Mary Jane Bellessa, 91, of Mt. Carmel, Illinois, passed away Thursday, February 27, 2020, with her loving husband by her side at Oakview Heights, Mt. Carmel, Illinois.
She was born March 11, 1928, near Ft. Branch, Indiana, the daughter of Revis and Cletis (Garrett) Callis. Mary Jane attended Marlette school for the first four grades. The family then moved to a farm near Owensville, Indiana. The Owensville School housed all twelve grades and is where she graduated. After graduation from high school, Mary Jane enrolled in the Welborn Baptist Hospital School of Nursing where she received her RN Certificate. She worked as a nurse at Gibson General Hospital, Wabash General Hospital and in the office of Dr. Ernie Lowenstein.
When Mary Jane was 45, she returned to studies to further her education. She graduated from Eastern Illinois University in 1977 on the same day with her son, Gary. She completed her next fourteen years working in the school system as school nurse and teacher.
Mary Jane met and married Donald G. Bellessa in June 10, 1950, in Owensville, Indiana, and together were blessed with 70 years of marriage and three children. Don and Mary Jane were members of the General Baptist Church, having joined in June 1956, in the original building on Second Street in Mt. Carmel, Illinois. Mary Jane was active in community and church work. She taught several classes in church with Don and served on the Public Health Board as well as the Nursing Home Board. Mary Jane and Don enjoyed traveling and researching the family history. They compiled a book of records for others to enjoy. Their travels covered many interesting places. Mary Jane was writing a book Life’s Awesome Journey. She couldn’t finish the book, but she completed her awesome journey of life on February 27, 2020, here on earth and began a more awesome heavenly journey.
Left to cherish Mary Jane’s memory is her husband, Don; children, Lynetta K. Reynolds and husband Larry, Teresa J. Odom and husband Austin, Garrett W. Bellessa and wife Marilyn, all of Mt. Carmel, Illinois; grandchildren, Kelly L. (Cory) Price, Aaron L. Loudermilk, Timothy M. (Amy) Diekmann and John C. (Lorraine) Bellessa; greatgrandchildren, Thomas P. Allen III, Zachary T. Allen, Rayce L., Shade L. and Journey L. Loudermilk, Emily J. and Sadie L. Diekmann, and, Elizabeth M. Bellessa.
Preceding Mary Jane in death were her parents; grandson, Stephen J. Diekmann; brother, Darwin Callis; and nephew, Eric Callis.
Visitation for Mary Jane will be held Friday, March 6, 2020 from 4:00 p.m. until 8:00 p.m. at First General Baptist Church, 120 W. 12th Street, Mt. Carmel, Illinois. Funeral services will be Saturday, March 7, 2020, at 10:00 a.m. also at the Church. A private burial will be at the Lick Prairie Cemetery.
Memorials may be made to the First General Baptist Church, 120 W. 12th Street, Mt. Carmel, Illinois. Envelopes will be available at the church and at Short Funeral Home
Condolences or memorial contributions may be made online at www.short-cunninghamfh.com
Short-Cunningham Funeral Home is honored to serve the Bellessa family.
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First General Baptist Church
120 W. 12th Street, Mt. Carmel IL 62863