children. In the early 1960’s Mary Ellen returned to college to finish her teaching degree in elementary education at the Dominican College in Racine. She taught in the Racine school district for several years until her husband’s career brought them to Gautier, MS. in 1968. She continued teaching, first at Central Elementary in Pascagoula and then at College Park Elementary in Gautier when it opened. She retired from teaching in 1984.
The family joined St. Pierre’s Episcopal Church and Mary Ellen became active with the church womens’ groups and the altar guild. She also joined the Gautier Garden Club and held positions, including club president, several times throughout the years. She loved gardening and doing projects around the community with the Garden Club.

Mary Ellen was preceded in death by her mother, Ida L. (Kitt) Hundley, father Victor A. Hundley, and husband, William E. Belden, Sr. She is survived by her children: William E. (Kathie) Belden, Jr., Carolyn A. Kiley, Patricia J. Manuel, and Janet E. (Roger) Robichaux; five grandchildren: Stephanie (Joe) Looney, Dr. Courtney (Brian) Marsh, Phillip (Tammi) Kiley, Christopher Robichaux and Brian (Lorin) Robichaux; and four great-grandchildren: Anna Looney, Carson Looney, Grace Kiley and Logan Kiley.

Visitation and services will be held at St. Pierre’s Episcopal Church on Friday, February 9, 2018 from 9:30am to 11:00am with the church service beginning at 11:00. There will be a reception celebrating her life in the church hall following the service.

Arrangements are being made by O’Bryant/O’Keefe Funeral Home. Internment will follow at a later date in Racine, Wisconsin. In lieu of flowers the family requests donations to St. Pierre’s Episcopal Church in Gautier, MS. The family wishes to thank the caregivers and staff of Home Instead Senior Care and Greenbriar Rehabilitation Center for the care they provided to her.