East Lansing, Michigan
Belva Blythe Easley, retired school teacher, died Nov. 23, 2010, at Sparrow Hospital, Lansing, MI, of cardiac arrest.
She was born Feb. 13, 1920, in Golden, to Claude and Nellie Blythe. She graduated from Cassville High School at the age of 15 and attended S.M.S. in Springfield. After 2 years, of college she returned to Golden to begin her teaching career in l936. In 1940, she moved to California to marry Dennis Clements. In 1946, she and Dennis moved to Southwest City to open the E-Z-Way Market. After the break-up of their marriage, she became the sole proprietor of the grocery store.
In 1952, she sold the business and moved to Neosho. She was employed at Tom's I.G.A. and during a conversation with a customer discovered she had the credentials to teach in the rural, 2 room county school district. She was hired to teach at Oak Grove in 1953 and began her pursuit of completing her Bachelor of Science Degree.
After receiving her degree from S.M.S. in 1957, she was hired by Neosho Public Schools. She continued her pursuit of higher education to complete her masters of science degree from Pittsburgh State University, Pittsburgh, Kan., in 1964.
On June 4, 1966, she married Rayburn Easley and moved to Rogers, Ark., and taught fourth grade at Westside School. She retired from teaching in 1985 after completing 35 years of helping to shape many young lives. She moved to East Lansing, Mich., in 2001, where she made her home until her death.
She was a member of Society of Mayflower Descendants, Daughters of American Revolution, Kappa Delta Pi, Alpha Delta Kappa, and New Hope Church.
Belva is preceded in death by her parents, husband Rayburn Easley, brothers Bela and Burl.
She is survived by: daughter, Claudia Carson; brother, Buford (Shirley) Blythe; granddaughters, Carrie (Ryan) O'Connell and Christa Carson; great-grandson, Jack O'Connell; stepsons, Douglas and Michael Easley; stepdaughters, Brenda (Ron) Vinson and Karen Cristee; 11 step-grandchilden, 26 step great-grandchildren; one step great-great-grandchild; four nieces; three nephews; and a host of cousins, former pupils, and friends.
Services were held at 10 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 29, 2010, at the First Baptist Church, 626 W. Olive, Rogers, Ark. Burial was at Horner Cemetery in Cassville. Visitation was at Rollins Funeral Home on Sunday, Nov. 28, 2010, from 5 to 7 p.m.
A memorial will be held at New Hope Church, Haslett, Michigan at 4 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 3, 2010.
Memorial contributions may be made to First Baptist Church, 626 W. Olive, Rogers, Arkansas 72756 or New Hope Church, 1340 Haslett Rd., Haslett, Michigan 48840.
"I expect to pass through this world but once; any good thing therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any fellow creature, let me do it now; let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again."