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WILLIAM O. BELLINGER – WORLD WAR II VETERAN
North Manchester – William “Bill” Bellinger, 96, North Manchester passed away on February 1st at the Peabody Healthcare Facility.
He was born February 16, 1921 in Walkerton, Indiana to Charles and Nina (Hardy) Bellinger. In 1945, he married Kathryn Jobson at the First Brethren Church in New Paris, Indiana.
Bill graduated from Walkerton High School in 1939 and joined the Navy in 1942 where he served on the destroyer U.S. Denver. After active duty, Bill stayed in the Naval Reserve until 1976 when he retired as Lieutenant Commander. He was a Navy Mustang, a title given to a very small number of enlisted men who become officers. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Business.
Bill was the Manager of the Farm Bureau Co-op in St. Joseph County before moving to North Manchester in 1964 with the Monsanto Corporation to manage the opening and operation of a new fertilizer plant in Servia. Later that business was sold to the Farm Bureau Co-op which he managed until his retirement in 1985.
In retirement, he had time for his love of carpentry and built all types of wooden chairs, benches, tables, stepstools and more. He built float boards and was seen many week-ends on many of the local rivers, relaxing and “float boarding.” Earlier in life, he enjoyed air boating down those same rivers. He also enjoyed gardening.
He was a member of the First Brethren Church in North Manchester; the Manchester American Legion, and the Moose Family Center; the Warsaw VFW and the Rochester Elk’s Lodge.
Bill is survived by daughter, Sharon (Donald) Smith; three grandchildren, Shawn (Shari) Bellinger of Silver Lake; Zachary (Megan) Smith of Warsaw and Tasia Smith of Warsaw; three great granddaughters Regan and Marley Bellinger and Finley Ryan Smith; a great grandson, Foster Davis Smith; three step granddaughters, Tara Smith, Kelley (Travis) Shoaf and Shanna (Eric) Callahan; 13 step great grandchildren and 5 step great great grandchildren; a daughter-in-law, Jane Bellinger of North Manchester; and his sister, Betty (Don) Sheaks in Clarendon Hills, Illinois. He was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 73 years, Kay; a son, Stephen William Bellinger; a brother, Grant Bellinger and a sister, Doris (Charles) Wynn.
Family and friends may call Monday, February 5, 2018 from 4:00-7:00 p.m. at McKee Mortuary, 1401 State Road 114 West, North Manchester, IN. Celebration of Life service will be Tuesday, February 6, 2018 at 11:00 a.m. with calling 10:30-11:00 at McKee Mortuary, 1401 State Road 114 West, North Manchester, IN. Pastor J. P. Freeman will officiate. Burial will be in Oaklawn Cemetery, North Manchester, IN at a later date.
For those who wish to honor the memory of Bill Bellinger, memorial contributions may be made to American Legion, 215 East Main Street, North Manchester, IN 46962 or Disabled American Veterans, PO Box 14301, Cincinnati, OH 45250-0301